Encyclopedia Astronautica
MAKS Orbiter


Lox/Kerosene/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 18,600/18,600 kg. Thrust 3,618.77 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 437 seconds. Empty mass without 9300 kg payload.

Cost $ : 8.000 million.

Status: Development ended 1988.
Gross mass: 18,600 kg (41,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 18,600 kg (41,000 lb).
Height: 19.30 m (63.30 ft).
Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
Span: 12.50 m (41.00 ft).
Thrust: 3,618.77 kN (813,532 lbf).
Specific impulse: 437 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 396 s.
Burn time: 440 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-701 Glushko lox/lh2/kerosene tripropellant rocket engine for air-launched MAKS spaceplane. 4003 kN. Development ended 1988. Isp=415 / 460s. First flight 2001. 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...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Kerosene/LH2 Tripropellant motors use high-density kerosene for the boost phase, then low-density, high-performance liquid hydrogen for the later stages of ascent. However the propellants are stored in separate tanks. The fuel density indicated is the average for the MAKS design, which burned 17,850 kg LH2 and 18,698 Kerosene to reach orbit using 175,758 kg of liquid oxygen oxidiser. More...

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