Encyclopedia Astronautica
Low earth orbit


Category of spacecraft.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • He-112 German manned rocketplane. Flown 1935. The Heinkel He-112 was an unsuccessful pre-war German monoplane fighter, competing for orders with the Bf 109. However it entered rocketry history when tests were conducted with rocket engines. More...
  • Me-163 German manned rocketplane. Flown 1941-1945. The world's first and only operational pure rocket fighter. Awesome performance, but killed more of its pilots than the enemy. More...
  • Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1959. North American was the final selected vendor for Manned-In-Space-Soonest. The 1360-kg ballistic capsule would be launched by an Atlas booster to an 185-km altitude orbit. More...
  • VKA Myasishchev 1957 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1957. The VKA (aero-space vehicle) was a 1957 Myasishchev design - a diminutive single-crew star-shaped spaceplane that could be launched by Korolev's R-7 ICBM. More...
  • Sputnik 1 Russian technology satellite. One launch, 1957.10.04. Tikhonravov's 1.4 metric ton ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, during the International Geophysical Year. More...
  • Sputnik 3 Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1958.04.27 (Sputnik failure) to 1958.05.15 (Sputnik 3). In July 1956 OKB-1 completed the draft project for the first earth satellite, designated ISZ (Artificial Earth Satellite). More...
  • Raketoplan Russian manned spaceplane. Developed from 1959, including suborbital hardware tests, before cancellation in 1964. More...
  • Score American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1958.12.18. Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment; first communications satellite; transmitted taped messages for 13 days. More...
  • Aeronutronics Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Aeronutronics' proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a cone-shaped vehicle 2.1 m in diameter with a spherical tip of 30 cm radius. It does not seem to have been seriously considered. More...
  • Avco Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. AVCO's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a 690 kg, 2. More...
  • Bell Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Bell's preferred concept for the Air Force initial manned space project was the boost-glide vehicle they had been developing for the Dynasoar program. More...
  • Convair Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Convair's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project involved a large-scale manned space station. When pressed, they indicated that a minimum vehicle - a 450 kg, 1. More...
  • Goodyear Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Goodyear's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a 2.1 m diameter spherical vehicle with a rearward facing tail cone and ablative surface. More...
  • Lockheed Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Lockheed's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a 20 degree semiapex angle cone with a hemispherical tip of 30 cm radius. The pilot was in a sitting position facing rearward. More...
  • M-48 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1958. In 1958 the VVS (Soviet Air Force) requested development as quickly as possible of high-speed aerospace vehicles. More...
  • McDonnell Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. McDonnell's design for the Air Force initial manned space project was a ballistic vehicle coordinated with Faget's NACA proposal and resembling the later Soviet Soyuz descent module. More...
  • Martin Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Martin's proposal for the Air Force manned space project was a zero-lift vehicle launched by a Titan I with controlled flight in orbit. The spacecraft would be boosted into a 240 km orbit for a 24 hour mission. More...
  • Northrop Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Northrop's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was a boost-glide vehicle based on work done for the Dynasoar project. More...
  • Republic Project 7969 American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. Republic's studies for the Air Force or NACA initial manned space project started at the beginning of 1958. Their unique concept was a lifting re-entry vehicle, termed the Ferri sled. More...
  • X-15B American manned spacecraft. Study 1958. North American's proposal for the Air Force initial manned space project was to extend the X-15 program. The X-15B was a 'stripped' X-15A with an empty mass of 4500 kg. More...
  • Sever Russian manned spacecraft. Study 1959. Sever was the original OKB-1 design for a manned spacecraft to replace the Vostok. It was designed to tackle such problems as maneuvering in orbit, rendezvous and docking, and testing of lifting re-entry vehicles. More...
  • Mercury American manned spacecraft. 18 launches, 1960.01.21 (Mercury LJ-1B) to 1963.05.15 (Mercury MA-9). America's first man-in-space project. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the orbital payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas. More...
  • PKA Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1959. In 1957, in response to the USAF Dynasoar project, Soviet aviation bureaus were tasked with producing draft project designs for a manned spaceplane. More...
