This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001.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

Gross Mass: 65,700 kg. Empty Mass: 15,700 kg. Thrust (vac): 3 kgf. Isp: 3,000 sec. Burn time: 57,600,000 sec. Propellants: Xenon Isp(sl): 0 sec. Diameter: 5.5 m. Span: 30.0 m. Length: 35.0 m. Country: Russia. No Engines: 60. 11B97 Status: Development 1986. Used as: Energia-2. Other designations: Gerkules.

Beginning in 1978 the 11B97 nuclear electric engine was studied for use in a reusable interorbital space tug for launch by Energia-Buran. In 1982, according to the decree of 5 February 1981, NPO Energia developed for the Ministry of Defence the interorbital tug Gerkules with 550 kWt maximum output and continuous operation in the 50-150 kWt range for 3 to 5 years. In 1986 a civilian interorbital tug was studied to solve the specific application of transporting heavy satellites of 100 tonnes to geostationary orbit, launched by Energia. All of these designs seem to have been essentailly similar; the figures given here are for the last study. The tug would have a propellant supply adequate for 16,000 hours of operation and three years of reactor life.

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .