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Space Launch

This page contains information regarding
launches and launch systems. This page is
far from complete and should be considered
as a personal notebook.

See also SpaceHistory.

Table of contents

Launch related schedules



International Space Station launch info


Rocket Families


Notable rockets:

Rockets by country / organisation

Saturn V - Proposed successors

Comparison (data may deviate/fluctuate)

RocketF9FHSLS B1(A)SLS B2New GlennSaturn VBFRAtlas VDelta IV HeavyAriane 5Ariane 6Long March 9Long March 5Soyuz 2Proton

table notes: cost/launch are monetary values of 2016! Payload (to LEO) in metric tons.

Similar comparisons:


Space vehicles & stations




Un-crewed (ISS docking "certified")


Planned vehicles

Crewed & re-usable...

I wonder...

  • Q. are there any vehicles planned that can do retrieval from space? SpaceRetrieval
  • Q. are there any stations planned that will have: radial acceleration aka centripetal force aka "artificial gravity"? SpaceGravity

...and what would it take to achieve these goals - economically?



Space Stats

  • Orbits (orbit diagram, List of orbits)
    • LEO 200-2000Km (
      • Sun Synchronous Orbit, 600-800Km
      • Polar orbit, 700-1700Km
      • ISS, 400Km
      • Hubble, 540Km
    • MEO, 2000-35786Km
      • Inner Van Allen belt, 2000-5000Km
      • GPS is at 20350Km in a Semi Synchronous Orbit every 12h (2x/day)
    • GEO/GSO, 35786Km
    • HEO (High Earth Orbit), 35786Km. sometimes also Highly Elliptical Orbit.
    • Moon, 384000Km
  • Speeds
    • Mach 1 = 1235 Km/h

Rocket technology notes


  • STS = Space Transportation System. reusable manned space vehicles beyond the Apollo Program, aka Space Shuttle Program.
  • CRS = Commercial Resupply Services (to ISS)
  • (S)LC = (Space) Launch Complex (@CCAFS or @KSC)
  • VAB = Vehicle Assembly Building
  • MES = Main Engine Start
  • MECO = Main Engine Cut-Off (SECO = Second Engine Cut-Off)
  • Delta-v = Change in velocity
  • FT - Full Thrust
  • NRO = US government customer (National Reconnaissance Office) with usually top secret payloads.
  • LOS = Loss of Signal – a phrase used during launch when communication with the vehicle is temporarily lost (might be normal, wait for AOS)
  • AOS = Acquisition of Signal
  • RUD – Rapid Unplanned/Unscheduled Disassembly – rocket speak for catastrophic failure
  • LOM = Loss of Mission – The mission failing irrecoverably, often due to the the launch vehicle failing/exploding
  • LOV = Loss of Vehicle – Mission failure due to launch vehicle failure
  • more,
  • SRB = Solid Rocket Boosters
  • LOx / LO2 / LH2 = liquid oxygen / liquid hydrogen propellant
  • RTLS = Return To Launch Site - originally for NASA Space Shuttle, re-used for SpaceX rockets;
  • ASDS = Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship
  • Max-Q = maximum aerodynamic pressure/stress
  • WDR = Wet Dress Rehearsal
  • GSE = Ground Support Equipment
  • NET = Not Earlier Then

Related interesting references

Space Ports (quickref)


Space (launch) Organisations

Common list (incl. manufacturers)


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Page last modified on February 23, 2018, at 10:12 AM