Lazarus: A SSTO Hypersonic Vehicle Concept Utilizing RBCC and HEDM Propulsion Technologies

Thumbnail Image
Young, David Anthony
Kokan, Timothy Salim
Clark, Ian G.
Tanner, Christopher
Wilhite, Alan W.
Associated Organization(s)
Supplementary to
Lazarus is an unmanned single stage reusable launch vehicle concept utilizing advanced propulsion concepts such as rocket based combined cycle engine (RBCC) and high energy density material (HEDM) propellants. These advanced propulsion elements make the Lazarus launch vehicle both feasible and viable in today's highly competitive market. The Lazarus concept is powered by six rocket based combined cycle engines. These engines are designed to operate with HEDM fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX). During atmospheric flight the LOX is augmented by air traveling through the engines and the resulting propellant mass fractions make single stage to orbit (SSTO) possible. A typical hindrance to SSTO vehicles are the large wings and landing gear necessary for takeoff of a fully fueled vehicle. The Lazarus concept addresses this problem by using a sled to take off horizontally. This sled accelerates the vehicle to over 500 mph using the launch vehicle engines and a propellant cross feed system. This propellant feed system allows the vehicle to accelerate using its own propulsion system without carrying the necessary fuel required while it is attached to the sled. Lazarus is designed to deliver 5,000 lbs of payload to a 100 nmi x 100 nmi x 28.5° orbit due East out of Kennedy Space Center (KSC). This mission design allows for rapid redeployment of small orbital assets with little launch preparation. Lazarus is also designed for a secondary strike mission. The high speed and long range inherent in a SSTO launch vehicle make it an ideal global strike platform. Details of the conceptual design process used for Lazarus are included in this paper. The disciplines used in the design include aerodynamics, configuration, propulsion design, trajectory, mass properties, cost, operations, reliability and safety. Each of these disciplines was computed using a conceptual design tool similar to that used in industry. These disciplines were then combined into an integrated design process and used to minimize the gross weight of the Lazarus design.
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Rights Statement
Rights URI