United Launch Systems
International * TsSKB Progress * Makeev State Rocket Center
The UNITY Launch Vehicle Project is being developed to service satellite orbital placement and is structured specifically to deal with the launch requirements of the LEO satellite market.
The launch vehicle family is designated as UNITY. The first vehicle being developed is the ULV-22. It follows the traditional proven Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle design with two main stages, plus a post-boost low thrust stage to enable maximum required performance and precise injection of the satellites into their required orbits. The ULV-22 is capable of placing 5 tons of payload into a 200-kilometre orbit.
The launch vehicle is designed by the State Rocket Centre (SRC) formerly known as Makeev Design Bureau.
UNITY will incorporate three liquid fuelled oxygen and kerosene high thrust RD-120U engines manufactured by the world leading NPO Energomash for the first stage booster, and one RD-0136 four-chamber engine manufactured by Chemical Automatics Design Bureau of Voronezh for the second stage.
The Design Bureau of Transport Machinery, is the leading designer for the Ground Launch Equipment and Complex. Equipment is being incorporated by SRC from other eminent aerospace companies who have a proven track record with successful space programmes.
Hummock Hill Island on the East Coast of Queensland, is 30 km South of the city of Gladstone and approximately 400 km North of the state capital, Brisbane.
In 1995 the Makeyev center started collaborating with Australian company United Launch Systems International (ULSI) on the design of a new SLV, subsequently named ULV-22 Yedinstvo (Unity), designed to launch satellites into low and medium orbits, and developing a space launch facility on Hammock Hill Island of the coast of Australia. The project stalled due to ULSI's inability to attract investors. In 2001 the Makeyev center announced that it completed the development of a demonstration example of the Yedinstvo SLV. The center has also delivered draft plans for the Yedinstvo SLV and similarly named space launch complex to ULSI. Should funding materialize, Yedinstvo will be built at the Progress plant in Samara, part of the State Space-Missile Center SKB-Progress, at a rate of up to 10 SLVs per year. Engines for the first stage were developed by NPO Energomash in Khimki on the basis of engines used in the second stage of the Zenit SLV. Other firms involved in the project include NII Khimavtomatiki in Voronezh (second stage engines), Nizhnaya Salda-based NII Mashinostroyeniya (low-thrust rocket engines), and KB Transportnogo Mashinostroyeniya. Foreign companies involved in the project included Boeing and Motorola.
Russian rockets to be launched from Australia
A vital phase in the establishment of a new space launch site for Russian launch vehicles in Australia ended as the State Missile Centre (SMC) - the Academician Makeyev Design Bureau of Miass (Chelyabinskaya Oblast, Russia) – successfully delivered to the representatives of the United Launch Systems International (ULSI) a preliminary design package for the future Yedinstvo (Unity) launch System project, which includes construction of a space launch site in Australia to launch the Russian ULV-22 Unity Launch Vehicle.
The Makeyev Design Bureau has been working closely with the ULSI since 1995. It took Makeyev a year to develop a preliminary design for the Unity Launch System under a contract with ULSI. Today, ULSI have obtained all space launch site construction permits from the Government of Australia and the governments of the concerned States of the Commonwealth; a relevant decree of the Government of Russia is anticipated soon.
The ULV-22 launch vehicle is a tandem two-stage rocket with an upper stage. The propellants are environment-friendly kerosene and liquid oxygen. The upper stage propellants are ethyl alcohol and oxygen.
LV stages will be manufactured and assembled at the Progress Plant of the TsSKB Design Bureau in Samara. The 202 t launch mass, two-stage ULV-22 with an upper stage is designed for indivudial or miltiple injection of commercial spacecraft into variously inclined low- or medium-altitude Earth orbits. LV can put at least 5.0 t payload into a low Earth orbit.
The first stage engine developed in Khimki by NPO Energomash is based on the RD-120 engine design used in the second stage of the Zenit launcher. The first stage steering chambers have been borrowed from the RD-107 engine used in the Soyuz first stage. Second stage engines indexed RD-0136 are being developed by the Voronezh Chemical Automatics Design Bureau (KB KhA) on the basis of RD-0124 engine designed for the third stage of Soyuz launch vehicle. The low-thrust, restartable upper stage engines are developed by the Engineering Science Research Institute of Nizhnyaya Salda on the basis of the 17D16 engine originally intended for the Buran space shuttle.
The proposed space launch site is to be located on Hammock Hill Island near Australia's east coast. The location of the island is very convenient, as there is only a fifty-meter-wide strait that separates Hammock Hill from the mainland. The co-ordinates of the proposed launch site are: 24° latitude south, 152° longitude east.