Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shuttle LCR


American winged orbital launch vehicle. McDonnell-Douglas/Martin Marrietta shuttle low cross-range proposal phase B of December 1970. Swept-wing booster, Faget straight wing orbiter.

The McDonnell Douglas/Martin Marrietta Phase B shuttle proposal was designed under Contract NAS9-100959. The team proposed that the originally requested 6,800 kg payload would be achieved in the prototype, with the revised 11,500 kg payload to be obtained by making changes to lighten the orbiter as a result of development findings.

The low cross range orbiter was 113.8' WS x 147.6' x 21', a Faget configuration with a dry empty mass of 85,500 kg, equipped with 2 x 188,000 kgf engines and 4 x 8,200 kgf turbofan air-breathing engines. It had a cross range of only 370 km (less than an Apollo capsule) and a landing speed of 330 kph. The structure was built of titanium, with a columbium thermal protection system and carbon-carbon leading edge panels.

The booster for both versions was the low cross range configuration design used by the same contractors in Phase A. This had a high wing to the rear, and canards forward. The empty weight of the low cross range version was 205,353 kg. The10-m body diameter was intended to allow use of existing Saturn V tooling to fabricate the propellant tanks. The high cross range booster was slightly larger and heavier to accommodate the heavier high cross-range orbiter.

A number of expendable upper stages were considered that could replace the manned orbiter for cargo missions. These included:

  • Saturn IVB with 4 x Minuteman solid motors as a third stage: 54,400 kg to orbit; $ 82 million development cost, $ 23.7 million per flight cost, for a cost per kilogram to orbit of $ 436
  • Saturn II equipped with two shuttle engines, and a nuclear hybrid third stage: 59,000 kg to orbit; $ 106 million development cost, $ 22.2 million per flight cost, for a cost per pound to orbit of $ 409. Alternative, an S-II stage with two shuttle engines and 4 solid rocket motors as a third stage could put 63,500 kg into orbit.
  • New design second stage with 2 shuttle engines: 77,000 kg payload; $ 320 million development cost, $ 27.6 million per flight cost, for a cost per pound to orbit of $ 359

The team also examined the costs to establish launch facilities. A Kennedy Space Center shuttle launch facility, taking advantage of existing Saturn V and Apollo infrastructure, would cost $ 87 million and take five years to build. One at Vandenberg AFB would cost $ 285 million, and one at White Sands would cost $ 317 million and take seven years to build.

Stage Data - Shuttle LCR

  • Stage 1. 1 x Shuttle LCR-1. Gross Mass: 1,512,381 kg (3,334,229 lb). Empty Mass: 286,621 kg (631,891 lb). Thrust (vac): 27,054.517 kN (6,082,097 lbf). Isp: 442 sec. Burn time: 193 sec. Isp(sl): 392 sec. Diameter: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Span: 46.04 m (151.04 ft). Length: 75.15 m (246.55 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 13. Engine: SSME Study. Status: Study 1969 December. Comments: Swept wingd configuration.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Shuttle LCR-2. Gross Mass: 322,449 kg (710,878 lb). Empty Mass: 120,816 kg (266,353 lb). Thrust (vac): 4,719.636 kN (1,061,016 lbf). Isp: 459 sec. Burn time: 189 sec. Isp(sl): 359 sec. Diameter: 8.00 m (26.20 ft). Span: 34.70 m (113.80 ft). Length: 45.00 m (147.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 2. Engine: SSME Study. Status: Study 1969 December. Comments: Faget Straight Wing Configuration.

Status: Study 1969.
Gross mass: 1,834,830 kg (4,045,100 lb).
Height: 90.00 m (295.00 ft).
Diameter: 10.00 m (32.00 ft).
Thrust: 23,994.00 kN (5,394,065 lbf).

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...
  • Douglas American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Shuttle LCR-1 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,512,381/286,621 kg. Thrust 27,054.52 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 442 seconds. Swept wingd configuration. More...
  • Shuttle LCR-2 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 322,449/120,816 kg. Thrust 4,719.64 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 459 seconds. Faget Straight Wing Configuration More...

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