Chapter 6 Launch Systems and Launch Sites
Section 1: Principles of Rocket Propulsion

6-1 Overview

Introduction A rocket is a machine that develops thrust by the rapid expulsion of matter. The major components of a chemical rocket assembly are a rocket motor or engine, propellant consisting of fuel and an oxidizer, a frame to hold the components, control systems and a cargo such as a satellite. A rocket differs from other engines in that it carries its fuel and oxidizer internally, therefore it will burn in the vacuum of space as well as within the Earth's atmosphere. The cargo is commonly referred to as the payload. A rocket is called a launch vehicle when it is used to launch a satellite or other payload into space. A rocket becomes a missile when the payload is a warhead and it is used as a weapon. At present, rockets are the only means capable of achieving the altitude and velocity necessary to put a payload into orbit.
Terms to Describe Rocket Power There are a number of terms used to describe the power generated by a rocket.
  • Thrust is the force generated, measured in pounds or kilograms. Thrust generated by the first stage must be greater than the weight of the complete launch vehicle while standing on the launch pad in order to get it moving. Once moving upward, thrust must continue to be generated to accelerate the launch vehicle against the force of the Earth's gravity. To place a satellite into orbit around the Earth, thrust must continue until the minimum altitude and orbital velocity have been attained or the launch vehicle will fall back to the Earth. Minimum altitude is rarely desirable, therefore thrust must continue to be generated to gain additional orbital altitude.
  • The impulse, sometimes called total impulse, is the product of thrust and the effective firing duration. A shoulder fired rocket such as the LAW has an average thrust of 600 lbs and a firing duration of 0.2 seconds for an impulse of 120 lb­sec. The Saturn V rocket, used during the Apollo program, not only generated much more thrust but also for a much longer time. It had an impulse of 1.15 billion lb­sec.
  • The efficiency of a rocket engine is measured by its specific impulse (Isp). Specific impulse is defined as the thrust divided by the mass of propellant consumed per second. The result is expressed in seconds. The specific impulse can be thought of as the number of seconds that one pound of propellant will produce one pound of thrust. If thrust is expressed in pounds, a specific impulse of 300 seconds is considered good. Higher values are better.
  • A rocket's mass ratio is defined as the total mass at lift­off divided by the mass remaining after all the propellant has been consumed. A high mass ratio means that more propellant is pushing less launch vehicle and payload mass, resulting in higher velocity. A high mass ratio is necessary to achieve the high velocities needed to put a payload into orbit.
6-2 Launch Vehicles

Launch Vehicles Most current launch vehicles consist of two or more rockets or stages that are stacked on top of each other. The second stage is on top of the first, and so on. The first stage is the one that lifts the rocket off the launch pad and is sometimes known also as a "booster" or "main stage". When the first stage runs out of propellant or has reached the desired altitude and velocity, its rocket engine is turned off and it is separated so that the subsequent stages do not have to propel unnecessary mass. Dropping away the useless weight of stages whose propellant has been expended means less powerful engines can be used to continue the acceleration, which means less propellant has to be carried, which in turn means more payload can be placed into orbit.
Rocket Engines Many different types of rocket engines have been designed or proposed. Currently, the most powerful are the chemical propellant rocket engines. Other types being designed or that are proposed are ion rockets, photon rockets, magnetohydrodynamic drives and nuclear fission rockets; however, they are generally more suitable for providing long term thrust in space rather than launching a rocket and its payload from the Earth's surface into space.
Categories of Chemical Propellants There are three categories of chemical propellants for rocket engines: liquid propellant, solid propellant, and hybrid propellant. The propellant for a chemical rocket engine usually consists of a fuel and an oxidizer. Sometimes a catalyst is added to enhance the chemical reaction between the fuel and the oxidizer. Each category has advantages and disadvantages that make them best for certain applications and unsuitable for others.
Liquid Propellants Liquid propellant rocket engines burn two separately stored liquid chemicals, a fuel and an oxidizer, to produce thrust. Typical fuel/oxidizer combinations are:
TYPICAL LIQUID PROPELLANT PURL/OXIDIZER COMBINATIONS
FUEL
OXIDIZER
TYPE
Liquid Hydrogen Liquid Oxygen Cryogenic
RP-1 Kerosene Liquid Oxygen Liquid/Cryogenic
Aniline Nitric Acid Hypergolic
Hydrazine
Monopropellant
Cryogenic Propellant A cryogenic propellant is one that uses very cold, liquefied gases as the fuel and the oxidizer. Liquid oxygen boils at ­297 F and liquid hydrogen boils at ­423 F. Cryogenic propellants require special insulated containers and vents to allow gas from the evaporating liquids to escape. The liquid fuel and oxidizer are pumped from the storage tanks to an expansion chamber and injected into the combustion chamber where they are mixed and ignited by a flame or spark. The fuel expands as it burns and the hot exhaust gases are directed out of the nozzle to provide thrust.
Hypergolic Propellant A hypergolic propellant is composed of a fuel and oxidizer that ignite when they come into contact with each other. No spark is needed. Hypergolic propellants are typically corrosive so storage requires special containers and safety facilities.
Mono- propellants Monopropellants combine the properties of fuel and oxidizer in one chemical. By their nature, monopropellants are unstable and dangerous. Monopropellants are typically used in adjusting or vernier rockets to provide thrust for making changes to orbits once the payload is in orbit.
6-2 Launch Vehicles, cont'd

Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages of liquid propellant rockets include the highest energy per unit of fuel mass, variable thrust, and a restart capability. Raw materials, such as oxygen and hydrogen are in abundant supply and a relatively easy to manufacture. Disadvantages of liquid propellant rockets include requirements for complex storage containers, complex plumbing, precise fuel and oxidizer injection metering, high speed/high capacity pumps, and difficulty in storing fueled rockets.
Solid Propellants Solid propellant rockets are basically combustion chamber tubes packed with a propellant that contains both fuel and oxidizer blended together uniformly. The principal advantage is that a solid propellant is relatively stable therefore it can be manufactured and stored for future use. Solid propellants have a high density and can burn very fast. They are relatively insensitive to shock, vibration and acceleration. No propellant pumps are required thus the rocket engines are less complicated. Disadvantages are that, once ignited, solid propellants cannot be throttled, turned off and then restarted because they burn until all the propellant is used. The surface area of the burning propellant is critical in determining the amount of thrust being generated. Cracks in the solid propellant increase the exposed surface area, thus the propellant burns faster than planned. If too many cracks develop, pressure inside the engine rises significantly and the rocket engine may explode. Manufacture of a solid propellant is an expensive, precision operation. Solid propellant rockets range in size from the Light Antitank Weapon to the 100 foot long Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) used on the side of the main fuel tank of the Space Shuttle. Other examples include air defense missiles such as Patriot and Hawk, air to air missiles such as Sidewinder, Sparrow, antitank missiles such as the TOW and Hellfire, and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
Hypbrid Propellants Hybrid propellant rocket engines attempt to capture the advantages of both liquid and solid fueled rocket engines. The basic design of a hybrid consists of a combustion chamber tube, similar to ordinary solid fueled rockets, packed with a solid chemical, usually the fuel. Above the combustion chamber tube is a tank, containing a complementary reactive liquid chemical, usually the oxidizer. The two chemicals are hypergolic, and when the liquid chemical is injected into the combustion chamber containing the solid chemical, ignition occurs and thrust is produced. The ability to throttle the engine is achieved by varying the amount of liquid injected per unit of time. The rocket engine can be stopped by cutting off the flow of the liquid chemical. The engine can be restarted by resuming the flow of the liquid chemical. Other advantages of hybrid propellant rocket engines are that they provide higher energy than standard solid propellant rockets, they can be throttled and restarted like liquid propellant rockets, they can be stored for long periods like solid propellant rockets, and they contain less than half the complex machinery (pumps, plumbing) of standard liquid propellant engines. They are also less sensitive to damage to the solid fuel component than standard solid propellant system. Hybrid rockets control the combustion rate by metering the liquid component of the fuel. No matter how much solid component surface area is exposed, only so much can be burned in the presence of the liquid component. Disadvantages are that these engines do not generate as much energy per pound of propellant as liquid propellant engines and they are more complex than standard solid fueled engines. Hybrid propellant rocket engines are still in development and are not yet available for operational use. Versions with more than 220,000 lbs (100,000 kg) of thrust have been demonstrated. Hybrid propellant rocket engines may eventually be used where reliability, flexibility, storability, throttle control, and stop/restart capabilities are required.
Section II: Launch Systems and Launch Sites 6-3 United States

Introduction The current inventory of U.S. space launch vehicles includes a variety of Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs) and the reusable Space Shuttles.
Atlas The Atlas was developed in the early 1950's and became the United States' first operational Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Thermonuclear­tipped Atlas ICBMs served as a strategic deterrent until 1966, when they were phased out and replaced by the Minuteman. The Atlas missile was also used as one of the early space launch vehicles. In 1958, an entire Atlas was placed into low earth orbit (LEO) along with its Army developed Project SCORE communications payload. Atlas D launchers were used throughout the Mercury program. The first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, John Glenn, was launched into space by an Atlas D. Although fitted with newer upper stage engines, the missile has changed only slightly over the years. The first stage consists of two booster engines and a sustainer engine, all of which ignite at launch. The propellant is RP­1 kerosene fuel and liquid oxygen as the oxidizer. There are also two vernier stabilization rockets near the base which are oriented outward at a 45/ angle from the long axis of the rocket. These two small rockets firing out to the side give the Atlas its unique signature. Two minutes into its flight the boosters fall away while the center sustainer continues to burn. The original missile had no second stage. The Centaur or Centaur II advanced upper stage has been added as a second stage to allow much larger payloads to be placed into orbit. Current Atlas boosters provide a medium lift capability. The Atlas E, launched from Vandenberg AFB, with a lift capacity of 1,800 lbs (820 kg) into a polar, LEO is used to put DoD and NOAA weather satellites into low Earth, sun­synchronous (polar) orbits. The Atlas I and the Atlas II launch vehicles are launched from Cape Canaveral to put a variety of DoD, NASA, and commercial satellites into low, medium or geosynchronous orbits. The Atlas II has also been used to launch some communications satellites for foreign customers. Launch preparations typically take about 10 weeks.
Delta The Delta launch vehicle evolved from the Thor intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). It was first flown in September, 1957, and was later stationed in Turkey (among other places) through the early 1960s. The first Delta ELV was launched in 1960. The Delta family of launch vehicles has gone through many upgrades and is available in a variety of configurations, depending on the needs of the customer. The first Delta II was first launched in February , 1989. There are launch facilities at Vandenberg AFB and Cape Canaveral. The current configuration has a payload capacity of about 11,100 lbs (5,045 kg) into LEO or up to 4, 000 lbs (1,800 kg) into geostationary transfer orbit. The Delta launchers have an excellent reliability record, with a launch success percentage in excess of 95%. The first stage uses a liquid fuel with liquid oxygen as the oxidizer. Upper stages use liquid propellants. To increase the initial thrust, solid rocket boosters (SRBs) are strapped on to the first stage. The final stage is a Payload Assist Module (PAM). The Delta II is the primary launch vehicle for the Navstar GPS satellites, a variety of U.S. DoD, civil and foreign communications satellites and some scientific payloads. In 1993, the Air Force designated the Delta II as its Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV­3).
6-3 United States. Cont'd

