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Kistler Aerospace -  K-1 Launch Vehicle

Kistler Aerospace K-1 is a two-stage reusable launch vehicle. It is designed to be reused 100 times. The two launch vehicle stages return from space to a landing site near the launch facility using parachutes and air bags. The K-1 reusable rocket utilizes Russian NK-33 and NK-43 Rocket Engines which were intended for use on the first and second stages of the upgraded N-1 Soviet Moon Rocket of the 1970's. 

K-1 Specifications:

Overall Length: 36.9m

Diameter: 6.7m
Total Lift-Weight: 382, 300kg
Payload: 2,600 Kg to 52 degree-800 km orbit

First Stage:

Weight: 250,000 Kg
Engines: 3 Aerojet - AJ26-58/-59 (NK-33)
Fuel: LOX/Kerosene

Second Stage

Weight: 131,800Kg
Engine: 1 Aerojet/ AJ26-60 (NK-43)
Fuel: LOX/Kerosene

Payload Flexibility:

The Payload Modules are designed to be removed and processed in the payload processing facility. Two different Payload Modules will be used: a Standard Payload Module (SPM) and an Extended Payload Module (EPM) to accommodate the larger LEO constellation satellites. 

Launch Sequence:

The K-1 is launched like all expendable rockets. However, at an altitude of 41 km, the K-1 first stage centre engine is re-ignited in order to return to the launch site using parachutes and airbags. The second stage ignites and continues its flight to orbit utilizing the single NK-43 engine. 

After the payload is deployed, the LOX / Ethanol Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) is fired in order for th second stage to return to the launch site using parachutes and airbags (like the first stage).

Future of the K-1

Kistler is developing two launch sites: Woomera and Nevada Test Site in Nevada, USA.

Kistler Aerospace K-1 Links: Kistler Aerospace Corporation
Aerojet's Kistler K-1 Page:

JSC Kuznestov: Russian NK-33 Manufacturer
Kister K-1 Aerothermodynamics: NASA Presentation
Marotta Scientific Controls Inc -Kistler K-1:

Mwades Kistler K-1:

References: Picture sourced from the Kister Aerospace Corporation Web Site
K-1 Secifications and Performance: Part of Kistler Aerospace Web site
Aerojet's Kistler K-1 Page:

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Copyright 2000-2014 Vic Stathopoulos. All rights reserved.
Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014