Energia

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Energia (Russian: Энергия, Energiya, "Energy") was a Soviet rocket that was designed by NPO Energia to serve as a heavy-lift expendable launch system as well as a booster for the Buran Space Shuttle. Control system main developer enterprise was the NPO "Electropribor".[3][4] The Energia used four strap-on boosters powered by a four-chamber RD-170 engine burning with kerosene/LOX, and a central core stage with 4 one-chamber RD-0120 (11D122) engines fueled with liquid hydrogen/LOX.[5]

The launch system had two functionally different operational variants: Energia-Polyus, the initial test configuration, in which the Polyus system was used as a final stage to put the payload into orbit, and Energia-Buran,[6] in which the Buran spacecraft was the payload.

The rocket had the capacity to place about 100 metric tons in Low Earth orbit, up to 20 t to the geostationary orbit and up to 32 t to the lunar mission trajectory.[1]

Contents

History

Development

Work on the Energia/Buran system began in 1976 after the decision was made to cancel the unsuccessful N1 rocket. The cancelled N1 rocket-based Manned Lunar Launch Facilities and Infrastructure were used for Energia (notably the huge horizontal assembly building), just as NASA reused infrastructure designed for the Saturn V in the Space Shuttle program. Energia also replaced the "Vulkan" concept, which was a design based on the Proton rocket and using the same hypergolic fuels, but much larger and more powerful. The "Vulkan" designation was later given to a variation of the Energia which has eight boosters and multiple stages.

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