Titan The first Titan I launch occurred on February 6, 1959. In 1962, the Titan I was replaced with the larger and more powerful Titan II. Titan II ICBMs were deployed in 54 silos in the U.S. from 1963 to 1987. Titan IIs were also the launchers for the ten two­man Gemini flights. Fifty­four of the 103­foot hypergolic propellant missiles with 9­megaton warheads were maintained in deep silos in Arizona, Arkansas, and Kansas for twenty years. They were finally deactivated because the propellants, being corrosive, were dissolving the fuel tanks on the missiles. One of them exploded in its silo because of this. Following the Shuttle Challenger disaster, initiatives to develop a family of reliable expendable launch vehicles with Shuttle payload capabilities have resulted in the creation of a variety of Titan configurations: Titan III, Titan 34D, and Titan I. These are base configuration identifiers; each of these types can be modified with various upper stages and solid rocket boosters strapped on the first stage to accomplish specific missions. The Titan III and Titan 34D boosters are launched from Cape Canaveral. They are used by DoD and also for commercial launches. The Titan IV is now the United States' heavy lift vehicle, capable of injecting in excess of 10,000 lbs (4,450 kg) into geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), or up to 39,000 lbs (17,700 kg) into a low Earth equatorial orbit. There is one Titan IV launch pad at Vandenberg AFB and two at Cape Canaveral. Planned upgrades to the solid rocket boosters and upper stages will raise the lift capacity to almost that of the Shuttle. Launch preparation of the Titan IV is about 6 months.
Scout The Scout launch vehicle is a solid fuel, multi­stage launcher of light satellites. It was initially assembled by NASA from an Algol first stage rocket salvaged from a Polaris missile, a second stage Thiokol Castor, and Antares and Altair third and fourth stages borrowed from the venerable '50s era Navy Vanguard rocket system. It was first launched in July of 1960. It is considered inexpensive, although the price per pound to orbit of its payloads is roughly twice of that projected for Pegasus. It is capable of placing 480 lbs (220 kg) into a 350 mile high circular equatorial orbit. Its principle launch sites are Vandenberg AFB and Wallops Island, and it enjoys a 96% success rate over the life of the system, although early in the life of the program it was not nearly so successful.
Pegasus Pegasus is a winged, three stage rocket, launched from under the wing of an aircraft. It weighs about 40,000 lbs (18,000 kg), and is almost 50 feet long with a 22 foot wingspan. The initial launches have been made from a modified B­52 bomber that supports NASA activities. The first launch was made in early 1990, successfully placing a small Navy communications satellite and a NASA scientific satellite into LEO. There are plans to use a Lockeed L­1011 aircraft in future flights. In a typical launch profile, the rocket is released at a speed of mach 0.8 and an altitude of 40,000 feet. The first stage then ignites and boosts the rocket to an altitude of 38 miles. The first stage drops away and the second stage propels the rocket to an altitude of 105 miles and a speed of 13,125 mph. The rocket then coasts for 6.6 minutes to an altitude of 285 miles but the speed decreases to 11,850 mph. The third (final) stage then fires to accelerate the rocket 18,700 mph which is sufficient to insert the payload into orbit. The system has the capability to place up to 272 kg into low polar orbits or 410 kg into equatorial low Earth orbit. An advantage of the Pegasus is that the launcher (the aircraft) can fly almost anywhere to provide the optimum launch point for a particular mission. The Pegasus promises low cost per pound to orbit launches for light tactical or commercial satellites. Another advantage of Pegasus is the ability to "warehouse" launch systems and generic payloads for fast launch in times of crisis.
Space Transportation System The Space Transportation System (STS) includes the space shuttle fleet, boosters and upper stages, launch and landing facilities, and training and control facilities. There are currently four shuttle spacecraft: Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis, and Columbia. The Challenger was destroyed in an explosion of the launch vehicle on 28 January 1986, 73 seconds after lift­off. The seven astronauts on board were killed.
6-3 United States, cont'd

Shuttle Launch The space shuttle is launched with two solid propellant rocket boosters and three cryogenic liquid propellant (liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen) main rocket engines burning at lift­off. Each solid propellant rocket booster generates 2.9 million lbs of thrust at lift­off and each main rocket engine generates between 375,000 to 475,000 lbs of thrust (variable throttle engines). Two minutes after lift­off, at an altitude of approximately 27 miles (43 km) altitude, traveling at a speed of 3,700 mph, the solid rocket boosters separate and parachute back to land in the Atlantic Ocean where they are retrieved, refurbished and reused. The shuttle's main engines continue to burn using the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in the large external fuel tank. After sustainer engine cutoff (SECO) the large external fuel tank is separated over the Indian Ocean, where it re­enters the atmosphere and burns up. Shortly thereafter the orbital maneuvering system is fired to complete orbital insertion. The orbital maneuvering system consists of two 6,000 lbs thrust rocket engines which use a hypergolic liquid fuel and oxidizer. Once in orbit, there are more than 40 Reaction Control System (RCS) rocket engines located in the nose and tail to control roll, pitch and yaw. The shuttle is capable of carrying eight astronauts (normally seven) and approximately 22.5 metric tons into 28.5/ inclined LEO from its two launch pads at Kennedy Space Center.
Shuttle Landing Sites Four primary landing sites have been constructed for the shuttle: Edwards AFB, White Sands, Vandenberg AFB, and Kennedy Space Center. For safety reasons, the preferred landing facility is Kennedy Space Center, but there have been landings at all of these sites except Vandenberg AFB. The shuttle system allows humans to interact directly with LEO satellites. Satellites can be checked out before they are released to go into orbit, defective satellites can be repaired while they are in orbit, adjustments can be made to orbits of satellites, and orbiting satellites can be retrieved and returned to Earth for repairs or study. All of these capabilities have been demonstrated.
6-4 Space Launch Facilities, United States

Eastern Space and Missile Center The Eastern Space and Missile Center (ESMC) is located on the east coast of Florida. It is operated by the 45th Space Wing of the Air Force Space Command. The ESMC includes Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where most of the launch pads are located, Patrick AFB where the headquarters is, the Eastern Test Range and other supporting facilities in east central Florida. The Eastern Test Range (ETR) extends from Cape Canaveral, across the Atlantic Ocean and Africa into the Indian Ocean. The ETR includes tracking stations on Antigua and Ascension Island.
Cape Canaveral The United States' largest space launch facility is located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Since 1950, more than 40 launch complexes have been constructed. Some of the launch pads were built to test ICBMs and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles. Many launch complexes are now obsolete and some have been destroyed because of corrosion from the salty sea air. The principal active space launch complexes are:
Space Launch Complex (SLC)
Launcher
17 A, 17 B
Delta
36 A, 36 B
Atlas
40, 41
Titan
(* SLC 41 is actually on a small island, just inside the boundary of Kennedy Space Center.)
Cap Canaveral Cape Canaveral is located at 28.5 north latitude. The optimum launch (most fuel efficient or heaviest payload) is attained by launching directly to the east (azimuth of 90) to take maximum advantage of the Earth's rotational speed, thus the minimum inclination of a satellite's initial orbit is 28.5. Safety considerations limit the launch azimuth to a minimum of 35 to a maximum of 120 for an initial orbit inclination of 57 and 39, respectively.

