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Conestoga
Conestoga
Conestoga
American low cost orbital launch vehicle, designed and developed with support of former astronaut Deke Slayton and other ex-NASA engineers in the 1990's. Funding was not forthcoming to complete development.

Status: Retired 1995. Payload: 890 kg (1,960 lb). Thrust: 173,830.00 kN (39,078,530 lbf). Gross mass: 87,407 kg (192,699 lb). Height: 15.24 m (49.99 ft). Diameter: 1.24 m (4.06 ft).

Stage Data - Conestoga

  • Stage 0. 4 x Castor 4A. Gross Mass: 11,743 kg (25,888 lb). Empty Mass: 1,529 kg (3,370 lb). Thrust (vac): 478.309 kN (107,528 lbf). Isp: 266 sec. Burn time: 56 sec. Isp(sl): 237 sec. Diameter: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Span: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Length: 9.12 m (29.92 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Castor 4A. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 1. 2 x Castor 4B. Gross Mass: 11,400 kg (25,100 lb). Empty Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 430.610 kN (96,805 lbf). Isp: 281 sec. Burn time: 64 sec. Isp(sl): 220 sec. Diameter: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Span: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Length: 9.20 m (30.10 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Castor 4B. Status: In Production. Comments: Optimized for high altitude (Conestoga).
  • Stage 2. 1 x Castor 4B. Gross Mass: 11,400 kg (25,100 lb). Empty Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 430.610 kN (96,805 lbf). Isp: 281 sec. Burn time: 64 sec. Isp(sl): 220 sec. Diameter: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Span: 1.02 m (3.34 ft). Length: 9.20 m (30.10 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Castor 4B. Status: In Production. Comments: Optimized for high altitude (Conestoga).
  • Stage 3. 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.



Subtopics

Conestoga-1379 American all solid propellant suborbital launch vehicle.

Conestoga-1679 American all solid propellant suborbital launch vehicle.

Family: LCLVs, low cost, orbital launch vehicle. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Meteor (USA). Stages: Star 48. Agency: EER. Bibliography: 2, 42.

1995 October 23 - . 22:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0A. LV Family: Conestoga. Launch Vehicle: Conestoga 1620. FAILURE: Noise in guidance system led to excessive steering of one of the booster motors and finally depletion of the motor's hydraulic fluid. The vehicle went out of control at T+46 seconds.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Meteor - . Nation: USA. Agency: EER. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

    At T+44.4 seconds the vehicle started a turn to the south and pitched down. The ISDS destruct system commanded the destruct packages at T+46.202 seconds. The ISDS failed to operate on two Castor 4 stage 1 motors but operated on the other four. At T+47.67 sec the ISDS destroyed a non-burning Castor 4B motor. The third stage Castor 4B and fourth stage Star 48 were not destroyed and impacted in the ocean. Cause of the failure was identified as the flight control system attempting to respond to noise being received on a data line, resulting in early depletion of hydraulic control steering fluid on stage 1 motor 6.



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