Encyclopedia Astronautica
LCLV


American low cost orbital launch vehicle. As a result of TRW's review of the Truax/Aerojet Sea Dragon, TRW became so interested in the concept that they undertook studies of their own, which resulted in a design that became known as the 'Big Dumb Booster'. They proposed structural approaches that were even more conservative than Aerojet's, e.g., the use of T-180 steel instead of maraging steel, which would result in even heavier and cheaper tankage. TRW finally obtained USAF funding for fabrication of stage sections and demonstration of scaled-up versions of the TRW pump-fed Apollo Lunar Module ascent engine. The design promised low cost access to space using low technology (steel stages built to low tolerances in shipyards, pressure-fed engines, and low cost storable propellants). But yet again neither NASA or USAF showed interest in true cheap access to space.

Flyaway Unit Cost $: 40.000 million in 1985 dollars.

Stage Data - LCLV

  • Stage 1. 1 x LCLV-1. Gross Mass: 3,253,246 kg (7,172,179 lb). Empty Mass: 396,013 kg (873,059 lb). Thrust (vac): 56,368.000 kN (12,672,030 lbf). Isp: 267 sec. Burn time: 130 sec. Isp(sl): 245 sec. Diameter: 12.20 m (40.00 ft). Span: 12.20 m (40.00 ft). Length: 39.33 m (129.03 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: Press Fed 5748k. Other designations: Low Cost Launch Vehicle. Status: Study 1968.
  • Stage 2. 1 x LCLV-2. Gross Mass: 798,389 kg (1,760,146 lb). Empty Mass: 95,092 kg (209,641 lb). Thrust (vac): 9,793.303 kN (2,201,622 lbf). Isp: 300 sec. Burn time: 210 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 9.15 m (30.01 ft). Span: 9.15 m (30.01 ft). Length: 25.91 m (85.00 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: Press Fed 1000k. Other designations: Low Cost Launch Vehicle. Status: Study 1968.
  • Stage 3. 1 x LCLV-3. Gross Mass: 161,304 kg (355,614 lb). Empty Mass: 19,518 kg (43,029 lb). Thrust (vac): 2,028.044 kN (455,922 lbf). Isp: 306 sec. Burn time: 210 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 5.79 m (18.99 ft). Span: 5.79 m (18.99 ft). Length: 15.24 m (49.99 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: Press Fed 200k. Other designations: Low Cost Launch Vehicle. Status: Study 1968.

AKA: Low Cost Launch Vehicle; Big Dumb Booster.
Status: Study 1968.
Gross mass: 4,212,939 kg (9,287,940 lb).
Height: 97.00 m (318.00 ft).
Diameter: 12.20 m (40.00 ft).
Thrust: 51,724.00 kN (11,628,017 lbf).
Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).
First Launch: 1991.02.06.
Last Launch: 1997.02.23.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Press Fed 1000k TRW N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 9793 kN. Study 1968. 1960's designs for 'big dumb booster'. Isp=300s. Used on LCLV launch vehicle. More...
  • Press Fed 200k TRW N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 2028 kN. Study 1968. 1960's designs for 'big dumb booster'. Isp=306s. Used on LCLV launch vehicle. More...
  • Press Fed 5748k TRW N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 56,368 kN. Study 1968. 1960's designs for 'big dumb booster'. Isp=267s. Used on LCLV launch vehicle. More...

See also
  • LCLV Various independently-funded launch vehicles have been advocated, designed, and even developed over the years. A lot of these are attempts to build low-cost launch vehicles using simpler technology. Often such projects begin based on a low cost liquid fuel technology but end up just trying to sell various combinations of Castor solid fuel stages. These enterprises often discover there's more to coming up with a reliable launch vehicle than slashing together a bunch of 'off the shelf' rocket motors and lighting the fuse.... On the other hand, if there is ever a breakthrough in less expensive access to space, it will come through one of these entrepreneurial schemes... More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • TRW American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. TRW Corporation, Redondo Beach, CA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • Chacko, George K, ed., Reducing the Cost of Space Transportation, AAS Science and Technology Series, Vol. 21, 1969.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC20 Titan, Super Chief, Loki, Prospector, Aries launch complex. Complexes 15, 16, 19, and 20 were built for the Titan ballistic missile program. The sites were accepted by the U.S. Government between February and mid-September 1959. All four sites supported Titan I launches in 1959 and the early 1960s. Complex 20 was modified to support four Titan IIIA flights which took place between 1 September 1964 and 7 May 1965. The site was deactivated in April 1967, but it got a new lease on life toward the end of the 1980s. Complex 20 was selected for the Starbird program in 1987, and it supported a Starbird launch on 18 December 1990. Between 18 June 1991 and 29 May 1993, the complex supported the commercial Joust-1 launch and four Red Tigress and Red Tigress II missions sponsored by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Much of Complex 20's electronic equipment and both of its rail launchers were removed in 1995, rendering the site inactive. More...

Associated Stages
  • LCLV-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,253,246/396,013 kg. Thrust 56,368.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 267 seconds. More...
  • LCLV-2 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 798,389/95,092 kg. Thrust 9,793.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 300 seconds. More...
  • LCLV-3 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 161,304/19,518 kg. Thrust 2,028.04 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 306 seconds. More...

LCLV Chronology


1991 February 6 - . 07:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV.
  • Target / active plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 510 km (310 mi).

1993 May 23 - . 09:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV Red Tigress 2A.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Apogee: 378 km (234 mi).

1993 May 28 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV Red Tigress 2B.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi).

1996 October 16 - . 10:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV Red Tigress 3.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: BMDO. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1997 February 12 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV MSX CEP 1.
  • MDT IV Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1997 February 23 - . 10:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV MSX CEP 2.
  • MDT III Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

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