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Space


Sea Star MSLV

Interorbital Systems (IOS) of Mojave, California, is developing the Sea Star MSLV microsatellite launch vehicle for microsatellite payloads and as a testbed for its larger Neptune orbital launch vehicle. These vehicles are constructed for design simplicity. Sea Star MSLV consists of three stages. Each stage has one hypergolic engine, burning white fuming nitric acid (WFNA) and a proprietary fuel formulation that IOS calls Hydrocarbon X (HX). The first two stages each have four gimbaled low-thrust rockets for steering, and stage 3 is spin-stabilized. The rocket body is constructed of aluminum and composite materials. Sea Star does not require land-based launch infrastructure. Taking advantage of design elements derived from submarine-launched ballistic missiles, this vehicle will float in sea water and launch directly from the ocean.

IOS plans to launch Sea Star MSLV near California or in waters near the Kingdom of Tonga. IOS aims to be the first company to launch a satellite into orbit using a vehicle developed totally with private financing. This launch is slated for 2005.



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