Encyclopedia Astronautica
Space tug


Category of spacecraft.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Agena B American space tug. 94 launches, (1960) to (1967). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas Agena B; Thor Agena B. More...
  • Block L Molniya 8K78 Russian space tug. 27 launches, (1960) to (1970). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Molniya. More...
  • Centaur C American space tug. 22 launches, (1961) to (1967). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. 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...
  • Saturn S-N C-5N American space tug. Study 1961. Upper stage / space tug - Study 1961. Launched by Saturn C-5N-3. Nuclear upper stage considered in lieu of S-IVB in final Saturn C-5 study in November 1961. More...
  • Saturn S-N C-3BN American space tug. Study 1961. Upper stage / space tug - Study 1961. Launched by Saturn C-5N-3. Nuclear upper stage considered in lieu of S-IVB in final Saturn C-3B study in November 1961. More...
  • Agena D American space tug. 205 launches, (1963) to (1987). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas Agena D; Thor Agena D; Titan 3B; Titan 34B. More...
  • Block L Molniya 8K78M Russian space tug. 288 launches, (1964) to (2002). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Molniya M. More...
  • Saturn MS-IVB-1 American space tug. Study 1965. Upper stage / space tug - Marshall studies, 1965. Launched by Saturn V. S-IVB structurally strengthened to handle larger payloads, otherwise unchanged More...
  • Saturn MS-IVB-2 American space tug. Study 1965. Upper stage / space tug - Douglas study, 1965. Launched by Saturn V. S-IVB with 315 k high pressure 3000 psia engine, 350,000 pounds propellant More...
  • Saturn MS-IVB-x American space tug. Study 1965. Upper stage / space tug - studied by NASA Marshall in 1965. Launched by Saturn V. S-IVB structurally strengthened to handle larger payloads, otherwise unchanged More...
  • Saturn MS-IVB-1A American space tug. Study 1966. Upper stage / space tug - Boeing study 1967. Launched by Saturn V. S-IVB with 16.5 foot stretch, 350,000 pounds propellant, standard J-2 engine. More...
  • Block D 11S824 Russian space tug. 40 launches, (1967) to (1975). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Proton. Block D, article number 11S824. Without guidance unit (navigation commands come from payload). More...
  • Centaur D/E American space tug. 56 launches, (1967) to (1983). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas Centaur D; Titan 3E. More...
  • Saturn MS-IVB-3B American space tug. Study 1967. Upper stage / space tug - Boeing study, 1967. Launched by Saturn V. S-IVB with 16.5 foot stretch, 350,000 pounds propellant, 1 x 400,000 pound thrust toroidal engine. More...
  • Saturn MS-IVB-4(S)B American space tug. Study 1967. Upper stage / space tug - studied by Boeing in 1967. Standard S-IVB but with structural strength increased from 78% to 217% depending on station, resulting in 11.8% increase in empty weight. More...
  • PPM American space tug. Study 1968. The Primary Propulsion Module was the definitive 1960's design for a nuclear thermal rocket stage suitable for interplanetary operations. More...
  • Saturn S-N V-25(S)U American space tug. Study 1968. Upper stage / space tug - study 1969. Launched by Saturn V-25(S)U. Version of Nerva studied by Boeing for manned Mars expedition. More...
  • Transtage American space tug. Flown 1968-1982 on Titan 3A and 3C boosters. Transtage mass remaining after insertion of Dynasoar and Abort Stage into orbit. Transtage had its own RCS. Maneuver in earth orbit. More...
  • N1 Block D Russian space tug. 4 launches, 1969 to 1972. Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Block D adapted as lunar crasher stage More...
  • N1 Block Sr Russian space tug. Study 1971. Upper stage / space tug - developed 1971-1974 to support manned lunar expedition. Replaced Blok R/Blok S previously under development. More...
