Encyclopedia Astronautica
Exploration HLLV

American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Numerous NASA studies in the late 1980's and 1990's came to the same conclusion as the Nova studies of the 1960's - to get to Mars, an extremely heavy lift launch vehicle was needed to assemble Mars expeditions in low earth orbit. A nominal heavy list vehicle with a payload of at least 140 tonnes into a Space Station Freedom orbit would have to be developed for such missions.

Shuttle-derived vehicles (Shuttle C and Shutle Z) or ALS or NLS-derived vehicles all would require excessively high launch rates in the NASA mission models.

LEO Payload: 156,900 kg (345,900 lb) to a 407 km orbit at 28.50 degrees.

AKA: Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle.
Status: Study 1989.
Payload: 156,900 kg (345,900 lb).
Apogee: 407 km (252 mi).

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Associated Countries
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

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