VLS-1

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For the naval missile-firing system, see Vertical launching system.
VLS-1
Veículo Lançador de Satélites
Alcantara Base 4.PNG
VLS launch
Function Orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer CTA
Country of origin  Brazil
Size
Height 19.5 m (63.9 ft)
Diameter 1.01 m (3.31 ft)
Mass 50,700 kg (111,700 lb)
Stages 3
Capacity
Payload to LEO 380 kg (830 lb)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara
Total launches 2
Failures 2
First flight 2 November 1997
Boosters (Stage 0) - S-43
No. boosters 4
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 303 kN (68,100 lbf )
Specific impulse 225 s (2.21 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 59 seconds
Fuel Solid
First stage - S-43TM
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 320.6 kN (72,074 lbf)
Specific impulse 277 s (2.72 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 58 seconds
Fuel Solid
Second stage - S-40TM
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 208.39 kN (46,848 lbf)
Specific impulse 275 s (2.70 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 56 seconds
Fuel Solid
Third stage - S-44
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 33.24 kN (7,473 lbf)
Specific impulse 282 s (2.77 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 68 seconds
Fuel Solid

The VLS-1 (Portuguese: Veículo Lançador de Satélites) is the Brazilian Space Agency's main satellite launch vehicle.[1] The launch vehicle will be capable of launching satellites into orbit. The launch site is located at the Alcântara Launch Center[2] due to its proximity to the equator.

Associated vehicles include the Sonda I, Sonda II, Sonda III and Sonda IV, the VS-30, VS-40 and VSB-30.

History[edit]

VLS-1 development started in 1984, after the first launch of the Sonda IV rocket. To date, three prototypes have been built and two launches attempted, departing from the Alcântara Launch Center. During the V1 and V2 prototype launches (VLS-1 V1 and VLS-1 V2) technical problems prevented mission success, but allowed the testing of several vehicle components. The V3 prototype exploded on the launch pad on 22 August 2003, two days before its intended launch date. The 2003 Alcântara VLS accident caused a considerable setback to the Brazilian space program.

The V4 prototype is currently under development and expected to be launched in 2013.[3]

VLS-1 schedule[edit]

Initial flight test schedule[edit]

# Photo Vehicle Payload Date Place Result
1 VLS-R1 VLS-R1 - 1985 December 1 CLA Failure, apogee of 10 km.
2 VLS-R1 VLS-R2 - 1989 May 18 CLA Apogee of 50 km.
3 Alcantara Base 5.PNG VLS-1 V1 SCD-2A 1997 December 2 CLA in flight failure
4 Alcantara Base.PNG VLS-1 V2 SACI 2 1999 December 11 CLA in flight failure
5 Vls 1 v03.jpg VLS-1 V3 SATEC 2003 CLA pad explosion on 2003 August 22

Current schedule[edit]

The V04 prototype was originally scheduled for launch in 2006. Further testing has resumed in 2008. Current VLS-1 schedule is as follows:[4]

# Photo Vehicle Payload Date Place Result
1 mockup electrical tests with a mockup rocket[5][6] 2012 CLA - Success
2 VLS-1 XVT-01 VSISNAV only first two stages active 2014 CLA -
3 VLS-1 V-04 satellite launch 2015 CLA -

VLS Configurations[edit]

VLS-R1 test vehicle[edit]

The VLS-R1 test vehicle had two stages, arranged in the following configuration:

  • Stage 1 - four S-20 rocket engines
  • Stage 2 - one dummy S-20 rocket engine

VLS-R2 test vehicle[edit]

The VLS-R2 test vehicle had two stages, arranged in the following configuration:

  • Stage 1 - four S-20 rocket engines
  • Stage 2 - one S-20 rocket engine

VLS-XVI 01 sub-orbital test vehicle[edit]

The VLS-XVI 01 sub-orbital test vehicle has three solid fuel rocket stages and boosters, arranged in the following configuration:

  • Stage 0 - four S-43 rocket engines
  • Stage 1 - one S-43TM rocket engine
  • Stage 2 - dummy S-40TM rocket engine
  • Stage 3 - dummy S-44 rocket engine

VLS-1 operational configuration[edit]

The VLS-1 has three solid fuel rocket stages and boosters, arranged in the following configuration:

  • Stage 0 - four S-43 rocket engines
  • Stage 1 - one S-43TM rocket engine
  • Stage 2 - one S-40TM rocket engine
  • Stage 3 - one S-44 rocket engine

The rocket has four 400N RCS jets, located on the top of the third stage.