  • Mercury Mark I American manned spacecraft. Study 1959. Proposed derivatives of the basic one-crew Mercury capsule for investigation of earth orbit rendezvous, lifting re-entry and land landing. More...
  • Vostok Russian manned spacecraft. 13 launches, 1960.05.15 (Korabl-Sputnik 1) to 1963.06.16 (Vostok 6). First manned spacecraft. Derivatives were still in use in the 21st Century for military surveillance, earth resources, mapping, and biological missions. More...
  • VKA-23 Design 2 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1957. Following the very critical review of the first M-48 spaceplane design by the expert commission, Myasishchev went back to the drawing board. More...
  • RAE Orbital Fighter British manned spaceplane. This Royal Aircraft Establishment Orbital Fighter proposal of the 1960's envisioned a two stage vehicle. A ramjet powered first stage would release a second stage orbiter similar to, but smaller than, the US Dynasoar. More...
  • Gemini American manned spacecraft. 12 launches, 1964.04.08 (Gemini 1) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12). It was obvious to NASA that there was a big gap of three to four years between the last Mercury flight and the first scheduled Apollo flight. More...
  • MORAD American manned spacecraft. Study 1961. MORAD (Manned Orbital Rendezvous and Docking) would require the use of the Mercury-Atlas and Scout in the 1961- 1963 period. More...
  • Soyuz A Russian manned spacecraft. Study 1962. The 7K Soyuz spacecraft was initially designed for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit, leading to piloted circumlunar flight. More...
  • Soyuz B Russian space tug. Study 1962. In the definitive December 1962 Soyuz draft project, the Soyuz B (9K) rocket acceleration block would be launched into a 225 km orbit by a Soyuz 11A511 booster. More...
  • Soyuz V Russian logistics spacecraft. Cancelled 1964. In the definitive December 1962 Soyuz draft project, the Soyuz B (9K) rocket acceleration block would be launched into a 225 km orbit by a Soyuz 11A511 booster. More...
  • Vostok-Zh Russian manned spacecraft. Study 1961. The Vostok-Zh (or Vostok-7) maneuverable manned satellite was piloted by a single 'cosmonaut assemblyman'. More...
  • DS-2 Ukrainian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1962.03.16 (Cosmos 1) to 1964.12.01 (DS-2 s/n 2). More...
  • 1MS Russian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1962.04.06 (Cosmos 2) to 1962.10.25 (1MS). Early Kosmos launcher payloads of unknown purpose, possibly from Korolev OKB. More...
  • 2MS Russian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1962.04.24 (Cosmos 3) to 1962.05.28 (Cosmos 5). Early Kosmos launcher payloads of unknown purpose, possibly from Korolev OKB. More...
  • DS-P1 Ukrainian military target satellite. 4 launches, 1962.06.30 (Cosmos 6) to 1964.02.27 (Cosmos 25). Prototype ABM radar target; supported developmental experiments for ABM systems. More...
  • DS-K-8 Ukrainian earth micrometeoroid satellite. One launch, 1962.08.18, Cosmos 8. Detected meteoroid flux in near-earth space and carried unspecified military research equipment. More...
  • DS-A1 Ukrainian navigation technology satellite. 7 launches, 1962.10.20 (Cosmos 11) to 1965.07.02 (Cosmos 70). More...
  • Douglas Astro American manned spaceplane. Study 1962. The Douglas "Astro" was a VTHL TSTO system designed for launching space station crews and cargo by the 1968-70 period. More...
  • Martin Astrorocket American manned spaceplane. Study 1962. Early two-stage-to-orbit shuttle study, using storable propellants, Dynasoar-configuration delta wing orbiter. More...
  • Omega Russian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1963.04.13 (Cosmos 14) to 1963.12.13 (Cosmos 23). Early Cosmos satellite, evidently using the Yuzhnoye DS satellite bus. Payload developed by the VNIIEM to test electric gyrodyne orientation systems. More...
  • DS-MT Ukrainian technology satellite. 3 launches, 1963.06.01 (DS-MT s/n 1) to 1964.12.10 (Cosmos 51). Payload developed by the VNIIEM to test electric gyrodyne orientation systems. Also studied variations in the intensity of cosmic rays. More...
