Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
North American's HATV proposal was an ogival single-stage-to-orbit vehicle, with tanks made from 18-8 stainless steel. In common with other HATV designs, the tanks had to be pressurized to maintain rigidity.

The tanks were pressurized via gas bottles in the engine compartment and not insulated. Instead insulation blankets shrouded the vehicle on the pad, and were jettisoned at lift-off.

Propulsion was via a single central high-expansion ratio engine of 325 kN thrust, surrounded by eight low-expansion ratio engines of 127 kN thrust each. As propellant was exhausted and higher altitudes were reached, the low-expansion engines would be throttled back, allowing the more efficient, higher specific impulse central engine to provide most of the delta-V to orbit.

The ascent profile involved flight to 90 km altitude, where the liquid engines would shut down. After coast to apogee half a world away, four small solid motors would fire to circulize the orbit at 280 km altitude.

Two all-moving slab tailfins provided roll stability. Pitch and yaw control were provided by throttling the eight peripheral motors.

The HATV components would be delivered horizontally by rail to the pad and stacked vertically using a gantry crane. Propellant during fuelling would also be delivered via tank cars by rail. The gantry would roll back for launch, and a water deluge would cool the pad to minimize damage during launch.

to: 280 km orbit.

Status: Design 1946.
Gross mass: 45,350 kg (99,970 lb).
Height: 26.20 m (85.90 ft).
Diameter: 4.02 m (13.18 ft).
Thrust: 1,034.00 kN (232,452 lbf).
Apogee: 280 km (170 mi).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • HATV Significant Navy program begun in 1946 to develop a single-stage-to-orbit satellite launch vehicle. The Air Force blocked Navy efforts to develop it on a joint basis, while at the same time having no interest in the project itself. Work was abandoned at the end of 1948. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

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