Heavy-lift launch vehicle

Summary

The Ariane 5, a heavy-lift launch vehicle.

A heavy-lift launch vehicle, HLV or HLLV, is an orbital launch vehicle capable of lifting between 20,000 to 50,000 kg (44,000 to 110,000 lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO).[1] As of 2019, operational heavy-lift launch vehicles include the Ariane 5, the Long March 5, the Proton-M and the Delta IV Heavy.[2] In addition, the Angara A5, the Falcon 9 Full Thrust, and the Falcon Heavy are designed to provide heavy-lift capabilities in at least some configurations but have not yet been proven to carry a 20-tonne payload into LEO. Several other heavy-lift rockets are in development. An HLV is between medium-lift launch vehicles and super heavy-lift launch vehicles.

Rated launch vehicles

Rocket In service Manufacturer Max. LEO payload Launches >20 t Heaviest launch
...to LEO or MEO ...to GTO or GSO ...to HEO and beyond

Operational

Currently operational rockets that have demonstrated their heavy-lift capability to low Earth orbit:

Ariane 5
(ECA and ES)
since 2002 Airbus for ESA 21,000 kg
(46,000 lb)[3]
4 20,293 kg[4]
Georges Lemaître ATV
29 July 2014
10,865 kg[5]
ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat 172B
1 June 2017
~6,000 kg
to Sun-Earth L2[6]
Herschel and Planck
14 May 2009
Delta IV Heavy since 2004 ULA 28,790 kg
(63,470 lb)[7]
1 public
(up to 4 classified)
~21,000 kg[8][a]
Orion EFT-1
5 December 2014
Classified[b] ~685 kg
to heliocentric
Parker Solar Probe
Long March 5/5B
(CZ-5/5B)
since 2016 CALT 25,000 kg
(55,000 lb)[9]
1 21,600 kg[10]
LM5B-Y1
5 May 2020[11]
8,000 kg[12]
Shijian 20
27 December 2019
8,200 kg
to Moon
Chang'e 5
23 November 2020

Unproven

Rockets that have not flown a 20-tonne payload to LEO, but are rated over this threshold:

Proton-M since 2001 Khrunichev 23,000 kg
(51,000 lb)[13]
0 N/A
(22,776 kg by predecessor Proton-K)
6,740 kg[14]
ViaSat-1
19 October 2011
3,755 kg
to Mars[15]
ExoMars TGO
9 June 2016
Angara-A5 since 2014 Khrunichev,

Polyot

24,500 kg
(54,000 lb)[16][c]
0 N/A 2,400 kg[17]
Mass simulator
14 December 2020
N/A
Falcon 9 Full Thrust
(expendable configuration)[d]
since 2015 SpaceX 22,800 kg
(50,300 lb)[18]
0 9,600 kg[19]
Iridium NEXT-5
30 March 2018
(15,600 kg[20] by partially reusable configuration Falcon 9)
6,761 kg[21]
Intelsat 35e
5 July 2017
(7,075 kg[22] by partially reusable configuration Falcon 9)
570 kg
to Sun-Earth L1[23]
DSCOVR
11 February 2015
Falcon Heavy
(with all boosters reusable)[e]
since 2018 SpaceX 38,000–45,000 kg
(84,000–99,000 lb)
[24]
0 3,700 kg[f]
STP-2
25 June 2019
6,465 kg[25][g]
Arabsat-6A
11 April 2019
1,300 kg
beyond Mars[26]
Tesla Roadster
6 February 2018

Retired

Formerly operational rockets with a payload capacity of between 20 and 50 tonnes:

