Building a disc-shaped airship 8 meters wide and 6 meters tall to launch a rocket from the height of 10 km. For rockets weighing from 67 to 100 kg.
This system will reduce the cost of space flight for both mini-rockets and, when scaled, for large rockets as well.
My name is Kirill Lyats, I am the curator of the engineering and space class. Our students and I decided to implement the project "Air start". From 2008 to 2011, I was engaged in airship construction as owner and CEO of the companies Lokomotiv and Aeroscan. Today, in addition to gifted children, we invited experts to our team. They come from space-related companeis like DKBA, Lokosomskaya, Kopter-Express (airship development) and Kosmokurs (rocket building). All companies support the project on the basis of charity.
The rocket and sensors will study the state of the atmosphere, stratosphere and near space (they will be installed on the rocket and the airship and continue to work in free flight, as nanosatellites). Manufacturing of the sensors will be paid for by our partners. So we need only 78,000 USD to make the shell, truss, balasting system, rocket launch system, telemetry systems, fuel and propulsion system for the airship.
The device will use both batteries and a diesel generator. The take-off will be carried out using the positive buoyancy provided by helium, with elements of thermobalasting by warm air. Landing is done by putting weight on the airshiip and by using its engines.
Air launch is based on an airship platform with the launch complex for a space rocket placed inside its center, in the form of a launch shaft. The platform rises 10 km above sea level and a rocket is launched into space.
Why is this project a breakthrough:
Launch missiles from the height of 10 kilometers will allow to abandon the third stage in principle. The carrying capacity of missiles is increased by 2 times while maintaining the same tactical and technical characteristics. The use of such "Air launches" will make it possible to launch a rocket from anywhere on earth. The air launch will allow the use of military missiles (ballistic) completing their service life for space launches. The abandonment of ground infrastructure makes the cost of launching low. Use of the Air launch system will give the opportunity to any country to become a space power. Many companies and institutions will be able to launch rockets into space
Our current project is designed for a rocket weighing up to 100 kg. It will be able to climb to a 100 km orbit. In the future, the project can be scaled. In theory, "Air start" systems of appropriate carrying capacity can be created even for heavy rockets like Proton, Zenith, and even Angara space-launch vehicle.
The advantage of the airship platform for space launch is that it can be created for any the launch vehicle of any weight. At the same time, the main load when bringing the platform to the specified positions for launch will carry helium, which reduces energy costs to a minimum.
Currently, we have already completed the project "Air launch" for a rocket weighing up to 2 kg. The device is a disk-shaped airship with 4 engines and a rocket launcher in the center. The device rises to a height of 200 meters and launches a rocket up to 1 km.
Cost estimates for project Air start
The cost of space rocket manufacture is covered by companies involved in the project on a charitable basis.
Shell – 800.000 rubles
Farm – 300.000 rubles
Start-up complex-600.000 rubles
Management system - 500.000 rubles
Energy module - 500.000 rubles
Transportation – 100.000 rubles
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The project is in the works and does not depend on the fundraising. It should be completed no later than June 2020. The first launch will be carried out from 1 to 7 July 2020. In September, the plan is to send the device with the expedition of the Ministry of natural resources of the Russian Federation to the Arctic for testing in the Arctic latitudes in order to study the state and composition of the atmosphere and stratosphere over the Arctic. For these purposes, the launch of nanosatellites will be provided both from the airship at an altitude of 10 km, and their dropping during the flight of the rocket up to an altitude of 100 km.
Nanosatellites will have sensors that determine the state of the air-gas analyzers, including analysis of ozone and greenhouse gases, dosimeters, ultraviolet analyzers. If we manage to raise a large sum, additional funds will be used to prepare the expedition and launch an "Air launch" in the Arctic.