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Encyclopedia > Launch vehicle
A Saturn V launch vehicle sends Apollo 15 on its way to the moon.
A Saturn V launch vehicle sends Apollo 15 on its way to the moon.

In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket used to carry a payload from the Earth's surface into outer space. A launch system includes the launch vehicle, the launch pad and other infrastructure.[1] Usually the payload is an artificial satellite placed into orbit, but some spaceflights are sub-orbital while others enable spacecraft to escape Earth orbit entirely. A launch vehicle which carries its payload on a suborbital trajectory is often called a sounding rocket. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 480 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2334 × 2916 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 480 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2334 × 2916 pixel, file size: 1. ... For the moon designated Saturn V, see Rhea. ... Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission in the Apollo program and the fourth mission to land on the Moon. ... ISS in earth orbit. ... A Soyuz rocket, at Baikonur launch pad. ... Layers of Atmosphere - not to scale (NOAA)[1] Outer space, sometimes simply called space, refers to the relatively empty regions of the universe outside the atmospheres of celestial bodies. ... The launch pad refers to the facilities where rockets or spacecrafts liftoff. ... An Earth observation satellite, ERS 2 In the context of spaceflight, satellites are objects which have been placed into orbit by human endeavor. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... A sub-orbital spaceflight (or sub-orbital flight) is a spaceflight that does not involve putting a vehicle into orbit. ... The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station. ... Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on mission STS-71. ... A sounding rocket, sometimes called an elevator research rocket, is an instrument-carrying suborbital rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its flight. ...

Contents

Types of launch vehicles

Ukrainian LV Zenit-2 is prepared for launch
Ukrainian LV Zenit-2 is prepared for launch

Expendable launch vehicles are designed for one-time use. They usually separate from their payload, and may break up during atmospheric reentry. Reusable launch vehicles, on the other hand, are designed to be recovered intact and used again for subsequent launches. For orbital spaceflights, the Space Shuttle is currently the only launch vehicle with reusable components. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... The Zenit rocket (Ukrainian: Зеніт, Russian: Зени́т; meaning Zenith) is a space launch vehicle manufactured by the Yuzhnoe Design Bureau of Ukraine. ... An expendable launch system is a single-use launch vehicle usually used to launch a payload into space. ... Reentry redirects here. ... A reusable launch system (or RLV: reusable launch vehicle) is a launch vehicle which is capable of launching into space more than once. ... An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) in the general sense is a spaceflight where the trajectory of a spacecraft reaches the height of, and through having an appropriate velocity enters into, orbit around an astronomical body. ... For the current mission, see STS-118 NASAs Space Shuttle, officially called Space Transportation System (STS), is the United States governments current manned launch vehicle. ...


Launch vehicles are often characterized by the amount of mass they can lift into orbit. For example, a Proton rocket has a launch capacity of 22,000 kg (48,500 lbs.) to low Earth orbit (LEO). The Proton (Прото́н) rocket (formal designation: UR-500, also known as D-1/ D-1e or SL-12/SL-13) is a Russian unmanned space vehicle design, first launched in 1965. ... A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit in which objects such as satellites are below intermediate circular orbit (ICO) and far below geostationary orbit, but typically around 350 - 1400 km above the Earths surface. ...


Launch vehicles are also characterized by the number of stages they employ. Rockets with as many as five stages have been successfully launched, and there have been designs for several single-stage-to-orbit vehicles. Additionally, launch vehicles are very often supplied with boosters. These supply high thrust early on in the flight in parallel with other engines on the vehicle. Boosters allow the remaining engines to be smaller which reduces the stages burnout mass and thus allows for bigger payload. The second stage of a Minuteman III rocket A multistage (or multi-stage) rocket is, like any rocket, propelled by the recoil pressure of the burning gases it emits as it burns fuel. ... A single-stage to orbit (or SSTO) launcher describes an as-yet theoretical class of spacecraft designed to place a load into orbit as a self-contained vehicle without the use of multiple stages. ...


Other frequently-reported characteristics of launch vehicles are the nation or space agency responsible for the launch, and the company or consortium that manufactures and launches the vehicle. As examples, the European Space Agency is responsible for the Ariane V, and the United Launch Alliance manufactures and launches the Delta IV. Many launch vehicles are considered part of an historical line of vehicles which share a name. For example, the Atlas V is the latest member of the Atlas rocket family.edlfhf fvifflkjdf fv Paris headquarters The ESA control room in Darmstadt, Germany The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1974, is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 17 member states. ... Ariane 5 lifts off with the Rosetta probe on 2 March 2004. ... United Launch Alliance is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. ... Delta EELV family of launch vehicles (US Govt) The Delta IV family of rockets are EELVs (evolved expendable launch vehicles) built by Boeing IDS. They come in five versions: medium, medium+ (4,2), medium+ (5,2), medium+ (5,4), and heavy. ... Atlas V is a launch vehicle formerly built by Lockheed Martin and now built by the Lockheed Martin-Boeing joint venture United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama. ... The Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7, carrying astronaut John Glenn, was launched on an Atlas rocket. ...


