On Tuesday, the Israeli Space Agency (IAA) will begin testing a new rocket capable of carrying up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) into orbit.
The new rocket, named “The Titan,” is capable of lofting payloads weighing up to 4,200 kilograms (9,300 pounds) to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), a type of orbital insertion in which satellites orbit above Earth.
It will be the first of a line of “Titan” rockets to launch aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has leased from NASA for decades.
Its maiden flight is slated for mid-December, and will involve testing the rocket’s aerodynamic performance and its fuel efficiency.
According to the IIA, “The initial test flight is expected to last up to six months, with another six months of testing for final flight in 2021.”
After the test flight, the new rocket will be used for launch preparations and servicing of other missions.
“We are building an affordable launch vehicle for use in the future,” IIA director of commercial services Oded Regev told reporters.
The Israeli rocket will replace the Russian Soyuz rocket, which the IAI launched in 2008.
According in the IAEA’s mission statement, the “Titanium” rocket “is the first commercial launch vehicle to use advanced cryogenic propellant technologies and the first to launch with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel in combination.”IRA officials said the launch was the first in a line that included the first-ever commercial mission of the Soyuz-9M3 rocket, a launch vehicle originally built by NASA in the early 1990s.
The Soyuz has been used to carry astronauts to the International Airport in Houston since 2008.
“The Titan” is designed to carry up to 60 kilograms (100 pounds) of payload to the space station, with a range of up to 1,100 kilometers (620 miles), a capacity of 1,400 kilometers (1,900 miles),” IAI said.
According the agency, the rocket will provide a range from 40 to 85 kilometers (25 to 51 miles), with a top speed of more than 200 kilometers per hour.
The rocket’s first stage will launch to an altitude of 10 kilometers (6 miles), before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.
The second stage, also called the “Beltran,” will deploy the payload, while the third stage will propel the payload to an orbit of about 45 kilometers (24 miles), then a second stage of up 50 kilometers (31 miles) will deploy it into a geosatellite orbit.
Titan is capable to reach a height of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles), and will carry about 10 kilograms (24 pounds) or about 4,100 pounds (1.5 metric tons).
The first launch of the new vehicle will take place on December 8, 2021. “
The crew will be stationed aboard the spacecraft for extended periods, depending on the mission’s mission needs, and we plan to extend their stay to several months,” IAI explained.
The first launch of the new vehicle will take place on December 8, 2021.
IAI says it expects to fly the first crew to the ISS on a commercial mission in 2021.
The launch will take about two weeks.