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VLM (rocket)

VLM-1
Veículo Lançador de Microssatélites
Veículo Lançador de Microssatélite.jpg
The two projected VLM configurations
FunctionOrbital launch vehicle
ManufacturerCTA
Country of origin Brazil
Size
Height19.60 m
Diameter1.45 m
Mass28,000 kg (62,000 lb)
Stages3
Capacity
Payload to LEO200 kg (440 lb)
Launch history
StatusIn development
Launch sitesAlcântara Launch Center
First flight2018 (planned)
First stage - S-50
Engines1 Solid
Thrust~400 kN
Specific impulse~277 s (2.72 kN·s/kg)
Burn time~60 seconds
FuelSolid
Second stage S-50
Engines1 Solid
Thrust~400 kN
Specific impulse~277 s (2.72 kN·s/kg)
Burn time~60 seconds
FuelSolid
Third stage - S-44
Engines1 Solid
Thrust33.24 kN (7,473 lbf)
Specific impulse282 s (2.77 kN·s/kg)
Burn time68 seconds
FuelSolid

The VLM (Veículo Lançador de Microssatélites) is a proposed Brazilian satellite launcher. The project originated as a simplified version of the VLS-1 rocket, using only the core stages.

Currently, a version 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.[1][2][3]

On 12 June 2015, it was reported that the first flight will not take place before November 2018.

Proposed flights

Engine test on a test stand is planned for the beginning of 2017. First flight of a single S50 stage, called VS-50 is planned for November 2017. The qualification flight is VLM XVT-00.

# Photo Vehicle Payload Date Place Result
1 VLM XVT-00 - 2019[4] - -
2 VLM V-01 SHEFEX III >201?[4] - -

Configuration

Original VLS-1 derived

Initially, a four solid fuel rocket stages configuration was proposed, arranged in the following order:

  • Stage 1 - S-43 rocket engine
  • Stage 2 - S-40TM rocket engine
  • Stage 3 - S-44 rocket engine
  • Stage 4 - S-33 rocket engine

This configuration is related to the proposed VS-43 sounding rocket.

Current proposal (VLM-1)

Currently, the first two stages will use the new S50 12 tonnes[5] solid fuel engine, with the third using the same S-44 engine as in the VS-40 sounding rocket. This configuration is related to the proposed VS-50 sounding rocket and known as VLM-1:[6]

  • Stage 1 - S50 rocket engine (to be developed)
  • Stage 2 - S50 rocket engine
  • Stage 3 - S-44 rocket engine

Planned versions

In the future, the L5 liquid fuel rocket engine will replace the solid 3rd stage engine:

  • Stage 1 - S50 rocket engine (to be developed)
  • Stage 2 - S50 rocket engine
  • Stage 3 - L5 rocket engine (to be developed)

References

  1. ^ Brazilian space plans: 2011-2015 nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved on 2012-03-06.
  2. ^ "Brazilian Space". Brazilianspace.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  3. ^ "VLM: veículo lançador de microsatélites, launch vehicle for SHEFEX-3". German Aerospace Center (DLR). Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  4. ^ a b "VLM". Gunter's Space Page.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "BRAZILIAN SPACE: Esclarecido, Realmente é o Mock Up do Motor-Foguete S-50". Brazilianspace.blogspot.pt. Retrieved 2012-07-17.