AN-124 Air Launch
Nowadays Antonov Aeronautical Scientific Technical Complex jointly with Russian enterprises of aeronautical branch develops the project of a launch of artificial satellites with the help of aeronautical systems. The project is called "Aerial Launch". Launch of a carrier rocket (CR) from an airplane allows: to reduce the cost of space apparatus (SA) putting in the orbit in several times; to provide the wide range of SA orbits' slope; to save time for preparation to the re-launch; to reduce injurious effect on ecology to increase a mass of the load launching to the orbit. The launch of a rocket from an airplane practically does not depend on the weather and climatic conditions. The launch from an attitude gives also an advantadge as the rocket does not need to come through the densest bed of the atmosphere on its own.
Such launches can be made above the area of World Ocean water, far away of routes with the intensive traffic and industrial zones. Besides the operation of air rocket complex does not need cosmodrome's services, it may be operated from a standard airdrome. That is why the proposed scheme of rockets launch and drawing space apparati out to the orbit is one of the most accept-able for Ukraine and other countries which do not have cosmodromes. Launches in the interests of the national space programme of Ukraine, international cooperation and with a commercial purposes can be carried out as from the territory of Ukraine as from the equatorial zone and other regions depending on current tasks.
The complex includes: the AN-124-100BC "Ruslan" carrier airplane (CA), which is an aerial launch platform; two-stage "Poliot" CR with HK-43M modified oxygen-kerosene engines on the first stage and PA0124 on the second stage; space boost block with the PA0158 oxygen-kerosene engine; ground complex for launch preparation on a basic airdrome and airdromes of a launch; complex of automated systems of preparation, launch and flight control. The AN-124-100BC "Ruslan" carrier airplane is intended for delivery to the site of launch of a space rocket, equipment and systems of a rocket segment. CA can take-off practically from any region of the globe from an airdrome equipped with the corresponding means of preparation and having the runway with a length more than 3 km. CA is a returnable repeatedly used first stage of the eduction system.
The AN-124BC is a modification of basic AN-124-100 airplane consisting of: debugging of the fuselage tail-end; modification of cargo hatch construction; debugging of power supply systems and radio systems fitting out with an additional equipment necessary for transportation and launch of CR. CA can deliver a CR to the launch zone at a distance of up to 4000 km from the site of launch that allows to carry out putting a satellite practically in any orbit on safety routes in the area of World Ocean water. Aeronautical-rocket complex for space purposes (ARC SP) "Aerial Launch" allows to put in space light space apparati with weight of 3000-4000 kgf in the law near-earth orbits, of 1600-1700 kgf - in geotransitional orbits, of 600-800 kgf - in geostationary orbits, to fulfill expansion and replenishment of groups of multi-satellite systems.
Equipment and systems of preparation and launch of rocket segment onboard CA provide: fuelling CR with components of fuel or their discharge; installation, fixation of CR in the cargo compartment and reject of CR out of CA; telemetric measurements of parameters of CR and CA status and passing of telemetrical information to command post; CR flight control and others. At present the draft of "Aerial launch" ARC SP is developed and all necessary works for its rea-lization are carried out.
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