Nano-Satellite Orbital Launch Vehicle (N-SOLVTM)
The Nano-Satellite Orbital Launch Vehicle (N-SOLV) is designed to deploy satellites with mass around 10 kilograms into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). N-SOLV will be marketed to the US military, amateur radio organizations, universities, and others interested in an inexpensive platform for delivering small payloads to LEO. N-SOLV can be operated as a quick-response launcher due to the ease of maintaining solid rocket motors for on-demand use. This quick-response feature could be of use for surveillance missions of all sorts.
N-SOLV components include:
· An Attitude Control System (ACS) that is essentially identical to that of STC?s STV (with the exception that it will have more accurate rotational rate sensors).
· Three stages of solid motors
· The payload assembly with orbit insertion motors.
Loaded and fueled, the vehicle will weigh approximately 6000 lbs and stand 25 feet high. N-SOLV?s Attitude Control System (ACS) will guide the vehicle into the desired +/-20 km orbit.
At this point, N-SOLV's first customers will need to cover a significant portion of non-recurring development costs.
Small-payload-dedicated launch vehicles like N-SOLV do not exist today. With recent developments in micro-electronics, we believe that the 10-kg-class satellite market has great potential first for research and then possibly for commercial applications.
STC would like to put this vehicle on the market as an option for small ~10-kg payload customers that don't want the hassle of working with large payload launchers as secondary payloads. STC believes that a dedicated, responsive launch service would be attractive to such small payload customers if priced under $1M.