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Black Colt
Part of Pathfinder Family
American manned single-crew spaceplane, follow-up to Black Horse concept. In comparison to Black Horse, used existing engines and a much more achievable mass fraction by only flying to half orbital speed.

Status: Study 1993. Payload: 450 kg (990 lb). Thrust: 402.05 kN (90,385 lbf). Gross mass: 43,160 kg (95,150 lb). Height: 48.00 m (157.00 ft). Diameter: 4.60 m (15.00 ft). Apogee: 280 km (170 mi).

Black Colt would take off from a runway; rendezvous with a tanker to load oxidizer; then fly to Mach 12/150 nautical miles altitude to release a Star 48V second stage with a 450 kg payload.

LEO Payload: 450 kg (990 lb) to a 200 km orbit. Flyaway Unit Cost 1985$: 4.100 million.

Stage Data - Black Colt

  • Stage 1. 1 x Black Colt. Gross Mass: 40,482 kg (89,247 lb). Empty Mass: 8,283 kg (18,260 lb). Thrust (vac): 402.053 kN (90,385 lbf). Isp: 353 sec. Burn time: 275 sec. Diameter: 4.60 m (15.00 ft). Span: 24.40 m (80.00 ft). Length: 39.60 m (129.90 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: NK-31. Status: Study, Martin Marietta, 1994. Winged, first stage of a launch vehicle using aerial refueling and existing engines. Takes off from runway; rendezvous with tanker to load oxidizer; then flies to Mach 12/150 nm to release Star 48V second stage and 450 kg payload. 2 x F125 turbofans for flight to tanker, subsonic ferry, and go-around capability on return.
  • Stage 2. 1 x PAM-D. Gross Mass: 2,141 kg (4,720 lb). Empty Mass: 232 kg (511 lb). Thrust (vac): 67.155 kN (15,097 lbf). Isp: 292 sec. Burn time: 88 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 1.24 m (4.06 ft). Span: 1.24 m (4.06 ft). Length: 2.04 m (6.69 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Star 48. Other designations: TE-M-711-18. Status: Out of Production.



Family: aircraft-launched, orbital launch vehicle, Spaceplane, US Rocketplanes. Country: USA. Engines: NK-31. Spacecraft: Black Colt. Stages: Black Colt AV, Star 48. Bibliography: 213.

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