  • Dynasoar American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1963. The X-20A Dyna-Soar (Dynamic Soarer) was a single-pilot manned reusable spaceplane, really the earliest American manned space project to result in development contracts. More...
  • Apollo CSM Block I American manned spacecraft. The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions. More...
  • Bono Saucer American manned spaceplane. Study 1963. In 1963 Phil Bono of Douglas Aircraft considered a lenticular configuration for a single-stage-to-orbit reusable booster. This was the largest application found to date for the lenticular concept. More...
  • Lockheed Space Taxi American manned spaceplane. Study 1963. Lockheed investigated the economics of reusable launch vehicles for crews and light space station cargo during the early 1960s. Lockheed proposed a new reusable 10-man spaceplane as a follow-on to the Apollo CSM. More...
  • Lockheed RTTOCV American manned spaceplane. Study 1963. In 1962 NASA funded studies with several contractors on Operations and Logistics for Space Stations. More...
  • McDonnell Spaceplane 1963 American manned spaceplane. Study 1963. In June 1962 NASA funded studies with several contractors on Operations and Logistics for Space Stations. More...
  • NAA RTTOCV American manned spaceplane. Study 1963. North American Aviation's Reusable Ten Ton Orbital Carrier Vehicle design of 1963 had as a standard payload a lenticular 12-man orbital transfer vehicle spaceplane for space station logistics and crew transfer. More...
  • Jupiter nose cone American re-entry vehicle technology satellite. One launch, 1964.01.29, Saturn 5. Launch vehicle test. More...
  • DS-MG Ukrainian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1964.03.18 (Cosmos 26) to 1964.10.24 (Cosmos 49). Payload developed by VNIIEM to test electric gyrodyne orientation systems. Also studied magnetosphere of the earth. More...
  • Voskhod Russian manned spacecraft. 5 launches, 1964.10.06 (Cosmos 47) to 1966.02.22 (Cosmos 110). More...
  • San Marco Italian earth atmosphere satellite. 5 launches, 1964.12.15 (San Marco 1) to 1988.03.25 (San Marco D/L). Atmospheric density studies. More...
  • Reusable Orbital Carrier American manned spaceplane. Study 1964. The Reusable Orbital Carrier (ROC) was a 1964 Lockheed study of a sled-launched HTHL TSTO. The second stage orbiter rocketplane would use Lox/LH2 propulsion to orbit and make an unpowered glide return and landing. More...
  • Saenger I German manned spaceplane. Study 1964. MBB design for a vertical-launch, horizontal landing two-stage winged launch vehicle. More...
  • OGCh Russian military orbital bombing system. 24 launches, 1965.03.05 (FOBS) to 1971.08.08 (Cosmos 433). More...
  • N-4 Russian cosmic ray astronomy satellite. 4 launches, 1965.07.16 (Proton 1) to 1966.07.06 (Proton 3). Physics experiments. Space station "Proton 1". Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. More...
  • Radar Evaluation Pod American logistics spacecraft. One launch, 1965.08.21, Gemini 5 REP. The Radar Evaluation Pod was a small reflecting target released from Gemini spacecraft to test the rendezvous radar. More...
  • DS-U2-V Ukrainian military technology satellite. 4 launches, 1965.10.19 (Cosmos 93) to 1968.02.20 (Cosmos 202). Military technology development satellite - mission still classified. More...
  • DS-U2-M Ukrainian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1965.11.26 (Cosmos 97) to 1967.03.03 (Cosmos 145). Development tests of atomic clocks. More...
  • Apollo LM CSD American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1965. The Apollo Lunar Module was considered for military use in the Covert Space Denial role in 1964. More...
  • Isinglass American manned spaceplane. Study 1965. CIA air-launched, rocket-powered high speed manned vehicle project of 1965-1968 that developed basic technologies used in later shuttle and reusable launch vehicle programs. More...
  • Janus American manned spaceplane. Study 1965. This TRW design of 1965 used a unique concept - a lifting body main stage, that provided both ascent propulsion and re-entry protection. More...
