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Show off your standard launch vehicles off in this thread! I've noticed that there aren't any or much threads like these. After all, your standard launch vehicles should get appreciation. A launch vehicle is considered standard if you use it over and over again, not just once.


My own standard launch vehicle: The Crew Transit Vehicle (CTV)




CTV on the pad



In Orbit



Under the Faring


I don't really have a standard cargo launch vehicle, my cargo are usually different. I always have standard Crew vehicles, for just getting to a space station, or an orbital hop. I might build some cargo haulers though.

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Here's mine, the Kestrel:


I use this for literally everything, and I've flown it in multiple configurations. In the original I've put on 9 SRBs and a 2.5m upper stage but it can put on 4 liquid fuel boosters and either a 1.875m upper stage like the one in the picture, or a 2.5m dual engine version of the 1.875m stage. the first stage of course was inspired by the Falcon 9 and is reusable. The second stage also has a docking port on it for another spacecraft to bring it back down


Edited by Wildcat111
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By the end of my 1.8 career I had developed a fleet of reusable booster vehicles for various payload tonnage and sizes.

Some were used more than others, but all of them had stage recovery capability built in to dramatically lower operating costs. There were variations in payload adapters for different diameters and different side booster configurations, but I'm only showing a couple of those variants in the screenshot.


The naming scheme is organized by (tons to LKO)-(payload diameter)-(Medium, Heavy, Super-Heavy, or Ultra-Heavy Lift Booster) plus a series name.
From left to right:
010-25-MLB 'Khanda'
025-25-HLB 'Excalibur'
055-37-HLB 'Nothung'
075-37-HLB 'Gungnir'
100-37-SHLB 'Mjölnir'
125-37-SHLB 'Mjölnir B'
200-37-SHLB 'Narayanastra'
400-37-SHLB 'Narayanastra B'
600-50 UHLB 'Armageddon'

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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess I'm just going to post what I have here.

First off: the names that I have given to my vehicles are Russian, even though I use an English keyboard. For this reason, the following is a list of the abbreviations I have created, along with my attempt to spell them phonetically:

RN: Raketa Nosityel - Carrier Rocket

RB: Razgonniy Blok - I'm going to create a nonexistent word here because an adjective to "acceleration" doesn't exist in English: "Acceleratory Block". A third stage/tug

T[number]: Typ - Type

T[no number]: Tezhëliy - Heavy

FS: Ftoraya Stadia - Second Stage

PS: Pervaya Stadia - First Stage

UFS: Udlenënnaya Ftoraya Stadia - Lengthened Second Stage

UPS: United Parcel Service. That was an attempted joke. It actually stands for Udlenënnaya Pervaya Stadia - Lengthened First Stage

UPFS: Udlenënnaya Pervaya i Ftoraya Stadia - Lengthened First and Second Stage

ZhRU: Zhidkostniy Raketniy Uskorityel' - Liquid Rocket Accelerator (Liquid Rocket Booster)

Secondly: the official dV number I use for deciding whether something can "get to orbit" is 9370m/s, which was decided based on a single launch. I am a lazy human being.

Without further delay, the following is a photograph of my first launch vehicle - RN1:


First stage: 5m diameter, uses a single RD171M. Second stage: 4m diameter, uses a single RL10B2. I used this vehicle to quickly launch a series of communication satellites into a 10,000km orbit above the equator, then never used it again and developed the RN2.

The following image is of the currently employed RN2 series:


From right to left: RN2, RN2UFS, RN2UPS, RN2UPFS, RN2T, RN2UFST, RN2UPST, RN2UPFST

Core diameter: 4m.

The standard first stage is designated PS151, using two RD151 engines. The lengthened first stage (on all UPS and UPFS models) is designated PS181, with two RD181 engines. The LRB versions of each, used on all T models, are designated PS151ZhRU and PS181ZhRU, respectively. The second stage uses two RL10C1-1 engines regardless of configuration. The standard second stage is designated FS1, while the lengthened second stage is designated FS2. A five meter second stage for larger payloads, designated FS3, is in the works.

The next image gives you a better perspective on the second stage engines, as well as the RCS attitude adjustment rig I made for each second stage.


The next image gives you a better view of the configuration I use for the two RD151/181 engines:


If anything weighs 10 tons, I send it up via the basic RN2. The heaviest variant, the RN2UPFST, can put god knows how many tons into LEO - I haven't actually gauged its capacity (in one of the spoiler screenshots below, VOPZ T1 is mentioned. The probe, along with the modified second stage that was used to perform its injection burn, were both lifted into orbit successfully via the PS181 and PS181ZhRU combo without any assistance, so that might give an idea of its capacity).