Developments[edit]

VLM[edit]

Main article: VLM (rocket)

The VLM (Veículo Lançador de Microssatélites) based on the S50 rocket engine is being studied, with the objective of orbiting satellites up to 150 kg in circular orbits ranging from 250 to 700 km. It will be a three-stage rocket, expected to launch the SHEFEX III mission by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in 2016.[7][8][9]

"Cruzeiro do Sul" (Southern Cross) program[edit]

VLS Alfa
Function Orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer CTA
Country of origin  Brazil
Size
Height 19.5 m (63.9 ft)
Stages 3
Capacity
Payload to LEO 600 kg
Launch history
Status In development
Launch sites Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara
Boosters (Stage 0) - S-43
No. boosters 4
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 303 kN (68,100 lbf )
Specific impulse 225 s (2.21 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 59 seconds
Fuel Solid
First stage - S-43TM
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 320.6 kN (72,074 lbf)
Specific impulse 277 s (2.72 kN·s/kg)
Burn time 58 seconds
Fuel Solid
Second stage - L75
Engines 1 Liquid
Thrust 7.50 t
Burn time
Fuel Liquid
VLS Beta
Function Orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer CTA
Country of origin  Brazil
Size
Stages 3
Capacity
Payload to LEO 800 kg
Launch history
Status In development
Launch sites Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara
First stage - P40
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 40 t
Burn time
Fuel Solid
Second stage - L75
Engines 1 Liquid
Thrust 7.5 t
Burn time
Fuel Liquid

VLS Alfa[edit]

In the framework of the proposed Cruzeiro do Sul program,[10] the VLS-1 rocket is the basis of the VLS Alfa project.

L5 rocket based configuration - three-stage rocket, with the upper stage being liquid-fuel, putting 200 to 400 kg satellites into low equatorial orbits:

  • Stage 0 - four S-43 rocket engines
  • Stage 1 - one S-43TM rocket engine
  • Stage 2 - one S-40TM rocket engine
  • Stage 3 - one L5 rocket engine[11]

L75 rocket based configuration - two-stage rocket, with the upper stage being liquid-fuel, putting 500 kg satellites equatorial orbits up to 750 km:

  • Stage 0 - four S-43 rocket engines
  • Stage 1 - one S-43TM rocket engine
  • Stage 2 - one L75 rocket engine[4]
# Photo Vehicle Payload Date Place Result
1 VLS Alfa XVT-01 - 2015 - -
2 VLS Alfa XVT-02 - 2016 - -
3 VLS Alfa V-01 - 2017 - -
4 VLS Alfa V-02 SARA Orbital 2018 - -
5 VLS Alfa V-03 - 2020 - -

VLS Beta[edit]

The VLS Beta is another related project, intended to lift up to 800 kg payloads to an 800 km equatorial orbit.

Three-stage rocket, with the upper two stages being liquid-fuel.

  • Stage 1 - one P40 solid rocket engine
  • Stage 2 - one L300 rocket engines[12]
  • Stage 3 - one L75 rocket engine[4]

Projected flights are:[7]

# Photo Vehicle Payload Date Place Result
1 VLS Beta XVT-01 - 2018 - -
2 VLS Beta XVT-02 - 2019 - -
3 VLS Beta V-01 - 2020 - -

VLS Gama[edit]

The VLS Gama is intended to carry up to 1000 kg payloads to an 800 km polar orbit. Three-stage liquid-fuel rocket.

VLS Delta[edit]

The VLS Delta is capable of placing 2000 kg payloads in a geostationary orbit. Three-stage liquid-fuel rocket (VLS BETA body) with two solid fuel boosters.

VLS Epsilon[edit]

The VLS Epsilon is capable of placing 4000 kg payloads in a geostationary orbit. Three-stage liquid-fuel rocket (VLS BETA body) with two liquid-fuel boosters.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Veículo Lançador de Satélites (VLS)". Brazilian Space Agency. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  2. ^ CLA - Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara Alcântara Launch Center. Retrieved on 2012-03-06. (Portuguese).
  3. ^ Saiba como está o projeto Veículo Lançador de Satélite (VLS) Brazilian Air Force. Retrieved on 2012-03-06. (Portuguese).
  4. ^ a b c http://www.aeb.gov.br/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/PNAE-Portugues.pdf
  5. ^ Revista AEB 10 Brazilian Space Agency. Retrieved on 2012-03-06. (Portuguese).
  6. ^ http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/10/11/brazil-iae-conducts-vls-qualification-tests/
  7. ^ a b Brazilian space plans: 2011-2015 nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved on 2012-03-06.
  8. ^ "Brazilian Space". Brazilianspace.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  9. ^ "VLM: veículo lançador de microsatélites, launch vehicle for SHEFEX-3". German Aerospace Center (DLR). Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  10. ^ http://www.iae.cta.br/?action=cruzeirodosul
  11. ^ http://www.aeb.gov.br/download/revista/RevistaAEB_n13.pdf
  12. ^ http://www.iae.cta.br/?action=vlsbeta

External links[edit]