Vehicle assembly

Various methods, each with specialized equipment, are used to get an assembled launch vehicle on its launch pad. In some launch systems, like Delta II, the vehicle is assembled vertically on the pad, using a crane to hoist each stage into place. The Space Shuttle orbiter, external tank, and solid rocket boosters are assembled vertically in the Vehicle Assembly Building and then a special crawler-transporter moves the entire stack upright to the launch pad. The Soyuz rocket is assembled horizontally in a processing hangar, transported horizontally, and then brought upright once at the pad. The Delta II family of launch vehicles was designed and built by Boeings Integrated Defense Systems division and has been in service since 1989. ... The second stage of a Minuteman III rocket // Description A multistage (or multi-stage) rocket is, like any rocket, propelled by the recoil pressure of the burning gases it emits as it burns fuel. ... For the current mission, see STS-118 NASAs Space Shuttle, officially called Space Transportation System (STS), is the United States governments current manned launch vehicle. ... The Vehicle (originally Vertical) Assembly Building, or VAB, is a very large building located at in NASAs Kennedy Space Center, halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, and due east of Orlando on Merritt Island, on the Atlantic coast of Florida. ... Crawler-transporter #2 (Franz) in a December 2004 road test after track shoe replacement. ... This article or section seems not to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry. ...


Derivation and related terms

The term derives from the American satellite program, Project Vanguard, as a contraction of the phrase "Satellite Launching Vehicle" abbreviated as "SLV" as a term in the list of what the rockets were allocated for: flight test, or actually launching a satellite. The contraction would also apply to rockets which send probes to other worlds or the interplanetary medium. Vanguard Rocket Project Vanguard was the name given to the first United States program that was commissioned to design and launch the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit. ...


In the English language, the phrase carrier rocket was used earlier, and still is in some circles in Britain. A translation of that phrase is used in German, Russian, and Chinese. The U.S. Air Force detested the term carrier, which would refer to their competition, the aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy. For this reason they called one airplane which carried another a conveyor. A Saturn V launch vehicle sends Apollo 15 on its way to the moon. ... Four aircraft carriers, (bottom-to-top) Principe de Asturias, amphibious assault carrier USS Wasp, supercarrier USS Forrestal and light V/STOL carrier HMS Invincible, showing size differences of late 20th century carriers An aircraft carrier is a warship designed to deploy and recover aircraft — in effect acting as a sea...


Orbital launch

The delta-v needed for orbital launch is generally between 9300 and 10,000 m/s, although there is no upper limit. General In general physics delta-v is simply the change in velocity. ...


The delta-v needed can be considered to be a combination of air-drag (determined by ballistic coefficient), gravity losses, altitude gain and the horizontal speed necessary to give a suitable perigee. The ballistic coefficient (BC) is the mass of the object divided by the diameter squared that it presents to the airflow divided by a dimensionless constant i that relates to the shape. ... Perigee is the point at which an object in orbit around the Earth makes its closest approach to the Earth. ...


Minimising air-drag means having a reasonably high Ballistic coefficient which generally means having a launch vehicle about 10-20m long (longer still for hydrogen fueled stages as hydrogen has low density), as well as leaving the atmosphere early on in the flight, giving an air drag of around 300 m/s. The ballistic coefficient (BC) is the mass of the object divided by the diameter squared that it presents to the airflow divided by a dimensionless constant i that relates to the shape. ...


The horizontal speed necessary is around 7800 m/s.


The delta-v for altitude gain varies, but is around 2 km/s for 200 km altitude.


The calculation of the total delta-v for launch is complicated and in nearly all cases numerical integration is used; adding the delta-v's gives a pessimistic result since the rocket can thrust at an angle to reach orbit, which saves fuel as it can gain altitude and horizontal speed simultaneously.


Regulation

Under international law, the nationality of the owner of a launch vehicle determines which country is responsible for any damages resulting from that vehicle. Due to this, some countries require that rocket manufacturers and launchers adhere to specific regulations to indemnify and protect the safety of people and property that may be affected by a flight.


In the US any rocket launch that is not classified as amateur, and also is not "for and by the government," must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST), located in Washington, DC “FAA” redirects here. ... The Office of Commercial Space Transportation is a division of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that approves any commercial rocket launches—that is, any launches that are not classified as model, amateur, or by and for the government. ...


Calendar of upcoming launches

Main article: 2007 in spaceflight

Spaceflight Now maintains a "Worldwide launch schedule" listing upcoming launches.[2] This is a list of spaceflights launched, or scheduled to be launched in 2007, including the next scheduled launch. ...


References

  1. ^ See for example: NASA Kills 'Wounded' Launch System Upgrade at KSC. Florida Today.
  2. ^ Worldwide launch schedule. Spaceflight Now.

See also

Spaceflight Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
Rocket launch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (354 words)
If a rocket is launched to deliver a payload from a planetary surface into space it is called a launch vehicle.
"Rocket launch technologies" generally refers to the entire set of systems needed to successfully launch a vehicle, not just the vehicle itself, but also the firing control systems, ground control station, launch pad, and tracking stations needed for a successful launch and/or recovery.
The term derives from the American satellite program, Project Vanguard, as a contraction of the phrase "Satellite Launching Vehicle" abbreviated as "SLV" as a term in the list of what the rockets were allocated for: flight test, or actually launching a satellite.
Soyuz launch vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (836 words)
The Soyuz launch vehicle (Western designation: A-2) is an expendable launch system designed by the Korolev Design Bureau (Soviet Union) and used as the launcher for the manned Soyuz spacecraft, as part of the Soyuz program.
Soyuz vehicles are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwest Russia.
Before the introduction of this new model, Starsem launched 24 satellites of the Globalstar constellation in 6 launches with a restartable Ikar upper stage, between September 22, 1999 and November 22, 1999.
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