6-4 Space Launch Facilities, United States, cont'd

Kennedy Space Center Kennedy Space Center is located on Merritt Island, just to the north of Cape Canaveral. It is operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Considerable support is provided by the Air Force Space Command's Eastern Missile and Space Center. The Space Shuttles are launched from Space Launch Complexes 39A and 39B. The preparation and launch of the shuttles requires many other supporting facilities. The principal supporting facilities are: Vehicle Assembly Building Mobile Launcher Platform Crawler­Transporter Orbiter Processing Facility Orbiter Modification and Refurbishment Facility Processing and Surge Facility SRB Assembly and Refurbishment Facility Shuttle Logistics Facility Shuttle Landing Facility Payload Operations and Checkout Building Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility
Western Space and Missile Center The Western Space and Missile Center (WSMC) is located at Vandenberg AFB, California. It is operated by the 30th Space Wing of the Air Force Space Command. It is responsible for the missile and space launches from Vandenberg AFB and the Western Test Range which extends westward over the Pacific Ocean and into the Indian Ocean where it meets the Eastern Test Range. The nearest land mass directly to the south of Vandenberg is Antarctica. For this reason, launches to the south into polar orbits can be safely made. Surveillance satellites, low earth orbit (LEO) weather satellites, and environmental and terrain monitoring satellites like Landsat are launched from this facility. The safety limit of the launch azimuth is from 158 to 201 for an initial orbit inclination of 70 to 104, respectively.

There are approximately 52 launch pads, silos, and other sites to support launching the entire family of military and commercial rockets and missiles. The principal active space launch complexes are:
Space Launch Complex (SLC)
Launcher
w@
Delta
3W
Atlas
4E, 4W
Titan
5
Scout
6
Titan IV
Shuttle Launch Complex 6, originally planned to support shuttle launches into polar orbit and then deactivated, is now under modification to support launches of the Titan IV family of heavy expendable launch vehicles .
6-4 Space Launch Facilities, United States, cont'd

Wallops Flight Facility The National Aeronautics and Space Administration operates the Wallops Flight Facility, located on Wallops Island on the Atlantic coast, a few miles south of the Maryland and Virginia border. The principal activity now is the launch of sounding rockets although 21 satellites have been launched using the Scout launcher. Italian missile crews who launched Scouts from their facility off the coast of Kenya were trained here. Privately funded launches for commercial lifters (such as Scout and Conestoga) have been negotiated.
Poker Flats, Alaska Poker Flats Research Range, located northeast of Fairbanks, is owned and operated by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. It has the distinction of being the world's only university­owned launch range. Established in 1968, the range launches between ten and fifteen major sounding rockets, and a number of meteorological rockets, annually. Total launches to date is approaching three hundred. It also supports continuous ozone measurements and observations. NASA provides various range support radar and tracking systems and facilities.
6-5 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Introduction The Commonwealth of Independent States, formerly what was most of the Soviet Union, has a variety of capable launch systems. The Soviet Union's approach to space launcher design and construction was to build for simplicity and reliability, while incorporating technological advances if they substantially improved launcher performance. Their launch systems typically are large for the amount of on­orbit payload delivered. This is partly due to the extra weight that the use of older technology entails, and partly to the use of less efficient liquid, non­cryogenic propellants for many of their main engines. Another reason for the relatively large size of their space launchers is that most were derived from military missiles built to carry massive nuclear warheads, and had to be proportionally large to do so. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact has resulted in a surplus of these launchers and missiles, which has prompted economies of this region to attempt marketing of launch services to customers worldwide.
Space Launch Vehicles The Soviet Union developed an impressive array of space launchers, most derived from ICBMs. On more than one occasion, the ability to conduct multiple launches within a short period has been demonstrated. The names of the space launch vehicles used in the discussion below were assigned by the Soviets. The "SL" designation is assigned by the U.S. DoD. The letter­number designations were developed by Dr. Charles Sheldon, U.S. Congressional Research Service to differentiate between launch vehicle families and their variants. The following table gives the equivalent denotations:
Soviet/CIS Name
U.S. DOD Designatio
Sheldon Designation
Vostok
SL-3
A-1
Soyuz
SL-4
A-2
Molniya
SL-6
A-2-e
Kosmos (or Interkosmos)
SL-7
B-1
Kosmos
SL-8
C-1
(No name)
SL-11
F-1
Proton (or Gorizont)
SL-12
D-1-e
Proton
SL-13
D-1
Tsyklon (or Meteor)
SL-14
F-2
Zenit
SL-16
J-1
Energiya
SL-17
K-1
Vostok The Vostok (SL­3 or A­1) was the first of the Soviet space launchers. It, along with the SL­4 and SL­6, is a derivation of the SS­6 Sapwood ICBM. It launched Sputnik I and many other satellites since. The Vostok launcher has two stages. The first stage uses four kerosene fueled, disposable, strap­on boosters alongside a core engine, providing for 20 main engines all of which are ignited at launch. The oxidizer is liquid oxygen. The second stage has a single rocket engine (also kerosene­liquid oxygen propellant). The Vostok is capable of placing approximately 10,300 lbs (4,700 kg) into LEO. It launched Sputnik I in 1957, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961 , Meteor weather satellites, and more than 160 other payloads. It has proven to be a very reliable launcher. The Vostok is also marketed as a commercial launcher. India's IRS­1A, Geostationary Weather Satellite was launched in 1988. It is under contract for follow on IRS satellites for India, as well. The Vostok is launched from Plesetsk and Tyuratamfrom which it can place satellites into both equatorial and polar inclined orbits.

