The LV (launch vehicle) list has one entry for each launch vehicle
variant found in the launch lists. The intent of this list is to unambiguously identify
the rocket used for each launch; the detailed numbers given for each variant
(e.g. mass, thrust, capacity, apogee) are
hopefully representative, but should not be treated as precise.
The list has the following fields:
- Name of launch vehicle
- Launch vehicle family - base stage.
- Launch vehicle family - main stage. This was an alternative classification system, but I've
decided not to use it at least for now.
- Manufacturer. See the Orgs file.
- Launch vehicle variant. Sometimes two different launch vehicles
have the same name. For instance, the Vanguard rocket had variants
with different third stages; the Little Joe 1 had various combinations
of rocket motors; some variants of the H-1 had different strapons or
different numbers of stages. These variants are indicated by
an extra string in this field. I have arbitrarily assigned these strings - they're
meaningful to me, but I don't guarantee they will be to you.
- Alias. An entry in this field indicates that the vehicle mentioned
as an alias is an alternate name for this vehicle. For instance, the Taurus 1110
has the alias `ARPA Taurus', indicating that the separate entry for ARPA
Taurus actually refers to the same vehicle as the Taurus 1110; the vehicle
was simply renamed. I have chosen in my launch listings to use the
vehicle name in use by the launch agency at the time of launch.
The Saturn IB, for example, was known for a while as the Uprated Saturn I,
and has identical entries under each name.
- Stage numbers. Two numbers giving the minimum and maximum stage number.
The minimum is usually 1, but sometimes 0 to allow for strapon stages,
and occasionally -1 to allow for two kinds of strapon stage (e.g. Atlas IIAS).
- Length and diameter, in meters. The length is approximate, and may
vary when different payloads and fairings are used.
- Launch mass, tonnes.
- LEO and GTO payload capacity in kg, approximate; only provided
for some of the orbital vehicles. These fields are tentative.
- Launch thrust, kN.
- Vehicle type, see below.
- Estimated max apogee, kilometers. In many cases this is a rough
order of magnitude (ROM) estimate. In some cases for IRBM/ICBMs I include an extra
figure representing the range.
The vehicle type is not really used for anything at the moment.
The following vehicle types are defined: (number of examples is from the 2003 release and has not been updated)
|Code || Type || Number of examples |
|D || Extraterrestial (Deep space) launch || 2 |
|M || Missile || 177 |
|O || Orbital vehicle || 318 |
|R || Research rocket || 300 |
|V || Reentry test vehicle || 13 |
|X || Exoatmospheric test || 15 |
|Y || Exoatmospheric weather rocket || 15 |
| || (Total exoatmospheric) || 840 |
|A || Endoatmospheric missile || 20 |
|C || Cruise missile || 17 |
|Q || Endoatmospheric reentry test vehicle ||49 |
|T || Endoatmospheric test/research || 68 |
|W || Endoatmospheric Weather rocket || 29 |
| || (Total endoatmospheric) || 183 |
| || (Grand total) || 1023 |
These types for individual launch vehicle types are slightly more finely
divided than those used for the Family/Stage datafile: apart from the
use of O rather than L, the R category is broken up to include V, X and
Y subtypes and the T/A category is joined by the Q type. Note that
the A,C,Q,T,W types of rocket never enter space (by my 80 km definition).