Encyclopedia Astronautica
MAKS-D


Russian winged orbital launch vehicle. NPO Molniya, Antonov, and TsAGI proposed a spaceplane demonstrator project to the European Space Agency in 1993-1994 under the RADEM project. This would be a scaled-back version of the cancelled MAKS spaceplane using existing rocket engines. An unmanned prototype of the MAKS would be fitted out with RD-120 Lox/Kerosene engines. Launched from atop the An-225, the MAKS-D would reach an altitude of 80 to 90 km and a speed of Mach 14 to 15.

The ES experimental spacecraft would have a launch mass of 56 metric tons, including 45 metric tons of propellant. It would fly at hypersonic speed out to a range of 1500 km, and then return to an automatic landing at its launching base. Three variants were proposed:

  • Basic variant. Purpose of the flight tests would be to prove MAKS-M / I-HOTOL flight algorithms, materials, and engine reusability. 38.0 m length x 24.0 m wingspan

  • Basic variant modified for scramjet flight tests

  • Orbital vehicle with 2 metric tons payload. For the orbital vehicle the MAKS-D served as the first stage of the booster. It would release the RS rocket stage, equipped with a European HM-7B Lox/LH2 engine. The rocket stage engine would ignite five seconds after release of the aircraft from the An-225 transport and work in tandem with the RD-120 installed on MAKS-D. Following exhaustion of main stage propellants the MAKS would release the rocket stage, which would continue on to orbit. This scheme was analogous to NASA's early X-34 concepts.

LEO Payload: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 51.00 degrees.

Status: Study 1981.
Gross mass: 185,000 kg (407,000 lb).
Payload: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • MAKS The MAKS spaceplane was the ultimate development of the air-launched spaceplane studies conducted by NPO Molniya. The draft project for MAKS was completed in 1988. But development MAKS was cancelled in 1991. Since it was expected that MAKS could reduce the cost of transport to earth orbit by a factor of ten, it was hoped in the 1990's that development funding could be found. However this did not materialise. More...
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Molniya Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Molniya Design Bureau, Russia. More...

MAKS-D Chronology


1993 - . LV Family: MAKS. Launch Vehicle: MAKS-D.
  • RADEM project - . Nation: Russia. Summary: NPO Molniya, Antonov, and TsAGI proposed a spaceplane demonstrator project to the European Space Agency in 1993-1994 under the RADEM project. This would be a scaled-back version of the cancelled MAKS spaceplane using existing rocket engines..

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