1.3: The launch vehicle list
The LV (launch vehicle) list has the following fields:
- Name of launch vehicle
- Launch vehicle family - base stage.
- Launch vehicle family - main stage. This was an alternative classification system, but I've
decided not to use it at least for now.
- Manufacturer. See the Orgs file.
- Launch vehicle variant. Sometimes two different launch vehicles
have the same name. For instance, the Vanguard rocket had variants
with different third stages; the Little Joe 1 had various combinations
of rocket motors; some variants of the H-1 had different strapons or
different numbers of stages. These variants are indicated by
an extra string in this field.
- Alias. An entry in this field indicates that the vehicle mentioned
as an alias is an alternate name for this vehicle. For instance, the Taurus 1110
has the alias `ARPA Taurus', indicating that the separate entry for ARPA
Taurus actually refers to the same vehicle as the Taurus 1110; the vehicle
was simply renamed. I have chosen in my launch listings to use the
vehicle name in use by the launch agency at the time of launch.
The Saturn IB, for example, was known for a while as the Uprated Saturn I,
and has identical entries under each name.
- Stage numbers. Two numbers giving the minimum and maximum stage number.
The minimum is usually 1, but sometimes 0 to allow for strapon stages,
and occasionally -1 to allow for two kinds of strapon stage (e.g. Atlas IIAS).
- Length and diameter, in meters. The length is approximate, and may
vary when different payloads and fairings are used.
- Launch mass, tonnes.
- LEO and GTO payload capacity in kg, approximate; only provided
for some of the orbital vehicles. These fields are tentative.
- Launch thrust, kN.
- Vehicle type, see below.
- Estimated max apogee, kilometers. In many cases this is a rough
order of magnitude (ROM) estimate. In some cases for IRBM/ICBMs I include an extra
figure representing the range.
The following vehicle types are defined: (number of examples is from the 2003 release and has not been updated)
|Code || Type || Number of examples |
|D || Deep space launch || 2 |
|M || Missile || 177 |
|O || Orbital vehicle || 318 |
|R || Research rocket || 300 |
|V || Reentry test vehicle || 13 |
|X || Exoatmospheric test || 15 |
|Y || Exoatmospheric weather rocket || 15 |
| || (Total exoatmospheric) || 840 |
|A || Endoatmospheric missile || 20 |
|C || Cruise missile || 17 |
|Q || Endoatmospheric reentry test vehicle ||49 |
|T || Endoatmospheric test/research || 68 |
|W || Endoatmospheric Weather rocket || 29 |
| || (Total endoatmospheric) || 183 |
| || (Grand total) || 1023 |
These types for individual launch vehicle types are slightly more finely
divided than those used for the Family/Stage datafile: apart from the
use of O rather than L, the R category is broken up to include V, X and
Y subtypes and the T/A category is joined by the Q type. Note that
the A,C,Q,T,W types of rocket never enter space (by my 80 km definition).