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  • An advanced concept for the launch and recovery of very large rocket vehicles

    Paper ID



    • John M. Armstrong


    Aerojet-General Corporation






    The advantages of increasing launch vehicle size are discussed. Very large rocket vehicles seem to have certain important advantages in simplicity, reliability, and economic effectiveness. As vehicle size increases water-based transportation is necessary and logical. A concept which is completely ocean-based is presented. The launch vehicle is transported, launched, and recovered in a sea environment. System design philosophy emphasizes simplicity and reliability as the best approach to optimizing economic factors since minimum payload delivery costs are essential to future large scale space programs. The results of a first approximation cost analysis are included. A unique vehicle recovery concept is presented with preliminary technical design considerations. Payload penalty for the recovery system is presented and shown to be less than3% of orbital pay- load.