6-5 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), cont'd

Soyuz The Soyuz (SL­4/A­2), an upgraded Vostok, made its debut in 1963. The first stage is similar to the Vostok but the second stage has significantly more power, thus giving it a lift capacity of more than 15,400 lbs (7,000 kg) into LEO. It is the most frequently employed space launcher in the world. Since 1964, the Soyuz has launched all of the Soviet and CIS manned space flights. It is also used to ferry cargo to the Russian space station Mir and to launch photoreconnaissance and Earth resources satellites. As with Vostok, this launcher is now available commercially. There are launch facilities at Plesetsk and Tyuratam. The assembled Soyuz, with the payload already mated to the launcher, is normally brought to the launch pad in a horizontal position and erected less than 48 hours before launch. The launcher has an extremely high reliability rate and has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to be launched during severe weather conditions including extreme cold, high winds and rain.

Molniya The Molniya launcher (SL­6/A­2­e) is the most powerful of the SS­6 Sapwood derivatives. It uses an even more capable upper stage engine than the Soyuz. Its principal use has been to place payloads (principally Molniya communications satellites and Cosmos military payloads) into highly inclined, highly eccentric orbits. The first satellite placed into this highly eccentric, highly inclined orbit was called a Molniya; from this both the orbit type and launcher have drawn their name. This launcher has not flown any geostationary missions. It launched, in February of 1961, the Venera 1 Venus probe, and possibly two attempts at Mars probe launches in 1960. Its main launch facility is Plesetsk, although it has also been launched from Tyuratam. As with the previous two boosters, the Molniya launcher is also available commercially.
Cosmos (or Kosmos) The name Cosmos (or Kosmos) has been assigned to at least two different systems, the SL­7/B­1, and the SL­8/C­1. The SL­7 variant is a derivative of the SS­4 Sandal, a medium range military missile. It has a capability to deliver up to 650 kg to LEO, and was principally launched from Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar beginning in 1962. It flew a total of 144 orbital missions before being retired, although it is a potential commercial offering now as a small payload launcher. The SL­8 variant derives from the SS­5 Skean medium range military missile and is the only booster launched from all three former Soviet sites. It is the smallest launcher in the current CIS inventory. It uses a hypergolic propellant (nitric acid and Unsymmetrical DimethylHydrazine (UDMH)) in its first stage, is capable of lifting 1.5 metric tons to LEO, and is commercially available. It was first launched in 1964, but in recent years its use has tapered off as payloads were transferred to the SL­14.
Proton The Proton (SL­12/D­1­e and SL­13/D­1) is the largest currently available space launcher from the former Soviet Union. The SL­12/D­1­e variant has four stages and was introduced in 1967. The SL­13/D­1 variant has three stages. The first three stages are powered by a hypergolic propellant (N2O4 and UDMH). The first stage has six rocket engines. The second stage has four rocket engines and the third stage has one rocket engine. The fourth stage of the SL­12/D­1­e variant uses kerosene and liquid oxygen to power one, restartable rocket engine.  The SL­12/D­1­e variant has a lift capacity of about 5,500 lbs (2,500 kg) into GEO. It has been used to launch numerous scientific payloads to the Moon and Mars, and to put communications satellites into geostationary orbit. The three stage SL­13/D­1 variant can put about 46,200 lbs (21,000 kg) into LEO. It has only been used to launch components of the Mir space station. The SL­12 Proton has been marketed commercially as a launcher for geostationary commercial communications satellites, such as Inmarsat.

6-5 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), cont'd

Tsyklon (Cyclone) The SL­11/F­1, a derivative of the SS­9 Scarp ICBM, was introduced in 1966 as a two stage launcher for space payloads, typically ocean surveillance satellites, launched from Tyuratam. There is no known Soviet name for this launcher. The SL­11/F­1 has a lift capacity of about 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg) into LEO. In 1977, a third stage was added. The resulting launch vehicle, the Tsyklon, was given the designation of SL­14/F­2. The SL­14/F­2 assumed many of the missions previously performed by the Kosmos SL­8 such as ELINT, Meteor weather satellites, LEO communications satellites and some scientific payloads. The SL­14/F­2 has only been launched from Plesetsk. In 1987, it was offered as a commercial launch vehicle with a lift capacity of about 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg) into LEO. Its six first­stage chambers are fueled by nitrogen tetroxide and UDMH.

Zenit The Zenit (SL­16/J­1) is a modern booster with capabilities between those of Soyuz and Proton. Flight testing began in 1985, and since becoming operational it has been used exclusively from Tyuratam for launch of ELINT satellites. Standard versions can place 28,600 lbs (13,000 kg) into a moderately inclined LEO, or 1320 lbs (600 kg) into GEO. It is also used in a slightly different configuration as a strap­on booster for the Energia heavy­lift launch system. This booster has been proposed as a candidate for the Cape York (Australia) Space Agency venture as the booster of choice for heavy payloads, as it is capable, with modification, of lifting up to 52,800 lbs (24,000 kg) to LEO.

6-5 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), cont'd

Energia The Energia is a huge Saturn V­class booster also known as an SL­17/K­1 (Figure 6­13), took over 13 years to develop, and has great potential as a very heavy booster with flexible configurations, depending on mission. It can be configured with from two to eight SL­16 (see Zenit, above) liquid fueled strap­on boosters that are capable of being recovered, giving it a range of lift capabilities from 143,000 lbs (65,000 kg) up to 440,000 lbs (200,000 kg) to LEO. Its central core engine is the region's first dual cryogenic main stage, using liquid hydrogen and oxygen for its energy. Second stages are of two types: a low­energy, long mission duration (up to two years) second stage fueled by liquid oxygen and kerosene, and a high energy dual cryogenic upper stage with a mission duration of four days. Both upper stages are capable of multiple, although finite, restarts. Two Energias have been launched. The first was a test, and the second, in November of 1988, launched a pilotless Soviet space shuttle Buran. Energia is being marketed commercially by NPO Energia. Several have been built and are available.
Buran (Siberian Snowstorm) The Buran is very much like the U.S. space shuttles in appearance, dimension,and capability, except that it lacks shuttle­like main propulsion engines. Instead, it relies on the Energia booster to provide it the energy to achieve all but the last 100 ­ 200 m/s velocity change (delta v) needed to achieve orbit. This spacecraft has only flown once on a three hour, twenty­five minute orbital mission in robotic unpiloted mode. It landed three hours and 25 minutes after launch at an airfield 12 km from its launch pad. The space shuttle­like spacecraft fleet size has been reduced from a planned five to three, but even this level lacks high­level support. Although the Buran has a stated mission frequency of one flight per year, it may never be launched again.