Edit: I just looked at the RN2UPFST, and it can launch approximately 46.296 tons. Not great, not terrible, but I may need  to create  a heavier lift vehicle.

My next launch vehicle - the RN3:


Note: the bottom half of the first stage is not gray. The whole LV is stark white, with two bands running through the center and the engine mount. I have no idea what happened with the lighting here.

From right to left: RN3, RN3UFS.

Both variants use a single RD181 as their first stage engine, with two LR101NA3 engines for roll control, along with one RD50MCCN for their second stages. These rockets were created when I realized that the RN2 was perhaps a bit much for five ton payloads. They are three meters in diameter.

The following shows their second stage engines. Note that I keep reusing the same RCS rig:


The following shows their first stages. One RD181 and two LR101s:


All of the above launch vehicles, with the exception of the RN1, can be fitted with a series of orbital tugs, each of which is designed to deposit a payload at a target orbit, detach, and decelerate into a suicide trajectory:



A heavy tug used to haul large payloads to high orbits. Initially created during the SOLPS T1 (Srednye-Orbitalniy Lunniy Peredatchniy Sputnik, Typ 1 - Medium Orbital Lunar Communication Satellite, Type 1) missions, for which I needed to place objects in medium Lunar orbit, and for the LPZ T1 (Lunniy Pasadotchniy Zond, Typ 1 - Lunar Landing Probe, Type 1) missions. Uses one S5.98M engine.



This one is old, having been designed and redesigned for multiple saves at this point. Initial use was for hauling SOPS T1 (Srednye-Orbitalniy Peredatchniy Sputnik, Typ 1 - Medium Orbital Communications Satellite, Type 1) satellites to a 10,000km Earth orbit. Also employed for the Zemlya 2 ("Earth") mission, which entailed the transport of two terrain mapping satellites (one per launch) to 7,500km orbits. Uses one S5.92 engine.



This one was designed for the Zemlya 1 missions, each of which again entailed the transport of two satellites to a 2500km orbit. Can only be mounted onto an RN3 vehicle, whereas RB1 and RB2 can only be mounted onto an RN2 vehicle. Uses one R40 engine.

What follows is a montage of screenshots that shows some of the above elements in use:


RB1 propelling LPZ T1-3 (the other two were... learning experiences) in a Lunar injection burn.


Second stage of an RN3UFS vehicle, propelling an RB3 to a polar orbit. The payload is Zemlya 1-2.


RB3, Zemlya 1-2 attached, ready to perform transfer burn to a 2500km orbit:


SOLPS T1-1, then called NOLPS T1-1 (N = Nizkiy - Low) before plans changed, was launched on an RN2UPFST vehicle. Since I launch from Kasputin Yar, the main stage and liquid boosters had to throw the second stage towards a lower inclination - the second stage ignited after almost twenty minutes of coasting. I was too agitated to take any screenshots of the first stage (for some reason, something went wrong every time I relaunched, until it took me two hours to finally get to a parking orbit), but here is the launch path:


VOPZ T1-1 (Venerniy Orbitalniy i Pasadotchniy Zond, Typ 1 - Venusian Orbital and Landing Probe, Type 1)  in the middle of stage separation (launched via RN2UPST, the LRBs jettisoned a long time ago). I'll reiterate here that the FS1 second stage is full and in orbit, but I may want to actually gauge the RN2UPST and RN2UPFST's capacity in the future. Note that the second stage is modified with a single engine - I decided to use it to perform the Venus injection burn:


The injection burn:


And since I am excited as hell (this was the first time I went interplanetary, ever, apart from that one time I accidentally went to Jool in 2014, before I started with RO), here is a photo of VOPZ T1-1 after Venus capture:


I tried to present this post as well as I could, or at least in the same style as those who posted before me. My apologies for the obnoxious naming schemes, the constant translations, and the fact that this post is insanely long and filled with photographs. Now that I am back, I will hopefully find myself somewhat more active within this forum.

Edited by Matuchkin
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I only really have one standard vehicle, and its not an entire launcher. It's my crew shuttle series, which carries 3 kerbals. There is an upper stage which uses a weird length fuel tank(made of of small and large 2.5m tanks) powered by my current upper stage powerhouse the RE-I2 (Skiff from making history). This is an upper stage and transmunar stage, where it will go to the Perseverance space station in low munar orbit, the surface(if it is a lander variant) or the surface of Minmus. I don't have a picture rn, but I will get one and edit it in here. I would have standard launchers, but I really don't know how to gauge payload capacity, and such.

