Russian VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Fully reusable vertical takeoff / vertical landing single stage to orbit. Concept abandoned in favor of Orel V6 by 1998 due to engine reliability concerns. Tripropellant Lox/Kerosene (RG-1)/LH2 version.
LEO Payload: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 51.00 degrees.
Status: Study 1997.
More... - Chronology...
Gross mass: 1,058,000 kg (2,332,000 lb).
Payload: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb).
Height: 39.90 m (130.90 ft).
Diameter: 15.10 m (49.50 ft).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
Orel In the late 1990's the Russian space industry undertook the Orel programme to evaluate technology for future launch vehicles. The goals included evaluation of possible concepts for a future Russian launcher, reusable launch vehicle key technology research and analysis of "X-vehicle" flight demonstrators for technology validation. More...
VTOVL The concept of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit Vertical Take-Off Vertical Landing (VTOVL) launch vehicle that would reenter and return to its launch site for turnaround and relaunch was first proposed by Philip Bono in the 1960's. The appealing simplicity of the concept has been offset by the technological risk in developing it. The problem with any single-stage-to-orbit concept is that if the empty weight of the final vehicle has been underestimated it will not be able to deliver any payload to orbit, or even reach orbit. Since weight growth of up to 20% is not unknown in aerospace projects, this is a very real threat which has made both NASA and private investors reluctant to invest the billions of dollars it would take to develop a full-scale flight vehicle. 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...
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