  • Umanskiy Space Capsule Soviet manned spacecraft. Study 1965. Small minimum space capsule for emergency return of crew or urgent payloads from orbit. Proposed by an engineer at Soviet Factory 918 in 1965, but no support from the entrenched space interests. More...
  • DS-U1-G Ukrainian earth ionosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1966.02.11 (Cosmos 108) to 1967.12.19 (Cosmos 196). Studied the relationship between variations in the upper atmosphere and solar activity. More...
  • Soyuz 7K-OK Tether Russian manned spacecraft. Study 1965. Korolev was always interested in application of artificial gravity for large space stations and interplanetary craft. He sought to test this in orbit from the early days of the Vostok program. More...
  • DS-U2-I Ukrainian earth ionosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1966.05.24 (Cosmos 119) to 1968.12.14 (Cosmos 259). Studied the influence of the ionosphere on passing VLF radio waves. More...
  • Atlas Target Docking Adapter American logistics spacecraft. One launch, 1966.06.01, Gemini 9 ATDA. An unpowered Gemini docking collar less the Agena rocket stage, launched one time by an Atlas when the Agena stage was not available. Fairing separation failed. More...
  • OV4 American technology satellite. 3 launches, 1966.11.03 (OV4-03) to (OV4-01T). Whispering gallery experiments. More...
  • DS-U2-MP Ukrainian earth micrometeoroid satellite. 2 launches, 1966.12.12 (Cosmos 135) to 1967.06.05 (Cosmos 163). Studied cosmic dust particles in near-Earth space. More...
  • Biosatellite American biology satellite. 3 launches, 1966.12.14 (Biosatellite 1) to 1969.06.29 (Biosatellite 3). Biosatellite was a NASA spacecraft designed in the early 1960's to study the effects of the space environment on living organisms in missions. More...
  • DS-U2-D Ukrainian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1966.12.21 (Cosmos 137) to 1968.04.26 (Cosmos 219). Studied charged particle flows. More...
  • Gemini Paraglider American manned spacecraft. Study 1966. The paraglider was supposed to be used in the original Gemini program but delays in getting the wing to deploy reliably resulted in it not being flown. More...
  • Gemini Observatory American manned spacecraft. Study 1966. Proposed version of Gemini for low-earth orbit solar or stellar astronomy. This would be launched by a Saturn S-IB. It has an enlarged reentry module which seems to be an ancestor of the 'Big Gemini' of 1967. More...
  • Hyperion SSTO American manned spacecraft. Study 1966. Yet another of Philip Bono's single-stage-to-orbit designs of the 1960's, using a plug-nozzle engine for ascent and as a re-entry heat shield. More...
  • Ithacus American manned spacecraft. Study 1966. Adaptation of Phillip Bono's enormous ROMBUS plug-nozzle semi-single-stage-orbit launch vehicle as a 1,200 soldier intercontinental troop transport. More...
  • Pegasus VTOVL American manned spacecraft. Study 1966. Bono design for semi-single-stage-to-orbit ballistic VTOVL launch vehicle. More...
  • Winged Gemini American manned spaceplane. Study 1966. Winged Gemini was the most radical modification of the basic Gemini reentry module ever considered. More...
  • DS-MO Ukrainian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1967.03.21 (Cosmos 149) to 1970.01.16 (Cosmos 320). Used in development of aerodynamic systems for stabilization and orientation of spacecraft. Also carried military optical equipment experiments. More...
  • DS-U3-S Ukrainian solar satellite. 2 launches, 1967.06.16 (Cosmos 166) to 1968.07.05 (Cosmos 230). Specialized orbital solar observatory for measuring solar rays in multiple spectral zones. More...
  • DS-U1-Ya Ukrainian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1968.03.06 (DS-U1-Ya s/n 1) and 1968.06.12 (Cosmos 225). Studied charged particle flows and cosmic rays. More...
  • DS-U1-A Ukrainian earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1968.04.19, Cosmos 215. Studied the optical characteristics of the atmosphere. Radiation observatory; 8 telescopes. More...
