Launch Vehicles - Abstract
Launch Vehicles

Unknown Author

December 1990


In an effort to compete with international commercial launch services, the U.S. is looking at expanding its launch vehicle fleet and capabilities. Included in this expansion is the need for a heavy lift launch vehicle for the space station Freedom as well as the new Space Exploration Initiative.

The objective of the design team is to develop a family of launch vehicles which will not only be competitive with foreign launch services, but will also meet the heavy lift needs of future U.S. space programs. The family of vehicles will have the capability of launching payload in the range of 20,000 to 200,000 lbs (9,000 to 90,000 kg) into low Earth orbit.

The proposed launch vehicles will make use of several key technologies to increase their performance and competitiveness. One of the most innovative advances will be the use of hybrid solid-liquid propellants as the the main propulsion system to power the launch vehicles. Quintessential to the project will be an analysis and revision of current launch vehicle manufacturing, operations and overall design philosophy.