This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at NLS

NLS - Martin
NLS - Martin - NLS - Martin Marietta version utilizing Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters

Credit: Lockheed Martin. 26,153 bytes. 300 x 402 pixels.

Family: ALS/NLS. Country: USA. Status: Study 1991. Other Designations: National Launch System. Manufacturer's Designation: New Launch System.

The New (or National) Launch System (NLS) followed the demise of the ALS and was yet another 1980’s proposal to develop a family of launch vehicles to replace existing ‘high cost’ boosters derived from 1950’s missile designs. This joint NASA/USAF effort was aimed at first launch of an NLS in 2002. NLS required development of these major new systems:

Three versions of the NLS were planned: As in the case of the ALS, the NLS was estimated to cost $12 billion range to develop, including $2 billion for the STME engine. Again the development cost could not be recouped in recurring launch costs, and the NLS was terminated in 1991. Boeing attempted to stimulate government interest in development of the ‘Spacelifter’ version of its NLS design but failed. Since development costs were similar to development of a new airliner, Boeing obviously did not feel the actual operating cost of an NLS would be low enough to justify the development cost on a purely commercial basis

Liftoff Thrust: 1,813,510 kgf. Total Mass: 851,732 kg. Core Diameter: 8.7 m. Total Length: 62.0 m. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 89.00 million. in 1985 unit dollars.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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