Encyclopedia Astronautica
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Indicates that the stage shown is a propellant tank. The engine on another stage is drawing propellants from this tank. Performance shown is for that of the engine on the other stage. First flight 1964.

Status: In production.

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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Rombus American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Bono original design for ballistic single-stage-to-orbit (not quite - it dropped liquid hydrogen tanks on the way up) heavy lift launch vehicle. The recoverable vehicle would re-enter, using its actively-cooled plug nozzle as a heat shield. More...
  • X-15A-2 American air-launched rocketplane. Manned hypersonic research rocket aircraft. Stretched rebuild of crashed X-15A, with drop tanks. Reached Mach 6.7 and 108 km altitude. More...
  • Pegasus VTOVL American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Bono design for semi-single-stage-to-orbit ballistic VTOVL launch vehicle. Drop tanks were shed on the way to orbit. Pegasus could deliver either a Satun V-size payload to LEO or 172 passengers and their luggage the 12,000 km from Vandenberg to Singapore in 39 minutes. More...
  • Saturn Shuttle American orbital launch vehicle. A winged recoverable Saturn IC stage was considered instead of solid rocket boosters after the final shuttle design was selected. More...
  • Albatros Unique Russian space shuttle design of 1974. Hydrofoil-launched, winged recoverable first and second stages. Hydrofoil would have been propelled to launch speed by the launch vehicles rocket engines, using a 200 tonne fuel store in the hydrofoil. Advantages: launch from the Caspian Sea into a variety of orbital inclinations, variations in launch track possible to meet range safety requirements. Proposal of Alexeyev/Sukhoi OKBs. More...
  • IHLLV American orbital launch vehicle. Same concept as Shuttle C. Shuttle orbiter replaced by recoverable pod with shuttle main engines and payload cannister. Quick way for US to obtain heavy payload capability and reduce shuttle cost per kg to orbit by 3 X. More...
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Shuttle LRB American winged orbital launch vehicle. Shuttle with Liquid Rocket Boosters in place of Solid Rocket Boosters. More...
  • MAKS Russian air-launched winged orbital launch vehicle. The MAKS spaceplane was the ultimate development of the air-launched spaceplane studies conducted by NPO Molniya. The draft project for MAKS was completed in 1988 and consisted of 220 volumes, generated by NPO Molniya and 70 sub-contractors and government institutes. Development of MAKS was authorised but cancelled in 1991. At the time of the cancellation, mock-ups of both the MAKS orbiter and the external tank had been finished. A 9,000 kgf experimental engine with 19 injectors was tested. There were 50 test burns proving the separate modes and a smooth switch between them. Since it was expected that MAKS could reduce the cost of transport to earth orbit by a factor of ten, it was hoped in the 1990's that development funding could be found. However this did not materialise. MAKS was to have flown by 1998. More...
  • Shuttle C American orbital launch vehicle. NASA Marshall design for a cargo version of the shuttle system. The shuttle orbiter would be replaced by an unmanned recoverable main engine pod. The same concept was studied earlier as the Interim Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (IHLLV) and as the Class I Shuttle Derived Vehicle (SDV). The Phase I two-SSME configuration would have a payload of 45,000 kg to low earth orbit. Design carried to an advanced phase in 1987-1990, but then abandoned when it was found the concept had no cost advantage over existing expenable launch vehicles. More...
  • Shuttle ASRM American winged orbital launch vehicle. Shuttle using Advanced Solid Rocket Motors (development cancelled 1993). More...

Associated Stages
  • Albatros Momentum Block Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,000,000/1,800,000 kg. Unique hydrofoil launch stage for Albatros. Contains 200,000 kg propellants for acceleration by Albatros stage 1 motors to 50 m/s / 180 km/hr launch conditions. Designed by Alexeyev Hydrofoil/Ekranoplan OKB. More...
  • Pegasus Tanks xLox/LH2 propellant rocket drop tank. Loaded/empty mass 20,000/3,700 kg. Vacuum specific impulse 459 seconds.Four tanks jettisoned at 130 seconds after liftoff; two at 250 seconds, last two at orbital insertion, 360 seconds after liftoff. More...
  • Rombus Tank Lox/LH2 propellant rocket drop tank. Loaded/empty mass 107,501/18,143 kg. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. Eight of these liquid hydrogen tanks would be mounted around the core of Rombus and stage in pairs at 130 seconds, 196 seconds, and 300 seconds after launch. More...
  • Shuttle Tank Lox/LH2 propellant rocket drop tank. Loaded/empty mass 750,975/29,930 kg. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. Original version. More...
  • Shuttle Super Lightweight Tank Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 748,000/27,000 kg. Thrust 6,834.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 452.5 seconds. The Super Lightweight Tank used 2195 Aluminium-Lithium alloy as the main structural material in place of the 2219 aluminium alloy of the original design. This saved 3,500 kg in empty mass, increasing shuttle payload by the same amount. This change was made in anticipation of Shuttle-Mir and Shuttle-ISS flights to high inclination 51.6 degree orbits. The tank was first used on STS-91 in June 1998. More...

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