Encyclopedia Astronautica
Beta II

Beta II
German SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Beta II was Dietrich Koelle's nominal 350 tonne lift-off mass SSTO design for launch of a 10 tonne European spaceplane.

In 1986 he updated the design. Use of a more sophisticated trajectory analysis indicated a lower total velocity to reach orbit - a 15 tonne payload could be delivered using a 460 tonne vehicle. Subsequent revisions included the Beta IIrev in (12 tonnes payload, 600 tonne lift-off mass) and Beta IIa in 1993 (18 tonnes payload at same 600 tonne lift-off mass).

LEO Payload: 18,000 kg (39,000 lb) to a 90 km orbit at 6.00 degrees.

AKA: Ballistisches Enistufiges Traeger-Aggregat II.
Status: Study 1987.
Gross mass: 600,000 kg (1,320,000 lb).
Payload: 18,000 kg (39,000 lb).
Thrust: 10,000.00 kN (2,248,000 lbf).
Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • SSTO Category of launch vehicles. Single Stage To Orbit. More...
  • VTOVL The concept of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit Vertical Take-Off Vertical Landing (VTOVL) launch vehicle that would reenter and return to its launch site for turnaround and relaunch was first proposed by Philip Bono in the 1960's. The appealing simplicity of the concept has been offset by the technological risk in developing it. The problem with any single-stage-to-orbit concept is that if the empty weight of the final vehicle has been underestimated it will not be able to deliver any payload to orbit, or even reach orbit. Since weight growth of up to 20% is not unknown in aerospace projects, this is a very real threat which has made both NASA and private investors reluctant to invest the billions of dollars it would take to develop a full-scale flight vehicle. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MBB German manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm GmBh, Munich, Germany. More...

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