|VKS-R - |
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Sled launched, delta winged, single-stage-to-orbit, Lox/LH2 launch vehicle. 290 tonne and 550 tonne versions considered. Sltudied in tradeoff studies leading to MAKS. Release conditions: Piggy-back, 290,000 kg, Mach 0.5, zero altitude. Effective velocity gain compared to vertical launch 100 m/s. The wheeled sled would get the vehicle up to a velocity where the wings could provide lift, allowing lower-thrust engines to be used than in a vertical-takeoff design. This saved weight, but velocity losses during lifting flight to orbit almost cancelled the advantage, resulting in the approach being unattractive in comparison to pure vertical-launch or air-launch designs.
LEO Payload: 4,000 kg. to: 200 km Orbit. at: 51.0 degrees. Total Mass: 290,000 kg.