Magel: An Advanced Partially Reusable Launch Architecture Concept
Steffes, Stephen R.
Olds, John R.
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Magel is an advanced partially reusable launch architecture which uses two large magnetically repelled superconducting rings as the first stage system and a liquid expendable rocket as the upper stage. This architecture is studied in an attempt to drastically reduce launch costs. The first stage is fully reusable and must be refueled before every launch. The only resources used are the upper stage rocket and the attitude control propellant. A full launch vehicle analysis is presented including an analysis of the system’s feasibility and viability considering various technology tradeoffs. The baseline vehicle was found to be not feasible or viable even with infused technologies. For the baseline vehicle, the first stage ring is 6.6 km in diameter and 3.3 km high with a total dry weight of 15e6 lbs (6.8e6 kg). The cross section of the first stage ring is 2.2 m wide by 5.4 m high. Assuming a 56,900 lbs (25,800 kg) payload, 20 flights/year and a program length of 30 years, the total cost per pound to a 100 by 100 nmi 28.5° orbit is $35,500 FY2003/lbs.