A Survey of Commercially Available Expendable Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis examines the launch vehicle options available to place a heavy payload, 10 tons, into a low-earth-orbit. The study provides the current status of the space launch vehicle market for heavy lift launchers. The following launchers are looked at in detail Titan 3, Proton, Energia, Long March 3, Ariane 5, and the H-2. Vehicle design history and launch record are examined. Each launcher is then examined and broken down by stages, including the payload sections. A typical launch sequence is included for each vehicle. Finally, the cost of the various launchers is examined. Conclusions regarding the future need of heavy lift launch vehicles and a look at the current political environment is made.