  • DS-U2-GF Ukrainian solar satellite. One launch, 1968.12.26, Cosmos 262. Conducted heliophysical studies. More...
  • Soyuz Kontakt Russian manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1974. Modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft to test in earth orbit the Kontakt rendezvous and docking system. More...
  • DS-U1-IK Ukrainian earth ionosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1969.12.25 (Intercosmos 2) to 1972.12.01 (Intercosmos 8). Studies ionosphere of the earth; version used for Intercosmos international launches. More...
  • DS-U1-R Ukrainian earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 1970.04.24, Cosmos 335. Studied spectral range of the UF. More...
  • Shuguang 1 Chinese manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1972. Shuguang-1 (Dawn-1) was China's first manned spacecraft design. The two-man capsule would have been similar to the American Gemini capsule and been launched by the CZ-2 booster. More...
  • Energia Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1972.04.07 (Intercosmos 6) to 1978.07.02 (Cosmos 1026). Adaptation of recoverable Vostok spacecraft for investigation of primary cosmic radiation and meteoritic particles in near-earth outer space. More...
  • Aerospike Test Vehicle American manned spacecraft. George Detko of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center produced a design for a minimum SSTO VTOVL vehicle in 1972. The vehicle had a gross liftoff mass of only 22 metric tons, and could deliver a two-person crew to orbit. More...
  • Albatros Raketoplan Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1974. Unique Russian space shuttle design of 1974. Hydrofoil-launched, winged recoverable first and second stages. More...
  • TAV American manned spaceplane. Developed in the 1980s but halted in favor of the X-30. USAF program of the 1980's that reached the test hardware stage and was leading to a single-stage-to-orbit, rocket-powered, winged manned vehicle. More...
  • Columbia American manned spaceplane. 28 launches, 1981.04.12 (STS-1) to 2003.01.16 (STS-107). Columbia, the first orbiter in the Shuttle fleet, was named after the sloop that accomplished the first American circumnavigation of the globe. More...
  • System 49 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1981. System 49 was the design that followed Spiral and preceded MAKS in the Soviet quest for a flexible air-launched manned space launcher. More...
  • System 49-M Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1981. The 49M was an application of the system 49 air-launched design concept, but with a larger carrier aircraft. The orbiter mass was 28 metric tons in orbit, including a 9 metric ton payload in a 8. More...
  • BOR-4 Russian manned spaceplane. 4 launches, 1982.06.04 (Cosmos 1374) to 1984.12.19 (Cosmos 1614). BOR-4 were subscale test versions of the Spiral manned spaceplanes. More...
  • Bizan Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1982. Bizan was the 1982 Soviet air-launched spaceplane design iteration between the '49' and 'MAKS' concepts. Like the '49', it was air-launched from atop an An-124 transport. More...
  • Challenger American manned spaceplane. 10 launches, 1983.04.04 (STS-6) to 1986.01.28 (STS-51-L). More...
  • SPAS American military strategic defense satellite. 6 launches, 1983.06.18 (SPAS-01) to 1997.08.07 (CRISTA). More...
  • Spacelab American manned space station module. 20 launches, 1983.11.28 (Spacelab 1) to 1998.04.17 (Neurolab). More...
  • IRT American technology satellite. One launch, 1984.02.03. Deployed from STS 41B 2/5/84. More...
  • Efir Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1984.03.10 (Cosmos 1543) to 1985.12.27 (Cosmos 1713). Science. Adaptation of the Vostok spacecraft. More...
  • LDEF American earth micrometeoroid satellite. One launch, 1984.04.06. More...
  • Discovery American manned spaceplane. 39 launches, 1984.08.30 to 2011.02.24. More...
  • Copper Canyon American manned spaceplane. Study 1984. DARPA program of 1984 that proved the technologies and concept for the X-30 National Aerospace Plane concept. More...
  • Foton Russian materials science satellite. 15 launches, 1985.04.16 (Cosmos 1645 / Foton 1) to 2007.09.14 (Foton M-2). Adaptation of recoverable Vostok spacecraft for zero-gravity materials processing tests. 400 W available to operate experiments. More...