6-6 Space Launch Facilities, CIS

Introduction The breakup of the Soviet Union has fragmented the former Soviet space support infrastructure. This has resulted in planning and scheduling difficulties for Russia, the main inheritor of the remnants of the former Soviet space program. There are two space launch facilities in Russia, Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar; and one in Kazakhstan, Tyuratam.
Plesetsk Plesetsk (62.8 N, 40.7 E) is about 400 miles northeast of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). It has been the port of debarkation for over 1,300 launches, or more than a third of all orbital or planetary mission launches from all other launch sites in the world combined. It continues to be the world's busiest launch facility. It is mainly a military launch facility, typically used to deliver most (if not all) polar orbiting sensor payloads, and many Molniya orbit payloads. The high inclination of the Molniya communications satellites is a natural result of an eastward launch from Plesetsk. This site is on Russian soil and the launch flight profile does not pass over any other countries during the boost phase. The requirements for coordination with other countries are minimal. There are launch pads for the SL­4, SL­6, SL­8 and SL­14 space launch vehicles. Launches of the SL­3 and SL­11 could be conducted , if necessary. The extreme northern latitude of this facility has provided Russia with valuable experience in the conduct of extreme cold weather launch operations and launch vehicle design.
6-6 Space Launch Facilities, CIS, cont'd

Kapustin Kapustin Yar (48.4 N, 45.8 E) is located on the banks of the Volga River, about 75 miles east of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and less than 30 miles east of Kazakhstan.  This facility has been the site of sounding rocket and small orbital payload launches but is only infrequently used now. Its close proximity to Kazakhstan now precludes eastward launch without the approval of the Kazakh government.
Tyuratum (Baikonur- Cosmodrome) In the 1950's, the Soviet Union announced that space launch operations were being conducted from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Some concluded that this facility must be near the city of Baikonur, Kazakhstan. In truth, the launch facilities are located 400 km to the southwest near the railhead at Tyuratam (45.9 N. 63.3 E). The Soviets built the city of Leninsk near the facility to provide apartments, schools, and administrative support to the tens of thousands of worker at the launch facility. The first man­made satellite to orbit the Earth was launched from here. This site has been the source of all manned Soviet and CIS launches and of most lunar, planetary, and geostationary orbit launches. Due to range safety restrictions at other launch sites, Tyuratam is the only site that can launch satellites directly into retrograde orbits. It is the only facility that supports the launch of the Proton launch vehicles (SL­12 and SL­13), the SL­16 and the Energia (SL­17). All other launch vehicles can also be launched from Tyuratam, except the SL­8. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has claimed ownership of the facility. Most of the skilled workers and the military forces protecting some of the facilities are, however, Russian.
6-7 Republic of China

Introduction Like the Soviets and the U.S., the Chinese satellite launchers derive from strategic ballistic missile (IRBM and ICBM) systems. The approach to development has concentrated on maximizing the utility of developed, reliable systems. The current family of boosters all use, for example, variants of the same first and second stage engines, relying on upper stages of varying capabilities to provide mission­specific performances. The engines typically burn storable hypergolic fuels and oxidizers such as UDMH and nitrogen tetroxide. Their systems are simple and reliable, factors which the Chinese have exploited to promote their commercial marketing of satellite launch services worldwide.
Space Launch Vehicles Chang Zehn (CZ) - Literally, "Long March" This name applies to all current Chinese launchers, with the numeric designation after the letters "CZ" denoting the launcher variant. The family comprises the CZ­1 through CZ­4 versions.
CZ-1 (Long March 1) The Long March 1 is a derivative of the DF­4 (Dong Feng, or East Wind) IRBM, known in the West as the CSS­3. This launcher placed China's first satellite in orbit in 1970. Powered by a YF­3 engine and topped by various additional stages, this launcher is offered commercially for emplacement of modest payloads of up to 1,650 lbs (750 kg) into a 57 inclined, 300 km high orbit. Only two have been launched to date.
CZ-2 (Long March 2 Development of the Long March 2 began in 1970, concurrent with the development of the DF­5 ICBM. The CZ­2 has functionally replaced the CZ­1, and is available commercially in a variety of configurations, including GEO delivery. The first stage comprises four gimballed YF­20 hypergolic fueled engines, with a typical second stage using a single hypergolic YF­22 or YF­25 engine. The CZ­2D variant is capable of 1250 kg to GTO, and the eight­engine (four upgraded YF­20 main stage engines, with four more as strap­ons) CZ­2E variant launched the Aussat geostationary communications satellite in 1991. Several additional commercial launches are already booked. The launcher has a number of capabilities, and uses differing upper stages to accommodate customers needs. The Chinese dual cryogenic upper stage, the H18, would give this launcher 4500 kg to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) capabilities, equivalent to the Russian Proton and European Ariane 4. Estimated first launch date for this configuration is in 1995.
CZ-3 (Long March 3) The CZ­3 series of launchers closely resemble the CZ­2; first and second stages are identical in size, capacity, and engine complement to the CZ­2C. The main difference is incorporation of an H8 four­chamber YF­73 dual cryogenic upper stage, giving the system the capability to deliver 3,100 lbs (1,400 kg) to GTO. The CZ­3A version stretches the propellant volume of stage 1, reduces the propellant volume of stage 2, and replaces the H8 dual cryogenic upper stage with the Centaur D­class H18 two­chambered YF­75 dual cryogenic upper stage. This configuration triples the mass delivered to GTO, raising it to 9,900 lbs (4,500 kg). There is some conjecture that this and the H18­equipped CZ­2E may actually be the same vehicle since performance and equipment specifications do not differ appreciably. The first launch of the H18­equipped CZ­3A is not expected before 1994.
CZ-4A (Long March 4) This launcher is essentially a CZ­3 with a storable hypergolic fueled third stage. The CZ­4A is able to deliver 3,300 lbs (1,500 kg) payloads into an sun­ synchronous orbit with 96/ inclination and 900 km altitude. Through 1990 there have been two launches, both to sun­synchronous LEO.
6-8 Space Launch Facilities, Republic of China