  • Space Tug American space tug. Study 1971. The original Boeing Space Tug design of the early 1970's was sized to be flown either in a single shuttle mission or as a Saturn V payload. Optimum mass was found to be 20.6 metric tons regardless. More...
  • Block DM 11S86 Russian space tug. 66 launches, (1974) to (1990). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Proton. More...
  • RD-301 Russian space tug. Study 1975. Upper stage / space tug using high energy propellants. To have been launched by Proton; ground tested but never flown. More...
  • Block D-1 11S824M Russian space tug. 11 launches, (1976) to (1989). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Proton. Also known as Block D-1; article number 11S824M. Without guidance unit (navigation commands come from payload). More...
  • Nerva American space tug. Study 1980. Upper stage / space tug - Development 1971. More...
  • Block DM-2 11S861 Russian space tug. 100 launches, (1982) to (2001). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Proton. Also known as Block DM-2 (different from commercial Block DM2 (no hyphen!)), article number 11S861. More...
  • Centaur I American space tug. 18 launches, (1984) to (1997). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas I. More...
  • ATV ICC European space tug. Study 1985. The Integrated Cargo Carrier was located at the forward end of the ATV. It represented 60% of the total ATV volume and carried all of the cargo for resupplying the Station. More...
  • ATV SM European space tug. Study 1985. The unpressurized ATV Service Module included propulsion systems, electrical power (including solar arrays), computers, communications and most of the avionics. More...
  • OTV American space tug. Studied 1985-1989. The Orbital Transfer Vehicle was reusable space tug, powered by Lox/LH2 engines and equipped with an aerobrake allowing it to be returned for refueling and reuse at an orbiting space station. More...
  • SEP Tug American space tug. Study 1986. In 1986, Graeme Aston of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed a lunar transportation system based on a solar-electric propulsion (SEP) space tug for ferrying moon base elements and cargo between Earth and lunar orbit. More...
  • Centaur G Prime American space tug. Cancelled 1987. Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Centaur for Shuttle payload bay. Cancelled after Challenger disaster on safety grounds. More...
  • OMV American space tug. Cancelled 1987. The Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV) was an important component in NASA's future Space Station plans in the 1980s. More...
  • Block D-2 11S824F Russian space tug. 3 launches, (1988) to (1996). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by . Also known as Block D-2; article number 11S824F. Without guidance unit (navigation commands come from payload). More...
  • HTV Japanese unmanned spacecraft designed for launch by the H-IIB launch vehicle for International Space Station resupply. The HTV carried International Standard Payload Racks, and was docked using the ISS robot arm after rendezvous with the station. First launched 2009.09.10. More...
  • Centaur G American space tug. 22 launches, (1989) to (1998). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Centaur for Titan 4 More...
  • Briz K Russian space tug. 6 launches, (1990) to (2002). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Rokot. Briz KM differed from Briz K in having 'compact' components, and a special payload truss for the Globalstar dispenser. More...
  • Ion American space tug. Study 1990. 1970's conceptual design of ion upper stage sized for use in the shuttle. It was nuclear-electric and intended for trans-Jovian planetary missions More...
  • Centaur II American space tug. 10 launches, (1991) to (1998). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas II. More...
  • Interorbital Tug Russian space tug. Cancelled 1991. Upper stage / space tug - nuclear electric space tug, to be launched by Energia-2. Developed 1978-1991, ultimately cancelled. More...
  • Nerva 2/NTR American space tug. Study 2005. Upper stage / space tug - study completed 1991. Late 1980's update of 1960's Nerva design. More...
  • STCAEM Cryogenic AeroBrake TMIS American space tug. Study 1991. The Trans-Mars Injection Stage (TMIS) consisted of a core unit with four advanced space engines (ASE), avionics and cryogenic propellant tanks, and provision for up to four "strap-on" propellant tank sets. More...
  • Centaur IIA American space tug. 48 launches, (1992) to (2002). Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Launched by Atlas IIA. More...
