Heavy lift launch vehicle
A Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle, or HLV / HLLV, is an orbital launch vehicle capable of lifting between 20,000 to 50,000 kg to low Earth orbit. The current Heavy-Lift Launch vehicles in service are the Ariane 5 in its ES and ECA variants, the Russian Proton-M and the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy.
Heavy lift launch vehicles
- Saturn IB from Apollo 5 1968 (retired after 9 launches) 21,000 kg (46,000 lb) 
- Ariane 5ECA&ES 1996 to present - European Space Agency (ESA) 21,000 kg (46,000 lb)
- Proton-M 2001 to present - Russian 21,600 kg (47,600 lb)
- Titan IV 1989 to 2005 (retired after successful 35 launches) 21,680 kg (47,800 lb) 
- Space Shuttle 1981 to 2011 (retired after 135 launches) 24,400 kg (53,800 lb) Cargo bay only. 
- Angara A5 24,500 kg (54,000 lb)
- Delta IV Heavy 2004 to present - World's highest capacity rocket currently in operation. Payload to LEO 28,790 kg (63,470 lb).
- In development:
- Long March 5(CZ-5) - China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (in development)
- Vulcan rocket (in development by United Launch Alliance)
- Falcon Heavy (in development by SpaceX). Payload to LEO 53,000 kg (117,000 lb).
- Space Launch System (in development for NASA's Orion (spacecraft) and other uses)
- (NASA's Ares I was in the planning stages when canceled in 2010)
Super Heavy lift launch vehicles
- Saturn V Apollo crew of 3, payload of 118,000 kg (260,000 lb) 
- Energia One-time payload unmanned Buran orbiter at 62,000 kg (137,000 lb).
- In development:
When adding a space shuttle orbiter, crew of 5, at 90,492 kg (199,501 lb) with the space shuttles heaviest cargo bay payload, STS-93, of 22,753 kg (50,162 lb) the total payload was 113,245 kg (249,662 lb) on 23 July 1999. All space shuttles, crew of 2 to 11, count as super heavy lift launch vehicles if one is counting the space shuttle orbiter, not just the cargo bay payload. 
Four Soviet N-1 rockets lifted off with 95,000 kg (209,000 lb), but all four failed shortly after lift off (1969- 1972).
- Sounding rocket non orbiting.
- Small-lift launch vehicle capable of lifting up to 2,000 kg to low Earth orbit.
- Medium-lift launch vehicle capable of lifting between 2,000 to 20,000 kg (4,400 to 44,100 lb) of payload into Low Earth orbit.
- Comparison of orbital launch systems
- Comparison of orbital rocket engines
- Comparison of space station cargo vehicles
- Spacecraft propulsion
- 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"
- NASA, Aug. 27, 2014, What Is a Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle?
- Entering the Race to the Moon, Saturn IB Established Its Place in Space.
- "Ariane 5 Users Manual, Issue 4, P. 39 (ISS orbit)" (PDF). Arianespace. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- "Proton Launch System Mission Planner’s Guide, LKEB-9812-1990" (PDF). International Launch Services. pp. 2–2. Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
LEO i = 51.6°, H = 200 km circular ... GTO (1800 m/s from GSO) i = 31.0°, Hp = 2100 km, Ha = 35,786 km
- astronautix.com, Titan IV
- astronautix.com, Space Shuttle
- Spaceflight101, Angara-a5
- Delta IV Launch Services User’s Guide, June 2013
- Space launch report, CZ-5-7 Data Sheet
- Space Flight Now, ULA unveils its future with the Vulcan rocket family, April 13, 2015, by Justin Ray
- NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, facts space launch system, Building America’s Next Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle
- "Constellation Is Dead, But Pieces Live On". Aviation Week, October 26, 2010.
- HSF Final Report: Seeking a Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great Nation, October 2009, Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee, p. 64-66: "5.2.1 The Need for Heavy Lift ... require a “super heavy-lift” launch vehicle ... range of 25 to 40 mt, setting a notional lower limit on the size of the super heavy-lift launch vehicle if refueling is available ... this strongly favors a minimum heavy-lift capacity of roughly 50 mt ..."
- astronautix.com, Saturn V
- Unmanned Space Missions, By Erik Gregersen, page 46, 2010
- spacex.com, Falcon-heavy
- americaspace.com, AmericaSpace For a nation that explores, First Look: China’s Big New Rockets, By Craig Covault
- space.com, NASA's Next Megarocket Could Launch Mission to Europa, by Mike Wall, July 29, 2015
- . guinnessworldrecords.com, Heaviest payload launched - shuttle
- NASA (22 June 2007). "STS-117 Mission Status Report #30". Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- NASA, The Shuttle
- russianspaceweb.com, N-1
- Mallove, Eugene F. and Matloff, Gregory L. The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-61912-4.