Introduction China's growing indigenous space industry has spawned three major launch complexes. These are located at Shuang Cheng­tzu, Xichang, and Taiyuan Although by Western standards the facilities are austere and make limited use of advanced technologies, they appear to be functional and adequate to support the Chinese space programs as they currently exist.
Shuang-Cheng-tzu (Also known as Jiuquan) Shuang Cheng­tzu (40.6 N, 99.9 E) is located in the Gobi Desert, 1,000 miles (1,600 km) west of Beijing. This is China's first launch site. There are two primary launch pads, only about 300 m apart. Long March 1 and 2 rockets have been launched from this facility. Launches are restricted to the southeast, resulting in a 57/ to 70/ inclined orbit. Most payloads lifted from here are military and civil remote sensing, materials processing, or other scientific payloads.
Xichang The Xichang launch facility (28 N, 102 E) is located in a canyon at the foot of a mountain. Weather conditions are generally favorable for launches throughout the year. The first launch from the facility was conducted in 1984. There is one CZ­2E launch pad and one CZ­3 launch pad. Each can accommodate about five launches per year although there have not been any attempts to achieve the maximum launch rate. All launches from this complex have been attempts to place communications payloads into geostationary orbit. China's first commercial launch mission (Hong Kong's Asiasat 1 on a CZ­3) was made from this facility in April 1990.
Taiyuan In 1988 the Chinese opened Taiyuan (38 N, 112 E) by launching their first polar orbiting weather satellite, Feng Yun 1. To date, the few payloads lifted from Taiyuan have been polar orbiting weather satellites.
6-9 European Space Agency

Introduction The European Space Agency (ESA) is a consortium of thirteen European countries. The members contribute money and are, in turn, awarded contracts for work on ESA programs. The ESA is responsible for development of new versions of Ariane, Columbus (ESA's contribution to the Space Station Freedom effort), and Hermes (a reusable space plane), as well as providing test launches. The ESA also participates with other nations in space science activities. ESA's charter provides that its activities be strictly commercial or scientific, and that it may not conduct military space programs. Individual members may have their own national space programs. Ariane and all associated launch services are provided under contract by Arianespace, a private French company in which the French government holds 32% of the voting stock.
Space Launch Vehicles Ariane The Ariane 1 rocket was designed from the beginning to be a commercial launch vehicle, and has no direct military roots. Its first flight was in 1979, and had an initial capability of 9,700 lbs (4,400 kg) into LEO. Ariane 2 and 3 followed within five years, providing greater capability, up to 13,200 lbs (6,000 kg) into LEO. The current launch vehicle, which has replaced the three earlier versions, is the Ariane 4. This system has been designed for maximum flexibility and reliability, with tailorable capabilities within the range of 11,000 to 22,000 lbs (5,000 to 10,000 kg) into LEO. The fairing (the enclosure that covers and protects the payload during ascent) provides for increased payload sizes, and the addition or deletion of additional strap­on boosters can increase the flexibility. The Ariane 4 has two lower stages that use hypergolic liquid propellant, and a dual cryogenic third stage. Ariane 5 is scheduled for its launch debut in 1995. It is a completely new design and will depend on a strap­on assisted dual cryogenic propellant main stage and a hypergolic (nitrogen tetroxide and monomethylhydrazine) second stage to deliver up to 50,600 lbs (23,000 kg) into LEO. This is similar to the planned Titan IV capabilities, using Solid Rocket Motor Upgrades (SRMU) as strap­ons. One of the driving criteria for the Ariane 5 was to be able to lift the Hermes, a proposed small (by U.S. standards) space plane developed by the ESA, into orbit. In the face of uncertain mission requirements and harsh economic realities, Europe has cut back on spending for the development of Hermes, and may ultimately cancel the program. The Ariane 5 continues to be developed as a provider of launch services for heavy payloads into GEO.
Space Launch Facilities Kourou The European Space Agency operates its commercial launch site at Kourou, French Guiana (5 N, 52 W), through its services provider, Arianespace. Arianespace also provides the launch vehicles, currently the Ariane 4 series. The coastal site is almost perfectly sited, being very near the equator to support efficient low inclination equatorial launches, and plenty of clear ocean to the north allows safe polar launches. The complex is capable of supporting more than eight launches per year.

Italy The Italian space industry is well developed and capable of providing high technology components and even complete satellites.
6-9 European Space Agency, cont'd

Italy's Space Launch Vehicles Italy does not have any space launchers of its own. In the past, U.S. Scout rockets have been used to launch satellites from Italy's San Marco space launch facility (see below). Italian commercial firms have, however, provided boost stages and other components for some Ariane rockets. There have been discussions about developing a Scout 2 ( A U.S. Scout rocket with strap­on boosters manufactured in Italy).
San Marco Italy owns and operates the San Marco space launch facility (Figure 6­18), which consists of two platforms erected in Formosa Bay, three miles (4.8 km) off the east coast of Kenya in Africa. The site is only 2.9/ south of the equator, therefore, it is well suited to put satellites in an equatorial orbit. The site became operational in 1966. By 1976, eight small satellites had been launched into low Earth orbit (4 Italian, 3 U.S., 1 British). No other space launches were conducted until 1988, when a Scout rocket was used to launch an Italian/German/U.S. small scientific satellite into low Earth orbit. The launch platform is only configured for Scout rockets and also for some sounding rockets.

