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Launcher proposals

EUROPE

Aerospatiale, SEP and BPD of France and Italy are discussing the development of the Ariane Complementary Launcher (ACL). The company-funded ACL would place 1,000kg into 800km LEO.

ITALY

Vega. Italy's proposed solid-propellant satellite launcher, formerly the San Marco Scout. It comprises two Zefiro stages and two upper stages. 100kg to 1,100kg to LEO from Kourou or Vandenberg. International partners are being sought as it is unlikely that Italy can fund the Vega on its own. The project seems to have been overtaken by the European ACL (above).

RUSSIA

Military missiles: Various Russian organisations have proposed several projects - some for sub-orbital launches - based on over 300 redundant military missiles, including the air-launched SS-24 Space Clipper, maximum 1,750kg to LEO; SS-18K, 4,000kg to LEO; SS-N-20/21 comination, Surf sea-launched booster, 2,400kg to LEO; SS-N-6 ZYB; liquid propellant, submarine-launched SS-N-8,18 and 23 Vysota (115kg to LEO), Volna (120kg to LEO), and SHTIL (maximum of 950kg to LEO) respectively. SHTIL 2 to be launched from a submarine - first orbital launch scheduled 1996 of 100kg Russian research satellite called Kompas (400km, 78í orbit) from nuclear submarine in Barants Sea, to stimulate commercial interest. Can launch 270kg into LEO. There are SHTIL 3 variant (launched from aircraft or fixed launch platform) can place between 410kg and 950kg into LEO. The Volna launched a 105kg German re-entry capsule on a sub-orbital flight in June 1995. Another missile is the SS-N-20 RIF-MA, 950kg into LEO. Another unrelated project is called Burlak, involving a hybrid, liquid propellant air- launched missile, for launches of maximum 700kg to LEO. Burlak would be deployed from a Tu-160 Blackjack at supersonic speed. OHB, working on behalf of DASA, is studying a joint programme with Raduga. SS-20 Topol also proposed for launches, there are ten silo-based missiles remaining and ten mobile launchers available. The Commercial Rocket Space Complex is marketing the Riksha booster based on a former submarine-launched missile to carry 1,700kg to LEO for $10 million. No customers have been signed for any of these vehicles and they must be considered very speculative projects, given the limited market for LEO launches.

SPAIN

Capricornio. Spain's proposed three-stage solid-propellant booster to carry 100kg to LEO from El Hierro in the Canary Islands, starting in September 1997.

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