Encyclopedia Astronautica
Sea-Launched


Category of launch vehicles.

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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Sea Bee American sea-launched test vehicle. Seabee was a brief proof of principle program to validate the sea-launch concept for Sea Dragon. A surplus Aerobee rocket was modified so that it could be fired underwater. The rocket worked properly the first time in restrained mode. Later tests were made with various approaches to readying the unit for repeat firings. This proved to be so simple that the cost of turn-around was found to be about 7% of the cost of a new unit. More...
  • Sea Horse American sea-launched test vehicle. The second phase of Sea Launch was to demonstrate the concept on a larger scale, with a rocket with a complex set of guidance and control systems. Sea Horse used one of 39 surplus Corporal missiles that Truax obtained from the Army and successfully demonstrated ignition in the ocean of a rocket stage. More...
  • Sea Dragon American sea-launched heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Sea Dragon was an immense, sea-launched, two-stage launch vehicle designed by Robert Truax for Aerojet in 1962. It was to be capable of putting 1.2 million pounds (550 tonnes) into low Earth orbit. The concept was to achieve minimum launch costs through lower development and production costs. This meant accepting a larger booster with a lower performance propulsion system and higher stage dead weight then traditional NASA and USAF designs. More...
  • Dolphin American sea-launched test vehicle. The Dolphin hybrid rocket (solid fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer) was built by Starstruck (formerly ARC Technology), a predecessor to AMROC. The Dolphin included not only innovative propulsion technology but was also launched from a floating launch cannister at sea. One test article of the hybrid was successfully launched in the summer of 1984. But the project was backed entirely with private funds and when backing for further development was not forthcoming, the project folded. More...
  • Excalibur American sea-launched orbital launch vehicle. Excalibur was a subscale version of Sea Dragon proposed by Truax Engineering in the 1990's. It featured the same attributes as Sea Dragon: low cost design (pressure fed engines), Lox/Kerosene first stage (combustion chamber pressure 24 atmospheres) and Lox/LH2 second stage (chamber pressure 5 atmospheres). Guidance would be by a combined Inertial/GPS system. An even smaller Excalibur S vehicle would prove the concept and place 500 kg in orbit. More...
  • SEALAR American sea-launched orbital launch vehicle. SEALAR (SEA LAunched Rocket) was yet another attempt by Truax Engineering to get the amphibious-launch concept off the ground. The project received some Navy Research Laboratory funding in the early 1990's, with a planned first launch date of 1996. A production model would have been able to achieve orbit at an estimated cost of $ 10 million per launch. As with the earlier Truax projects, it did not achieve flight test status. More...
  • Neptune American sea-launched orbital launch vehicle. Sea-launched stage-and-a-half liquid oxygen / liquid natural gas orbital launch vehicle for passengers or payloads of up to 4.5 tonnes. More...
  • Sea Star American sea-launched orbital launch vehicle. Sea-launched microsatellite orbital launch vehicle for payloads up to 13 kilograms and a testbed for the planned larger Neptune orbital launch vehicle. More...
  • Aquarius American sea-launched orbital launch vehicle. Proposed expendable, water launch, single-stage-to-orbit, liquid oxygen/hydrogen, low-cost launch vehicle designed to carry small bulk payloads to low earth orbit. A unique attribute was that low reliability was accepted in order to achieve low cost. More...

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