Edit: Pictures


Crew Shuttle Manta(Science Lander Variant) En Route to Minmus


Crew Shuttle Challenger arriving at Perseverance Space Station.

Edited by RP1IsSuperior
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  • 1 month later...

I like this especially for RSS:

from geostationary relays

to manned flights with emergency escape systems

to LEO space station construction

to mini moon landers.


Get it from kerbalx.com:

see Space Station Launch Kit(For RSS) on KerbalX.com

EDIT: More Pictures And Amends The Link029368d517cb6163.pngf9090cf7fe7393d7.png

ebc205b350f38650.pngEDIT2: Sorry, changed the craft’s name to avoid chaos==re-corrected link.

EDIT3: New interplanetary use added.


Edited by AllenLi
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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got around to updating my Standard Launch Vehicles:


LLV: Light Launch Vehicle*


*Note: Outdated picture. Picture depicts LLV v1, current is LLV v2.

The LLV is a low orbit launch vehicle.


SLV: Standard Launch Vehicle:


The SLV is a low orbit launch vehicle.


SLV Heavy:


The SLV is a Mun/Minmus/Low orbit launch vehicle.


HLV: Heavy Launch Vehicle


The HLV is a multipurpose heavy launch vehicle.


CTV: Crew Transfer Vehicle*


*Note: CTV is just a modified SLV

The CTV is a low orbit crew launch vehicle.


Shameless self plug: See more in my mission report, KASA:


Edited by Misguided_Kerbal
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  • 4 weeks later...

In my current career game I've been using the Bishop I as my standard manned launch vehicle for flights to LKO. Its first stage is a large solid rocket booster with a set of four small vernier engines to provide control. The second stage is liquid-fueled, and the spacecraft adapter fairing has a small amount of room for mission-specific equipment which can be retrieved after launch. It's a pretty cheap vehicle for its size, and I'm planning on upgrading it in the future to have a reusable first stage and more modularity.


Its primary payload is Polaris, the multipurpose spacecraft I've developed for space station servicing, commercial tourism flights, and eventually Lunar missions. The pictured vehicle is a Block I spacecraft, used for missions in low orbits.



There's also the Abbot; a family of unmanned launch vehicles. It's pretty similar to the Titan III, but there are other versions with different numbers of SRBs and upper stages for differing payloads. It's slowly becoming obsolete, however, as my payloads keep getting heavier and their destinations grow farther and farther away.


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  • 2 weeks later...

From my current science mode game where I mostly use two different launch vehicles.

Bifrost, pictured below is my LV for smaller crafts mostly around Kerbin. (Will note that the design pictured actually is a bit outdated as I use different engines on the newer rockets)



Now, when you need something big or far Skibladner is your friend... Pictued below is the most common configuration I run it in however it's gone through a lot of different boosters depending on the payload.



Skibladner on the launchpad with a Pioner (Yes it's spelled that way) station which I've sent to the Mun, Minmus and Duna. Needs that extra bit of oomph.


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Ok, here is my go at this....

I've been making several types of small, medium and heavy launch vehicles with standardized upper stages for "long duration missions" (Think ACES).

Sprint SSTO


Sprint Aerospike SSTO

Sprint is a small payload aerospike powered SSTO





Trident - I 

This launch vehicle is a small to medium SRB powered lifter


Zeus Upper Stage




Zeus - I

The Zeus series is a verstile group of medium to heavy launchers with a powerfull common upper stage


Zeus - II


Zeus - III


Zeus - III 112


Hermes Upper Stage




 Mammoth - 1A

The Mammoth series is my most powerfull set of common lifters (for now) powered by 4 KS-25 engines


Mammoth - 1B


Genissis Upper Stage


If you would like any of these, tag me here and ill post it to my KerbalX

My KerbalX Page: https://kerbalx.com/Rocket_man1234

The full Imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/uqRg8Yf

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OK, here we go... the time has come to post the launch vehicles which have become the workhorses of my Rusty Star Rockets career game.  They may not be the most elegant you'll ever see, but being RSR they're different and they work - most of the time...



King Rat Class:  Seen here in the B3 configuration (B3 = three SRB's attached to the main stage), this launch vehicle is also available in B2-B8 versions.  However the B3 is the one Kerbals are most familiar with.


Rusty Star Rockets developed an upper liquid fuel stage, powered by the "Goodrax" vacuum engine (RSR's Terrier engine), for this rocket, greatly increasing its capabilities and versatility.  It is the B3 version of this vehicle, with the liquid fuelled upper stage, which is used exclusively to lift the Monstrosity Ferry crew transfer vehicle into orbit as it goes to the space station.