  • ERTA Russian space tug. Study 1992. ERTA (Elecktro-Raketniy Transportniy Apparat) was a nuclear-electric space tug designed to be boosted on medium boosters and provide both propulsion and electrical power for unmanned planetary probes. More...
  • KVRB Russian space tug. Study 1992. Upper stage / space tug - design 1992. High energy upper stage for Proton, never put into production. More...
  • Block DM-2M 11S861-01 Russian space tug. 35 launches, (1994) to (2002). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Proton. More...
  • CZ-3A-3 Chinese space tug. 11 launches, (1994) to (2000). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by CZ-3A, CZ-3B, and CZ-3C. More...
  • Block DM-5 17S40 Russian space tug. 6 launches, (1997) to (2002). Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Proton. Also known as Block DM-5. With guidance unit, modification of 11S861 stage for heavier payloads and with different payload adapter. More...
  • Centaur B-X American space tug. Study 2000. Upper stage / space tug - in development 1998, not put into production. More...
  • Centaur C-X American space tug. Study 2001. Upper stage / space tug - in development 1998, not put into production. More...
  • Briz M Russian space tug. 2 launches, (1999) to (2000). Upper stage / space tug - in production. New upper stage for Proton, replacing Energia Corporation's Block DM, making Proton an all-Khrunichev launch vehicle. More...
  • ICAN American space tug. Antimatter-powered nuclear pulse spacecraft designed by Pennsylvania State University. More...
  • Ikar Russian space tug. Study 1999. Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Soyuz. Derived from propulsion module of Yantar spy satellite, over 30 flights to 1998. 50 restarts. More...
  • Centaur IIIA American space tug. One launch, , 2000. Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Single-engine Centaur for Atlas IIIA. More...
  • Progress M-SO Russian docking and airlock module for the International Space Station. First launch 2001.09.14. Delivered to the station by the Progress service module, which was jettisoned after docking. More...
  • Centaur V2 American space tug. Study 2001. Upper stage / space tug - in production. Twin engined Centaur for Atlas V, powered by two Pratt & Whitney RL10A-4-2 turbopump-fed engines burning liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. More...
  • Delta 4H - 2 American space tug. Study 2001. Upper stage / space tug - in production. Delta 4 second stage with hydrogen tank increased to 5.1 m diameter. More...
  • Centaur V1 American space tug. One launch, , 2002. Upper stage / space tug - in production. Single engined Centaur for Atlas V, powered by one Pratt & Whitney RL10A-4-2 turbopump-fed engines burning liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. More...
  • Centaur IIIB American space tug. One launch, , 2002. Upper stage / space tug - out of production. Dual-engine Centaur for Atlas IIIB. More...
  • Delta 4 - 2 American space tug. One launch, , 2002. Upper stage / space tug - in production. Delta 3 second stage with hydrogen tank stretch. More...
  • Ariane 5 EPS L10 German space tug. Study 2003. Upper stage / space tug - in production. Launched by Ariane 5V. 250 kg additional propellant compared to Ariane 5G version. More...
  • MoTV American space tug. Study 2003. SpaceDev design for a low-cost, restartable hybrid propulsion space tug or upper stage. More...
  • Angara Briz M Russian space tug. Study 2004. Upper stage / space tug - in development 2004. Launched by Angara launch vehicle family.. 8 restarts. Propellant ration 2.0:1. More...
  • Ariane 5 ESC B German space tug. Study 2006. Upper stage / space tug - in production. New upper stage for Ariane 5. More...
  • ATV European logistics spacecraft and space tug. The Automated Transfer Vehicle was first proposed in the mid-1980s as a way to transport unmanned cargo to a Space Station. Operational in that role, first launch 2008.03.09. Studies for a manned version with a re-entry capsule conducted, but no funding for development. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-HO Chinese space tug. Study 2008. Upper stage / space tug - in development 2004. The upper stage for the Chinese Next Generation Launch Vehicle was a modification of the CZ-3B upper stage. 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...

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