6-10 India

Introduction India's space industry is striving to achieve autonomy in both satellite fabrication and launch capability. To date, India has launched three domestically produced small (less than 50 kg each) satellites on domestically produced boosters. Larger Indian built satellites have been launched using Soviet and Ariane rockets. Indian has been negotiating for the purchase of a Russian space launch vehicle to be shipped to India.
Space Launch Vehicles ASLV (Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle) The ASLV is an Indian produced five­stage launcher with capabilities similar to the U.S. Scout. All stages use solid propellants. It is nominally capable of placing 330 lbs (150 kg) into LEO with a 46.5 orbital inclination. There have been two launches to date, and both have been unsuccessful. Another launch is expected in 1993.
PSLV (Polar Satellet Launch Vehicle) In keeping with its effort to achieve self­reliance, India desires a capability to perform their own remote sensing. To accomplish this, they must make use of the coverage available only from sun­synchronous sensor platforms. The PSLV project is intended to provide domestic launch capability for domestic remote sensing satellites up to 1000 kg into 904 Km 99.1 degree sun­synchronous orbits. The vehicle will use a combination of solid and liquid­fueled stages, and six solid­fueled Polar Strap­On Motors (PSOMs) to achieve this level of performance. First launch is expected in 1993.
Space Launch Facilities

Shar Center

SHAR Center is located on Sriharikota Island(13 N, 80 E) on the east coast of India. Facilities include assembly, checkout and launch complexes for the PSLV and ASLV launchers. From here, payloads bound for GEO, LEO, or polar orbits climb out over the Bay of Bengal. India has attempted at least eight orbital launches since 1979 from this site, as well as a number of suborbital launches.

6-11 Israel

Introduction Israel is striving to develop a limited space program using internal capabilities. Israel builds its own launchers and satellites, seeking to avoid the problems inherent in dealing with other countries for space technology and launch services.
Space Launch Vehicles Shavit ("Comet") The Shavit may be a derivative of the Israeli 1400 kilometer range Jericho 2 missile. It is an all­solid propellant, 3­staged rocket capable of Scout­class payloads. On 19 September 1988, the Shavit launched the Offeq­1 ("Horizon") satellite into moderately inclined retrograde (westward) orbit. The Offeq­2 satellite was launched into a similar orbit by the Shavit in April 1990. Israel is reportedly working on a Cryogenic Transfer Module (CTM) to increase capability sufficiently to allow launches to GEO. Capability with this stage is not expected until at least 1993, and even then how it is to be used is unclear, as it does not seem to be compatible with the Shavit, Israel's only known launcher.
Space Launch Facilities The Israeli launch facilities are in the Negev Desert along the Mediterranean coast. For safety reasons, launches are restricted to inclined retrograde orbits. Launching into a retrograde orbit requires more rocket power which invariably lowers the effective payload that can be carried.

6-12 Japan

Introduction The Japanese space industry is, like the Indian and Israeli space industries, progressing toward self­sufficiency. Their national space administrative structure is made up of two organizations: the Institute of Space and Astronomical Science (ISAS), which is part of the Ministry of Education, and the National Space Development Agency (NASDA), which has links to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the Ministry of Transport, and the Science and Technology Agency. A consortium of 77 Japanese industries formed Rocket Systems Corporation in 1990 to help acquire advanced launchers and market their capabilities. Japanese orbital experience began in 1975, when they orbited their first satellite using an N1 rocket as the launcher. Since then they have orbited over 40 satellites and even sent payloads to explore Halley's Comet and the Moon.
Space Launch Vehicles N1 A 1969 licensing agreement gave Japan access to American launcher technology, and Japan built the N1 and N2 launchers using this knowledge. Assisted by McDonnell Douglas, a large U.S. firm, these early rockets were essentially kerosene and liquid oxygen­powered Delta 2914 core stages (See the Delta discussion under U.S. Launch Systems) with standard upper stages. These Delta­class rockets were used to launch a number of small scientific and test satellites, and geostationary weather and environmental satellites. They have been replaced by the H1.
M-3SII The M­3SII is a Japanese built space launcher. It and variants have been used since 1970 to launch a variety of probes, small satellites, the Halley's Comet probe, and the Muses­A payload to the Moon. The M­3SII is a relatively small all solid­fuel rocket system, comprising up to four stages with solid strap­on booster rockets. Its payload capabilities are up to 1,700 lbs (770 kg) into 250 Km 31 inclined circular orbit, or up to 375 lbs (170 kg) accelerated to Earth escape velocities.
H1 The H1 is essentially an N2 with the addition of a Japanese built LE­5 dual cryogenic upper stage and a Japanese inertial guidance system. The high energy upper stage increases the payload performance, allowing for masses up to 5,000 lbs (2,250 kg) delivered to 600 mile (1,000 km)circular orbits at 30/ inclinations, or 1,200 lbs (550 kg) to GEO. The H1 is assisted by either six or nine solid strap­on rocket boosters, depending on mission. Only a maximum of six ignite at launch.
H2 The H2 is being developed as the first all­Japanese liquid propellant launcher. There have been technical problems with development of the H2 main engine, which is dual cryogenic, resulting in delays. First launch is not likely before the end of 1993. The H2, with its dual cryogenic LE­7 first and LE­5A second stages, promises to be a very capable Ariane 4/Titan III class launcher due to its high energy propulsion and light weight. Nominal performance specifications call for the ability to place 20,700 lbs (9,400 kg) into a 480 Km 30 degree inclination circular orbit, or 4,400 lbs (2,000 kg) into GEO. This system will also support deep space and planetary missions with significant payloads.
6-12 Japan, cont'd

Space Launch Facilities Tangashima Space Center The Tanegashima Space Center, operated by NASDA, is Japan's primary space launch facility. It is located on the southeast end of Tanegashima Island (30/ N, 131/ E) about 600 miles (1,000 km) south of Tokyo. (Figure 6­22). Supporting facilities are located at Katsuura, Okinawa and Masuda. There are tracking stations located on Ogasawara and Christmas Islands. There are launch complexes and support facilities for the Japanese N1, N2, H1 and the H2 space launch vehicles. The launch window is restricted to specific months each year to minimize the impact on local fishermen.
Kagoshima Space Center (Uchinoura) The Kagoshima Space Center is located at Uchinora, on the southern tip of Cache Island (31 N, 131 E) near the extreme southern tip of Japan. The Kagoshima Space Center is operated by ISAS. Japan's first launch of a satellite into orbit was conducted from this facility. The facility now primarily supports the launch of scientific payloads. Launches can be into 32 inclined orbits, or Earth escape trajectories. Launches are limited to January ­ February and August ­ September each year so as not to conflict with fishing activities.

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