Bin Wagon Class:  Powered by the venerable "Tutnplok" liquid fuel engine, the Bin Wagon launch vehicle comes in three variants, LB2 (two liquid boosters on the sides), LB3 and LB4, and with an upper stage which is configured to operate outside the atmosphere.


The Bin Wagon-LB2 is by far the most heavily used version of this launch vehicle, indeed it's thought no Bin Wagon-LB4 has ever been use to perform any mission.  Although capable of performing many tasks, it has found a niche for itself in being a very effective satellite launch system, being both economical and able to lift a very respectable payload! 



Rust Box Class:  This is Rusty Star Rockets heavy lift vehicle.  This is the basic Rust Box with no side boosters; powered by four Tutnplok engines, this variant can act as a SSTO to put a not inconsiderable payload into LKO.


This SSTO capability was used most famously for lifting the prototype of the RSR Minmus Lander into LKO where it was put through a series of trials and tests before being cleared for delivering the first Kerbal onto the surface of the little green speck in our microscopes!

The Rust Box comes in the basic variant, but can also be used in LB2-LB8 configurations.


The Rust Box-LB8 is the true monster lift vehicle for RSR.  This huge booster is only available in the Onion staging configuration, the Asparagus version really peeved off everyone at the Rusty Star Space Port (actually Sergei Kerman's uncle's farmyard), as it showered them with spent side boosters before it had even started its gravity turn!  Because of this, and the potential damage it could do to the nearby milking parlour (mission control), grain silo (VAB), and barn (SPH), it was decided to scrap the Asparagus version, concentrating instead on the Onion setup.


Since entering service, all interplanetary missions have been launched using this massive vehicle, and the recent tourist contracts were only made possible because of its existence.



Gene's Heartbreak:  In a departure from the usual naming protocol and given a name that's guaranteed to trigger a bad reaction from Gene Kerman over at the KSC, not very much is know about this launch vehicle, and RSR is remaining very tight lipped about its capabilities and future role.  Indeed this is the only variant seen so far, and it was only used once to date when it lifted the refuelling expansion into LKO on its way to the Monstrosity Space Station.


Although Sergei Kerman - CEO and Chief Designer at RSR - was quick to brag about how successful the inaugural flight of this rocket had been, sources revealed it had actually experienced serious stability problems at all levels as it flew through the atmosphere, indeed so severe were these that there was series doubt if the mission could even be completed!  The rocket did manage to deliver it's payload to LKO, but it probably won't be seen again until this fault has been rectified.

Gene's Heartbreak is clearly something RSR has worked long and hard at, and doubtlessly they will investigate thoroughly the cause(s) of the problems experienced in its maiden flight.  If these issues can be resolved, it's expected we'll be seeing Gene's Heartbreak many more times, courtesy of RSR! 


Edited by The Flying Kerbal
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while since I posted here, and I've started a new save. So far, I have one lifter: 


"Literally Just a Missile"







It's literally just a SRB with a second stage and a payload strapped on top. However, after just 5 launches, it's slowly becoming obsolete, as the K.E.C (Kerbin Exploration Corps) switches focus to manned missions.

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I'm doing a rework in my line-up. The new SLVs can be found in KerbalX, in Spricigo's Toolbox hangar.  Currently available:

5Ythahn.jpg oDO9kUt.jpg enVqT4s.jpg 

Currently in development, Orwell. (uses kickbacks and a poodle to lob 25t in orbit) 


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Eve, a partially reusable medium lift launch vehicle with a capacity of 20t to LKO (with booster recovery), and the capability of launching crew as well. It also fits the SpaceX towers pack really well so that's a bonus!

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I have a variety of standard launchers, but I use this one most often to launch payloads, the Donkey II.


And this is my standard crew transfer vehicle, the "Hawk" Cargo and Crew Spaceplane, or the "Cargo N' Crew". I've yet to master spaceplanes, but I've gotten short range SSTO's down. The most annoying thing is that it can only carry 2 kerbals, so which means in order for a spacecraft to have a 3 crew I need to send up 2 missions instead of one. The other annoying thing about it is that in order to get kerbals to get into the craft without a spare docking port, they need to EVA, and since the pod does not have a hatch, that means that they need to go into the cockpit, so the pilot needs to EVA too. I'm working on replacing it, but it's still the most reliable spaceplane I have.



Edited by DunaManiac
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20 minutes ago, DunaManiac said:

I like the Dreamchaser style rocket!

thx I based the design off a mix of the Dreamchaser and the BOR-4 shown here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOR-4 and I also managed to make a fully working crew tower where you can drive your kerbals to the launch pad and bring them up to the craft

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