  • Spartan American solar satellite. 8 launches, 1985.06.17 (Spartan 1) to 1998.10.29 (Spartan 201). More...
  • Atlantis American manned spaceplane. 33 launches, 1985.10.03 to 2011.07.08. The space shuttle Atlantis was the fourth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, and the last of the original production run. More...
  • Horus German manned spaceplane. Hypersonic Orbital Upper Stage was part of the Saenger-II spaceplane studied in Germany from 1985-1993. It would have separated from the lower stage at Mach 6.6 and flown to orbit. More...
  • Badr Pakistani communications technology satellite. 3 launches, 1990.07.16 (Badr-A) to 2008.07.07 (Badr B). Pakistani experimental series with a variety of payloads. More...
  • Blackstar American manned spaceplane. 2006 reports claimed it was flown covertly in the 1990s. More...
  • Pathfinder American manned spaceplane. Study 2003. Pioneer Rocketplane planned in the late 1990's to produce the Pathfinder aerial propellant transfer spaceplane. More...
  • Spacecab British manned spaceplane. Study 1990. Six passenger orbiter portion of a two-stage vehicle proposed by David Ashford of Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd. in the 1980`s / 1990's. It would serve as the prototype for the even more ambitious Spacebus. More...
  • Spacebus British manned spaceplane. Study 1990. 50 passenger orbiter portion of a two-stage vehicle proposed by David Ashford of Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd. in the 1980`s / 1990's. More...
  • CRO American military strategic defense satellite. 3 launches, 1991.04.28 (CRO-C) to (CRO-A). More...
  • IBSS American satellite. One launch, 1991.04.28. Sensor technology test; retrieved 5/2/91. More...
  • Microsat American military communications satellite. 7 launches, 1991.07.17 (Microsat 1) to (Microsat 7). Satellites used in a DARPA test of an LEO quick-reaction network for global communications. More...
  • Endeavour American manned spaceplane. 25 launches, 1992.05.07 to 2011.05.16. Built as a replacement after the loss of the Challenger; named after the first ship commanded by James Cook. More...
  • CTA Canadian technology satellite. One launch, 1992.10.22. Canadian Target Assembly; deployed from STS-52 10/22/92. More...
  • Ascender British manned rocketplane. Study 1992. The Bristol Spaceplanes Ascender of the 1990's was a sub-orbital manned spaceplane concept proposed by David Ashford. More...
  • Black Colt American manned spaceplane. Study 1993. Winged, first stage of a launch vehicle using aerial refueling and existing engines. More...
  • LII Spaceplane Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1993. LII (the Gromov Experimental Flight Institute at Zhukovskiy) designed several alternate spaceplane concepts for air-launch from the An-225 transport. These were similar to the various MAKS concepts. More...
  • BremSat German re-entry vehicle technology satellite. One launch, 1994.02.03. Atomic oxygen, dust particle, microgravity, reentry experiments. More...
  • ODERACS American military target satellite. 12 launches, 1994.02.03 (ODERACS A) to 1995.02.03 (ODERACS IIF). Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres were small, low-earth orbiting calibration targets for ground based radar and optical systems. More...
  • Black Horse American manned spaceplane. Study 1994. Winged, single stage to orbit launch vehicle using aerial refueling and lower performance, non-cryogenic propellants. More...
  • Microstar American communications technology satellite. 22 launches, 1995.04.03 (Orbcomm F1) to 2008.10.19 (Formosat 3F). Small satellite bus, specially designed for multiple launch by Pegasus or Taurus family launch vehicles. More...
  • DC-Y American manned spacecraft. Study 1995. The ultimate goal of the Delta Clipper program, a prototype reusable single-stage to orbit, vertical takeoff/vertical landing space truck. The DC-I Delta Clipper would be the full production version. More...
  • Hytex German manned rocketplane. Study 1995. Following the cancellation of Saenger II, Germany briefly considered a manned X-15/NASP type flight test vehicle (HYTEX) capable of Mach 6 flight. This too was cancelled for cost reasons. More...