Saturn IB 1966 to 1975 Chrysler (S-IB), Douglas (S-IVB) 21,000 kg
(46,000 lb)[27]
2 20,847 kg
Skylab 4
16 November 1973
N/A N/A
Proton-K 1967 to 2012 Khrunichev 19,760 kg
(43,560 lb)[28]
4[29] 22,776 kg
Zvezda
26 July 2000
4,723 kg
Intelsat 903
30 March 2002
6,220 kg
to Mars
Phobos 1
7 July 1988
Space Shuttle 1981 to 2011 United Space Alliance 24,400 kg
(53,800 lb)
(in cargo bay)[30]
11 22,753 kg
STS-93
28 July 1999
N/A N/A
Titan IV 1989 to 2005 Lockheed Martin 21,680 kg (47,800 lb)[31] up to 17 (classified) Classified[b] Classified[b] 5,712 kg
to Saturn
Cassini–Huygens
15 October 1997

In development

Rockets that are actively being developed:

Vulcan / Centaur Q4 2021[32] United Launch Alliance 25,000 kg (56,000 lb)[33] N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ariane 6 (A64) NET 2022[34]
[35]
ArianeGroup for ESA 21,650 kg (47,730 lb)[36]:46 N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Glenn 2022[37] Blue Origin 45,000 kg (99,000 lb)[38] N/A N/A N/A N/A
HLV NET 2022 Indian Space Research Organisation 20,000 kg (44,000 lb) N/A N/A N/A N/A
SHLV NET 2022 Indian Space Research Organisation 41,300 kg (91,100 lb)[39] N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vulcan / ACES NET 2023[40] United Launch Alliance 37,400 kg (82,500 lb)[7][41][h] N/A N/A N/A N/A
Angara-A5V ~2027 Khrunichev, Polyot 38,000 kg (83,876 lb) N/A N/A N/A N/A
H3 Heavy 2030 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for JAXA 28,300 kg (62,400 lb)[42] N/A N/A N/A N/A

Earlier concepts

Ares I N/A NASA
(canceled in 2010)[43]
25,400 kg (56,000 lb) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Saturn C-3 N/A NASA
(cancelled 1963)
Engines developed for Saturn V
45,000 kg (99,000 lb) [i] N/A N/A N/A N/A
  1. ^ The officially reported mass of 21,000 kg includes the Launch Abort System (LAS) which did not reach orbit, but excludes the residual mass of the upper stage, which did reach orbit, likely offsetting the mass of the LAS.
  2. ^ a b c Actual payloads flown are classified under the NRO launch program.
  3. ^ from Vostochny cosmodrome
  4. ^ Fairing recovery may be possible in all configurations; if the first stage is recovered, the payload capacity only fits the medium-lift launch vehicle criteria.
  5. ^ When the center core is expended, Falcon Heavy is classified as a super heavy-lift launch vehicle with a theoretical payload to LEO over 50,000 kg
  6. ^ The 600 kg DSX was boosted to Medium Earth Orbit
  7. ^ to 90,000-km supersynchronous GTO
  8. ^ Calculated as 30% more than Delta IV Heavy, per sources
  9. ^ Planned 23,000 kg to Geostationary Transfer Orbit and 18,000 kg to Trans Lunar Injection

