Encyclopedia Astronautica

Buran Atop Mriya
Buran atop its An-225 Mriya carrier, as displayed at the Paris Air show shortly after its spaceflight.
Credit: © Mark Wade
An-225 in flight
Credit: RKK Energia
Subsonic rocket carrier. Loaded/empty mass 600,000/216,000 kg. Thrust 1,387.07 kN. Specific impulse 9000 seconds. Antonov cargo aircraft swept wing. 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.

Cost $ : 100.000 million. No Engines: 6. dV Equivalent: 270 m/s (880 ft/sec). Release velocity: 240 m/s (780 ft/sec). Release altitude: 8.50 m (27.80 ft). Release conditions: 900 kph at 9.5 km.

Location: 240.
Status: Study 1990.
Gross mass: 600,000 kg (1,320,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 216,000 kg (476,000 lb).
Payload: 275,000 kg (606,000 lb).
Height: 84.00 m (275.00 ft).
Diameter: 18.07 m (59.28 ft).
Span: 88.40 m (290.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,387.07 kN (311,826 lbf).
Specific impulse: 9,000 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 8,000 s.
Burn time: 3,375 s.
Number: 1 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • D-18T Lotarev turbofan engine. 229.4 kN. Used on An-225 launch aircraft for Interim HOTOL, MAKS concepts. Development ended 1988. Isp=9000s. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • MAKS Russian air-launched winged orbital launch vehicle. 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 and consisted of 220 volumes, generated by NPO Molniya and 70 sub-contractors and government institutes. Development of MAKS was authorised but cancelled in 1991. At the time of the cancellation, mock-ups of both the MAKS orbiter and the external tank had been finished. A 9,000 kgf experimental engine with 19 injectors was tested. There were 50 test burns proving the separate modes and a smooth switch between them. 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. MAKS was to have flown by 1998. More...
  • Interim HOTOL Initiated by a British Aerospace team led by Dr Bob Parkinson in 1991, this was a less ambitious, scaled-back version of the original HOTOL. The single-stage to orbit winged launch vehicle using four Russian rocket engines. It was to have been air-launched from a Ukrainian An-225 Mriya (Dream) aircraft. Interim HOTOL would separate from the carrier aircraft at subsonic speeds, and would then pull up for the ascent to orbit. It would return via a gliding re-entry and landing on gear on a conventional runway. Interim HOTOL suffered from the same aerodynamic design challenges as HOTOL and went through many, many design iterations in the quest for a practical design. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Air/Kerosene Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines. It is used to burn aviation-grade kerosene, commercial grade JP-4 or JP-5, their military equivalents, or special high-temperature blends such as those used in the SR-71. More...

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