Encyclopedia Astronautica
In Development


Category of launch vehicles.

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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • ATACMS American short range ballistic missile. The ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) is the U.S. Army's current short/medium-range tactical ballistic missile system. More...
  • Kistler K-1 American low-cost orbital launch vehicle. The Kistler K-1 was a reusable two-stage launch vehicle developed by a prestigious team of ex-Apollo managers, designed originally for launch of Iridium-class communications satellites to medium altitude earth orbit. Kistler began development but had to file for Chapter 11 protection before detailed hardware fabrication was completed. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2005, and merged with suborbital startup Rocketplane to form Rocketplane Kistler. On 8 November 2006, it was announced that Alliant Techsystems, as lead contractor, would complete the K-1 launch vehicle, with Rocketplane Kistler as a subcontractor, under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. More...
  • Angara The Angara was a new all-Russian heavy launch vehicle designed to replace the Zenit (which was built by a Ukrainian company) and Proton (which had launch pads only on Kazakh territory). The booster was sized for rail transport of modular manufactured components to cosmodromes at Plesetsk and Svobodniy. The design featured a single modular core that could be clustered for large payloads or used as a first stage with a variety of existing upper stages. All plans for the Angara were dependent on financing and subject to constant change. More...
  • CZ-NGLV Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's family of new generation expendable launch vehicles began development in 2000. Boosters of various capabilities would be assembled from three modular stages of 2.25 m, 3.35 m and 5.0 m diameter. These would be powered by new variable-thrust 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines or 50 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines. More...
  • Scorpius American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Family of sounding rockets and launch vehicles based on combining liquid oxygen/kerosene pressure-fed engine modules. Modest government funding and over a decade of development had still not resulted in a production contract as of 2006. More...
  • Pantera Norwegian hybrid single stage sounding rocket based on Lockheed Martin's HYSR technology. More...
  • DARPA Falcon American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Lockheed Martin all-hybrid propulsion, mobile orbital launch system that could launch from an unimproved site with limited infrastructure on 24 hours notice, placing up to 840 kilograms into LEO More...
  • GMD/BV-Plus American anti-ballistic missile. Three-stage booster for use with the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense System. Built by Lockheed Martin Corp., the booster was one of two slated for use with the GMD system. The system was designed to intercept and destroy long-range ballistic missiles. More...
  • S-500 New anti-aircraft, anti-missile system design in competitive development with Antey's S-400 to produce a Russian equivalent to THAAD. More...
  • Ares FBB American winged orbital launch vehicle. The ARES ((Affordable REsponsive Spacelift) concept was of a reusable fly-back booster with expendable upper stages. The US Air Force began development of a demonstrator in May 2005, with a first flight date of 2010. It was felt that derivatives of the concept could support all space lift requirements of the USAF. More...
  • KSLV South Korean launch vehicle family. Originally they were to be of completely indigenous design; but in 2005 it was announced that they would use the (in-development, unflown) Russian Angara booster module as the basis. The program, like that of the Angara, was subject to continuous funding shortages and schedule delays. In 2008 the Angara alternate was cancelled after Russia refused to transfer essential technologies and the total cost had increased from US$ 240 million to US$ 350 million. The Korean government went 'back to the drawing board'. More...
  • Nanosat Launch Vehicle American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Two-stage, reusable, liquid oxygen/ethane propellant launch vehicle using aerospike engine technology and capable of delivering 10 kilograms to a 250-kilometer polar orbit. The NLV would provide low-cost, dedicated launch services to universities and other research organizations that traditionally depend on secondary payload opportunities to access space More...
  • Vega Primarily Italian all-solid propellant launch vehicle. After years of furious debate, a $173 million development program began, 52% funded by Italy and 34% by France. As of the first firing of the P80 first stage motor at the end of 2006, first flight had slipped into 2008 from a 2007 original planned date. More...
  • Quick Reach American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Family of low-cost space boosters under development by AirLaunch LLC under DARPA and NASA contracts in 2007-2008. More...
  • RS-24 Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. New mobile, solid-propellant ICBM, heavier than the Topol-M, designed to carry up to ten MIRV warheads and to replace the R-36M2 and UR-100N liquid propellant missiles. More...
  • DF-41 New Chinese solid propellant, mobile ICBM. The DF-41 is expected to be a longer-range version of the DF-31. It is still in the development stage, with deployment not expected until after 2010. More...
  • Ares American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The design selected to boost America's Orion manned spacecraft into space in the 21st Century was a family of launch vehicles dubbed Ares. Originally sold as being derivatives of space shuttle technology, tinkering by NASA engineers and necessary changes during development quickly resulted in the designs being essentially all-new. Following inevitable cost growth and schedule slippage, it was cancelled in 2010. More...

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