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.
More... - Chronology...
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 .
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...
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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