Encyclopedia Astronautica

Russian winged orbital launch vehicle. Fully reusable unpiloted verion of MAKS, similar to Interim HOTOL. Air launched from An-225. MAKS was found to have superior payload, lower non-recurring cost and technical risk. MAKS-M would require new materials. Release conditions: Piggy-back, 275,000 kg, 38.0 m length x 24.0 m wingspan, 900 kph at 9,500 m altitude. Effective velocity gain compared to vertical launch 270 m/s. Payload bay 7.0 m long x 4.6 m diameter.

LEO Payload: 5,400 kg (11,900 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 51.00 degrees. Payload: 7,000 kg (15,400 lb) to a 200 km equatorial orbit.

Status: Study 1988.
Gross mass: 275,000 kg (606,000 lb).
Payload: 5,400 kg (11,900 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...

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