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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.
- Stage Number: 1. 1 x LCLV-1 Gross Mass: 3,253,246 kg. Empty Mass: 396,013 kg. Thrust (vac): 5,748,000 kgf. Isp: 267 sec. Burn time: 130 sec. Isp(sl): 245 sec. Diameter: 12.2 m. Span: 12.2 m. Length: 39.3 m. Propellants: N2O4/UDMH No Engines: 1. Press Fed 5748k
- Stage Number: 2. 1 x LCLV-2 Gross Mass: 798,389 kg. Empty Mass: 95,092 kg. Thrust (vac): 998,639 kgf. Isp: 300 sec. Burn time: 210 sec. Isp(sl): 0 sec. Diameter: 9.2 m. Span: 9.2 m. Length: 25.9 m. Propellants: N2O4/UDMH No Engines: 1. Press Fed 1000k
- Stage Number: 3. 1 x LCLV-3 Gross Mass: 161,304 kg. Empty Mass: 19,518 kg. Thrust (vac): 206,803 kgf. Isp: 306 sec. Burn time: 210 sec. Isp(sl): 0 sec. Diameter: 5.8 m. Span: 5.8 m. Length: 15.2 m. Propellants: N2O4/UDMH No Engines: 1. Press Fed 200k
- 29 - Chacko, George K, ed., Reducing the Cost of Space Transportation, AAS Science and Technology Series, Vol. 21, 1969.
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Last update 12 March 2001.
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