Encyclopedia Astronautica
System 49-M

49M Top/Bottom Views
Russian winged orbital launch vehicle. The 49M was an application of the system 49 design concept, but with a larger carrier aircraft. The system would have a 770 tonne gross takeoff mass. The orbiter/rocket stage combination weighted 370 tonnes, with the orbiter mass being 28 tonnes in orbit, including a 9 tonne payload in a 8.0 m x 3.3 m diameter payload bay. The tripropellant single rocket stage was equipped 1 x NK-43 / 11D112 engine burning Lox/Kerosene and 2 x RD-57 / 11D57 engines burning Lox/LH2. The orbiter could have one or two crew, and was designed for 100 reuses. Development costs for the new heavy lift aircraft and larger orbiter would be too high, and the design was abandoned in favour of the Bizan concept.

LEO Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 51.00 degrees.

Status: Study 1981.
Gross mass: 400,000 kg (880,000 lb).
Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • System 49-M Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1981. The 49M was an application of the system 49 air-launched design concept, but with a larger carrier aircraft. The orbiter mass was 28 metric tons in orbit, including a 9 metric ton payload in a 8. More...

See also
  • System 49 The Spiral project was not cancelled with the decision to proceed with the large Buran spaceplane. Instead flight test of the orbiter continued but the launcher design was rethought. The ambitious Mach 4 air-breathing first stage was abandoned. Instead the rocket stages and the manned Spiral orbiter were mounted on the back of an An-124 subsonic transport. This concept would evolve through the Bizan concept to the MAKS of the 1980's, which reached the hardware development stage. 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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