Encyclopedia Astronautica
Satellite Launch Vehicle


American orbital launch vehicle. Orbital version. Selected by NASA under the COTS program in January 2008 in place of the cancelled Kistler for post-shuttle ISS resupply missions. Uses half-length shuttle SRB as first stage; proven Castor-120 as second stage; new Castor-30 as third stage; and Oribtal Adjusment Module from Lockheed's cancelled Athena launcher as a fourth stage.

LEO Payload: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb) to a 350 km orbit at 51.60 degrees. Payload: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb) to a GTO.

AKA: Athena III; Satellite Launch Vehicle.
Payload: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb).
Apogee: 350 km (210 mi).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • ALV Family of small low-cost all-solid-propellant launch vehicles, which use numerous off-the-shelf components and require minimal ground support More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Stages
  • Castor 30 Solid propellant rocket stage developed for use on space launch vehicles. More...
  • OAM Hydrazine propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 714/360 kg. Thrust 0.88 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 222 seconds. Monopropellant final stage providing precise orbital injection. Pressure-fed, indefinite number of restarts. More...
  • Shuttle RSRM Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 590,000/88,000 kg. Thrust 11,520.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 267 seconds. After the Challenger disaster the redesigned solid rocket motors had a slight reduction in performance due to reliability improvements. More...
  • SR118 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 53,020/4,211 kg. Thrust 1,606.59 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 286 seconds. Modification of Peackeeper ICBM first stage. More...

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