Encyclopedia Astronautica
LeoLink LK-1


Satellite launcher derived from planned Israeli Shavit-2 launch vehicle, but with rocket motors and major components built in USA to qualify for US contracts.

LEO Payload: 550 kg (1,210 lb) to a 200 km orbit. Payload: 415 kg (914 lb) to a 800 km SSO. Launch Price $: 15.000 million in 1999 dollars.

Stage Data - LeoLink LK-1

  • Stage 1. 1 x LK-1. Gross Mass: 13,990 kg (30,840 lb). Empty Mass: 1,240 kg (2,730 lb). Thrust (vac): 774.000 kN (174,002 lbf). Isp: 268 sec. Burn time: 55 sec. Isp(sl): 250 sec. Diameter: 1.35 m (4.42 ft). Span: 1.50 m (4.90 ft). Length: 7.50 m (24.60 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: LK-1. Status: Development 2002. Comments: Lengthened version of Shavit/RSA-3 rocket motor. For lower stage use with 17.1:1 nozzle. Fitted with 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use specific impulse increases to 279 seconds, length to 8.4 m, and empty and gross mass are increased by 135 kg.
  • Stage 2. 1 x LK-1. Gross Mass: 13,990 kg (30,840 lb). Empty Mass: 1,240 kg (2,730 lb). Thrust (vac): 774.000 kN (174,002 lbf). Isp: 268 sec. Burn time: 55 sec. Isp(sl): 250 sec. Diameter: 1.35 m (4.42 ft). Span: 1.50 m (4.90 ft). Length: 7.50 m (24.60 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: LK-1. Status: Development 2002. Comments: Lengthened version of Shavit/RSA-3 rocket motor. For lower stage use with 17.1:1 nozzle. Fitted with 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use specific impulse increases to 279 seconds, length to 8.4 m, and empty and gross mass are increased by 135 kg.
  • Stage 3. 1 x RSA-3-3. Gross Mass: 2,048 kg (4,515 lb). Empty Mass: 170 kg (370 lb). Thrust (vac): 58.800 kN (13,219 lbf). Isp: 298 sec. Burn time: 94 sec. Diameter: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Span: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Length: 2.60 m (8.50 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: RSA-3-3. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Data accurate. Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. ARC/Rafael AUS 51 is identical.
  • Stage 4. 1 x LK-4. Gross Mass: 237 kg (522 lb). Empty Mass: 71 kg (156 lb). Thrust (vac): 402 N (90 lbf). Isp: 200 sec. Burn time: 800 sec. Diameter: 1.56 m (5.11 ft). Span: 1.56 m (5.11 ft). Length: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Propellants: Hydrazine. No Engines: 1. Status: Development 2002. Comments: Upper stage for orbital insertion of Shavit or Leolink payloads.

Status: Development ended 2001.
Gross mass: 30,500 kg (67,200 lb).
Payload: 550 kg (1,210 lb).
Height: 20.90 m (68.50 ft).
Diameter: 1.35 m (4.42 ft).
Thrust: 600.00 kN (134,880 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • LK-1 IAI solid rocket engine. 774 kN. In production. Isp=272s. Lengthened version of Shavit rocket motor. Lower stage used 9:1 nozzle. 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use inceased Isp to 279 seconds, First flight 1995. More...

See also
  • Daniel Israel and South Africa collaborated closely in rocket technology in the 1970's and 1980's. South Africa provided Israel with the uranium and test facilities it needed for its strategic weapons programmes. In exchange Israel provided aerospace technology. This included the capability of building the ten-tonne solid propellant rocket motors designed for the Israeli Jericho-2 missile. These motors were the basis of two space launchers for an indigenous 'R5b' space programme. It seems that South Africa also planned to use these motors in a series of missiles to provide a nuclear deterrent. More...
  • Shavit Satellite launcher derived from Jericho II MRBM, essentially identical to South African RSA-3. NEXT was a variant with an improved upper stage for proposed launch from Wallops Island, USA (launch from Israel is only possible into retrograde orbits since due East launch would be over territory of adjacent countries). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • IAI Israeli manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Israel Aircraft Industries, Israel. More...

Associated Stages
  • LK-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 13,990/1,240 kg. Thrust 774.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 268 seconds. Lengthened version of Shavit/RSA-3 rocket motor. For lower stage use with 17.1:1 nozzle. Fitted with 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use specific impulse increases to 279 seconds, length to 8.4 m, and empty and gross mass are increased by 135 kg. More...
  • LK-4 Hydrazine propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 237/71 kg. Thrust 0.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 200 seconds. Upper stage for orbital insertion of Shavit or Leolink payloads. More...
  • RSA-3-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,048/170 kg. Thrust 58.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 298 seconds. Data accurate. Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. ARC/Rafael AUS 51 is identical. More...

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