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Family: Miscellany. Country: USA. Status: Study 1968. Other Designations: Low Cost Launch Vehicle. Manufacturer's Designation: Big Dumb Booster.

As a result of TRW's review of the Truax/Aerojet Sea Dragon, TRW became so interested in the concept that they undertook studies of their own, which resulted in a design that became known as the 'Big Dumb Booster'. They proposed structural approaches that were even more conservative than Aerojet's, e.g., the use of T-180 steel instead of maraging steel, which would result in even heavier and cheaper tankage. TRW finally obtained USAF funding for fabrication of stage sections and demonstration of scaled-up versions of the TRW pump-fed Apollo Lunar Module ascent engine. The design promised low cost access to space using low technology (steel stages built to low tolerances in shipyards, pressure-fed engines, and low cost storable propellants). But yet again neither NASA or USAF showed interest in true cheap access to space.


Liftoff Thrust: 5,274,380 kgf. Total Mass: 4,212,939 kg. Core Diameter: 12.2 m. Total Length: 97.0 m. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 40.00 million. in 1985 unit dollars.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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