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Lockheed LS-200 drop tank jettison. The staging maneuver takes place at a velocity of 5500 meters/sec.;
the tanks pass over the shuttle and burn up in the atmosphere.
Lockheed did not entirely give up on its partially reusable “Starclipper” design even after NASA indicated it
was only interested in fully reusable two-stage space shuttles in August 1969. The company continued to refine
the concept in-house and the perseverance paid off in June 1970 when NASA awarded a $1-million “Alternate Space S
huttle Concept” contract. Lockheed soon started to tout its latest “LS-200” configuration the ideal solution to NASA's
recent budget woes since it could be developed for less money than the fully reusable two-.stage concepts since
only a single vehicle would be required. Additionally, Lockheed claimed its “delta-body” shape would weigh
9,000kg less than a traditional wing-body due to its greater volumetric efficiency, saving $500 million in total
program costs. The LS-200 would also be safer since all engines would be ignited and checked out prior to
liftoff. There would be no need for risky parallel staging or in-flight ignition of the orbiter's engines, since
the LS-200 was a single-stage concept. However, the LS-200 could still be converted into a fully reusable
two-stage vehicle at some later time by replacing the drop tanks with a flyback booster. Other modifications
included the removal of all but two of the LS-200's nine engines, addition of new internal tankage and
possibly a new lightweight engine thrust structure as well. Lockheed did not propose its own booster,
instead using a scaled-up version of the Martin Marietta Phase-B design since it already was intended to
launch a variety of upper stages.
Payload capability (without landing jets): 29,484kg into a 185km 28.5 deg. Orbit; 18,144kg into a 185km 90 deg. polar orbit; 11,340kg into a 500km 55 deg. orbit with landing jets installed on orbiter. 18.3 * 4.57m cargo bay.
Total life-cycle cost in FY'71 [1999 $s]: $7.1-8 billion [=$29.2B-$32.9B] for research & development plus 445 operational flights in 1979-88. The expendable drop tanks accounted for 24% of the total life-cycle cost. The projected average cost per mission was $7.1 million [FY'71 rates], or $29.2 million in FY 1999 dollars. The specific transportation cost would thus have been $990/kg.
Cost per mission: $4.3 million including $0.74M for the drop tanks and $0.54M for manpower. [1971 rates] or $586/kg in 1999. 75 missions/year max with routine 2-week turnaround between flights. Space station rescue mission capability within 48 hours of emergency call.
Liftoff Thrust: 2,163,270 kgf. Total Mass: 1,730,803 kg. Core Diameter: 4.6 m. Total Length: 57.0 m.
Stage Number: 1. 1 x Shuttle LS200-1 Gross Mass: 1,730,803 kg. Empty Mass: 133,514 kg. Thrust (vac): 2,796,266 kgf. Isp: 455 sec. Burn time: 256 sec. Isp(sl): 352 sec. Diameter: 4.6 m. Span: 28.1 m. Length: 47.7 m. Propellants: Lox/LH2 No Engines: 9. SSME Study