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ NASA Space Technology Roadmaps – Launch Propulsion Systems, p.11: "Small: 0-2t payloads, Medium: 2-20t payloads, Heavy: 20-50t payloads, Super Heavy: >50t payloads"
  2. ^ May, Sandra (27 August 2014). "What Is a Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle?". NASA. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Ariane 5 Users Manual, Issue 4, P. 39 (ISS orbit)" (PDF). Arianespace. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Lanzamiento del ATV-5 Georges Lemaître (Ariane 5 ES)".
  5. ^ "Arianespace marks its 2017 mid-year launch milestone with a record-setting Ariane 5 mission at the service of ViaSat and Eutelsat" (Press release). Arianespace. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Arianespace launches two spacecraft on missions to explore the universe". Arianespace. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Delta IV Launch Services User's Guide, June 2013" (PDF). United Launch Alliance. June 2013. pp. 2–10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 July 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  8. ^ "NASA Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 PRESS KIT" (PDF). NASA. December 2014. p. 12.
  9. ^ "Long March 5B launch clears path for Chinese space station project". SpaceNews.com. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  10. ^ Barbosa, Rui C. (4 May 2020). "Maiden launch of Long March 5B lofts Next Generation Crew Space Capsule". nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  11. ^ "China's first Long March 5B rocket launches on crew capsule test flight". Spaceflightnow.com. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  12. ^ "SJ 20 – Gunter's Space Page". space.skyrocket.de. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Proton Launch System Mission Planner's Guide – Section 2. LV Performance" (PDF). International Launch Services. July 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  14. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "ViaSat 1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  15. ^ "ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO)". European Space Agency. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Spaceflight101, Angara-a5". Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  17. ^ "The cargo was delivered to orbit: the launch of the "Angara" was carried out in the normal mode. (In Russian)". Vesti.ru. 14 December 2020.
  18. ^ Capabilities & Services (2016)
  19. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (15 June 2016). "Iridium's SpaceX launch slowed by Vandenberg bottleneck". SpaceNews. Retrieved 11 June 2017. Each Iridium Next satellite will weigh 860 kilograms at launch, for a total satellite payload mass of 8,600 kilograms, plus the 1,000-kilogram dispenser.
  20. ^ "SpaceX and Cape Canaveral Return to Action with First Operational Starlink Mission". NASASpaceFlight.com. 1 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  21. ^ Graham, William (3 July 2017). "SpaceX Falcon 9 launches with Intelsat 35e at the third attempt". NASASpaceflight.
  22. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Telstar 19V (Telstar 19 Vantage)". Gunter's Space Page. Gunter. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  23. ^ "DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory" (PDF). NOAA. January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  24. ^ http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities
  25. ^ "Arabsat 6A". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Tesla Roadster (AKA: Starman, 2018-017A)". ssd.jpl.nasa.gov. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  27. ^ Entering the Race to the Moon, Saturn IB Established Its Place in Space.
  28. ^ "ГКНПЦ имени М.В.Хруничева | Служебный модуль «Звезда»". www.khrunichev.ru. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  29. ^ "Proton Data Sheet". www.spacelaunchreport.com. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  30. ^ "Encyclopedia Astronautica Index: 1". www.astronautix.com. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  31. ^ astronautix.com, Titan IV Archived 18 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Bezos' Blue Origin to deliver first flight-ready rocket engines next summer - ULA CEO". Reuters.
  33. ^ "United Launch Alliance Building Rocket of the Future with Industry-Leading Strategic Partnerships" (Press release). United Launch Alliance. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  34. ^ "ESA requests €230 million more for Ariane 6 as maiden flight slips to 2022". SpaceNews.
  35. ^ Clark, Stephen (13 August 2016). "Ariane 6 rocket holding to schedule for 2020 maiden flight". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  36. ^ Lagier, Roland (March 2018). "Ariane 6 User's Manual Issue 1 Revision 0" (PDF). Arianespace. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Blue Origin delays first launch of New Glenn to late 2022". SpaceNews.
  38. ^ Foust, Jeff (8 March 2017). "Eutelsat first customer for Blue Origin's New Glenn". SpaceNews. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  39. ^ "ULV". www.b14643.de. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  40. ^ DeRoy, Rich S.; Reed, John G. (February 2016). "Vulcan, ACES and beyond: providing launch services for tomorrow's spacecraft" (PDF). Advances in the Astronautical Sciences. Univelt. 157: 228. AAS 16-052. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  41. ^ "Vulcan Centaur". United Launch Alliance. 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  42. ^ "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries mulls upgraded H3 rocket variants for lunar missions". SpaceNews. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  43. ^ "Constellation Is Dead, But Pieces Live On". Aviation Week, 26 October 2010.

Further reading

  • Mallove, Eugene F. and Matloff, Gregory L. The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-61912-4.