Medium-lift launch vehicle

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A medium-lift launch vehicle - MLV a rocket orbital launch vehicle that is capable of lifting between 2,000 to 20,000 kg (4,400 to 44,100 lb) of payload into Low Earth orbit - LEO.[1] The category is between small-lift launch vehicles and heavy-lift launch vehicles.

Medium-lift launch vehicles[edit]

Vehicle Origin Manufacturer Mass to
LEO (kg)
Mass to
other orbits (kg)
Launches Status First flight Last flight
Vostok  Soviet Union RSC Energia 4,730 163 Retired 1958 1991
Saturn I  United States Chrysler & Douglas 9,000 10 Retired 1961 1965
Atlas-Centaur  United States Lockheed 5,100 61 Retired 1962 1983
Titan II GLV  United States Martin 3,580 12 Retired 1964 1966
Titan IIIC  United States Martin 13,100 3,000 to GTO
1,200 to TMI
36 Retired 1965 1982
Molniya-M  Soviet Union
 Russia
TsSKB-Progress 2,400 280 Retired 1965 2010
Proton-K  Soviet Union
 Russia
Khrunichev 19,760 311 Retired 1965 2012
Saturn IB  United States Chrysler & Douglas 18,600 9 Retired 1966 1975
Soyuz original  Soviet Union OKB-1 6,450 32 Retired 1966 1975
R-36 Tsyklon  Soviet Union
 Ukraine
Yuzhmash 4,100 236 Retired 1967 2009
Soyuz-L  Soviet Union OKB-1 5,500 3 Retired 1970 1971
Titan IIID  United States Martin 12,300 22 Retired 1971 1982
Soyuz-M  Soviet Union OKB-1 6,600 8 Retired 1971 1976
Soyuz-U  Soviet Union
 Russia
TsSKB-Progress 6,900 786 Retired 1973 2017
Feng Bao 1  China Shanghai Bureau №2 2,500 8 Retired 1973 1981
Long March 2A  China CALT 2,000 4 Retired 1974 1976
Titan IIIE  United States Martin Marietta 15,400 3,700 to TMI 7 Retired 1974 1977
Delta 3920–5920  United States Douglas 3,452–3,848 30 Retired 1980 1990
N-II[2]  Japan Mitsubishi 2,000 8 Retired 1981 1987
Soyuz-U2  Soviet Union TsSKB-Progress 7,050 72 Retired 1982 1995
Long March 2C  China CALT 3,850 2,100 to SSO 54 Operational 1982
Atlas G  United States Lockheed 5,900 7 Retired 1984 1989
Long March 3  China CALT 5,000 1,340 to GTO 14 Retired 1984 2000
Zenit-2  Soviet Union
 Ukraine
Yuzhnoye 13,740 36 Retired 1985 2004
H-I  Japan Mitsubishi 3,200 1,100 to GTO 9 Retired 1986 1992
Long March 4A  China SAST 4,000 2 Retired 1988 1990
Ariane 4  European Union
 France
Aérospatiale 7,600 4,800 to GTO 116 Retired 1988 2003
Delta II  United States United Launch Alliance 6,100 2,170 to GTO
1,000 to HCO
156 Retired 1989 2018
Atlas I, II, III  United States Lockheed 5,900–8,686 2,340–4,609 to GTO 80 Retired 1990 2005
Long March 2E  China CALT 9,200 7 Retired 1990 1995
Long March 2D  China SAST 3,300 1,300 to SSO 40 Operational 1992
PSLV  India ISRO 3,800 1,300 to GTO
1750 to SSO
44 Operational 1993
H-II / IIS  Japan Mitsubishi 10,060 4,000 to GTO 7 Retired 1994 1999
Long March 3A  China CALT 6,000 2,600 to GTO
5,000 to SSO
27 Operational 1994
Long March 3B  China CALT 11,200 5,100 to GTO
5,700 to SSO
12 Retired 1996 2012
Delta III  United States Boeing 8,290 3,810 to GTO 3 Retired 1998 2000
Dnepr  Ukraine Yuzhmash 4,500 2,300 to GTO
550 to TLI
22 Retired 1999 2015
Zenit-3  Ukraine Yuzhmash 7,000 6,160 to GTO 46 Operational 1999
Long March 2F  China CALT 8,400 3,500 to GTO 13 Operational 1999
Long March 4B/4C  China SAST 4,200 1,500 to GTO
2,800 to SSO
55 Operational 1999
H-IIA  Japan Mitsubishi 10,000 6,000 to GTO 39 Operational 2001
Soyuz-FG  Russia TsSKB-Progress 6,900 64 Operational 2001
GSLV Mk.I  India ISRO 5,000 2,150 to GTO 6 Retired 2001 2010
Atlas V  United States United Launch Alliance 18,810 8,900 to GTO 71 Operational 2002
Soyuz-2/Soyuz ST  Russia TsSKB-Progress 8,200 3,250 to GTO
4,400 to SSO
73 Operational 2006[a]
Long March 3B/E  China CALT 11,500 5,500 to GTO
6,900 to SSO
37 Operational 2007
Long March 3C  China CALT 9,100 3,800 to GTO
6,500 to SSO
15 Operational 2008
H-IIB  Japan Mitsubishi 16,500 8,000 to GTO 7 Operational 2009
Falcon 9 v1.0  United States SpaceX 10,450 4,540 to GTO 5 Retired 2010 2013
GSLV Mk.II  India ISRO 5,000 2,700 to GTO 6 Operational 2010
Antares 110–130  United States Orbital Sciences 5,100[3] 1,500 to SSO 5 Retired 2013 2014
Falcon 9 v1.1  United States SpaceX 13,150 4,850 to GTO 15 Retired 2013 2016
Soyuz-2-1v  Russia TsSKB-Progress 2,800 1,400 to SSO 4 Operational 2013
Falcon 9 Full Thrust (partially reusable)[4]  United States SpaceX 13,680-15,960
(Estimated)[5]
5,500 to GTO 33 Operational 2015
Antares 230  United States NG Innovation 7,800[3] 3,000 to SSO 3 Operational 2016
Long March 7  China CALT 13,500 5,500 to SSO 2 Operational 2016
GSLV Mk.III  India ISRO 8,000 4,000 to GTO 1 Operational 2017[b]
Angara 1.2  Russia Khrunichev 3,500[6] 0 Operational 2018[7][b]
  1. ^ A suborbital test flight was conducted in 2004, without the upper stage.
  2. ^ a b A suborbital test flight was conducted in 2014, without the upper stage.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NASA Space Technology Roadmaps - Launch Propulsion Systems, p.11: "Small: 0-2t payloads, Medium: 2-20t payloads, Heavy: 20-50t payloads, Super Heavy: >50t payloads"
  2. ^ "N-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 8 November 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Antares (Taurus-2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Capabilities & Services". SpaceX. 2015. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  5. ^ Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (30 April 2016). "@elonmusk Max performance numbers are for expendable launches. Subtract 30% to 40% for reusable booster payload" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "Angara Launch Vehicle Family". Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  7. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (6 September 2018). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 11 September 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mallove, Eugene F. and Matloff, Gregory L. The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-61912-4.