  • Japanese Space Plane Japanese manned spacecraft. Study 1995. NAL / Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. design for a single stage to orbit spaceplane. Crew of ten, empty mass 110 metric tons. LACE / Scramjet engines, 29 m wingspan. More...
  • Kankoh Maru Japanese manned spacecraft. Study 1995. Kawasaki design for single stage to orbit reusable booster. Would carry 50 passengers to orbiting hotels or fast intercontinental flights. More...
  • Ratler American earth rover. Tested 1995. Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover demonstrated the use of existing technology for lunar exploration missions. More...
  • OAST-Flyer American technology satellite. One launch, 1996.01.11. GPS receiver, amateur radio tests; examined effect of solar radiation on satellite explosive devices; deployed from STS 72 1/14/96; retrieved 1/16/96. More...
  • TSS Italian tether technology satellite. One launch, 1996.02.22. Test from shuttle of 20 km long tether; satellite unintentionally deployed when tether broke February 25 1996. Re-entered March 19. More...
  • PAMS American technology satellite. One launch, 1996.05.19. Passive attitude control technology test. Deployed from shuttle STS-77 on 5/22/96; Re-entered Oct 26. More...
  • IAE American technology satellite. One launch, 1996.05.19. Deployed from Spartan 207 5/20/96; test of inflatable antenna technology. Reentered May 22. More...
  • ORFEUS American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. One launch, 1996.11.19. ORFEUS was a German astronomical satellite. It was deployed by the shuttle remote manipulating system arm and retrieved after six days of free flight. More...
  • Nomad American earth rover. Study 1998. NOMAD was an unmanned rover developed by the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University to evaluate and demonstrate a robot capable of long distance and long duration planetary exploration. More...
  • Shenzhou Chinese manned spacecraft. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The Chinese Shenzhou manned spacecraft resembled the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but was of larger size and all-new construction. More...
  • Roton American manned spacecraft. Study 2000. The Roton was a piloted commercial space vehicle design intended to provide rapid and routine access to orbit for both its two-person crew and their cargo. More...
  • Astroliner American manned rocketplane. Study 2002. The Kelly Space & Technology Astroliner Space Launch System was a two-stage-to-orbit, towed space launch concept. More...
  • XSS American rendezvous technology satellite. 2 launches, 2003.01.29 (XSS-10) and 2005.04.11 (USA 165). More...
  • Galex American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. One launch, 2003.04.28. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) was an orbiting space telescope that was to observe galaxies in ultraviolet wavelengths. More...
  • STSat South Korean technology satellite. First launch 2003.09.27. More...
  • Swift American gamma ray astronomy satellite. One launch, 2004.11.20. Swift was a first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of gamma-ray burst (GRB) science. More...
  • Orion American manned spacecraft. In development. NASA's Crew Excursion Vehicle for the 21st Century More...
  • Safir Iran Iranian technology satellite. Study 2005. Minimum satellite equipped like the first Sputnik with only a transmitter to confirm that it achieved orbit. Planned for launch by the Iranian Shahab-3 launcher in early 2005. More...
  • Tier Two American manned spacecraft. Study 2005. After the successful win of the X-Prize for the first suborbital flight by Burt Rutan's Tier One / SpaceShipOne, the designer hinted a follow-on orbital spacecraft was being designed. More...
  • Venturestar American manned spaceplane. Study 2006. Production reusable single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle using technology developed in X-33 testbed. More...
  • SRE Indian re-entry vehicle technology satellite. One launch, 2007.01.10. Indian experimental subscale Discoverer-type re-entry capsule. A testbed for a projected $ 3 billion Indian project to orbit a manned spacecraft by 2014. More...
  • CXV American manned spacecraft. Study 2012. Crew Transfer Vehicle proposed by `t/Space and Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle requirement. More...
  • Kistler OV American space tug. Study 2012. The Kistler reusable launch vehicle concept included a reusable, recoverable second stage, dubbed the 'Orbital Vehicle', with an integral cargo module. More...
  • Neptune American manned space station. Study 2018. A unique aspect of the Neptune stage-and-a-half commercial launch vehicle concept was that the main rocket structure, once in orbit, could act as a small space station. More...

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use