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Neptune 4000 Launcher

The modular Neptune 4000 launcher is entering is its final design phase. It is being developed in a cooperative effort with Interorbital Systems. Engine and guidance system tests are underway.  The rocket is an ultra-low-cost, liquid propellant,  amphibious, orbital launch vehicle. It is being developed to satisfy the need for an affordable launcher to deliver both manned and unmanned payloads for Earth orbit, Lunar, and interplanetary missions. 

What is an amphibious space launch vehicle?
An amphibious space launch vehicle is capable of being launched like a conventional rocket from land or directly from the sea using a technique referred to as "surf- launch".

Floating- launch
Carrying out launches at sea can in many ways  simplify launch operations. Problems associated with equipment delivery, infrastructure, staging and stage recovery, and astronaut recovery are largely eliminated. Floating-launch differs from sea-launch by the fact that an expensive sea-launch platform is not required. A floating-launched rocket can float autonomously at sea. It is transported out to the launch area in a specially outfitted ship. Inside the ship's bay, it remains clean and dry. After being fueled in the processing bay, it is transferred to the water and placed in a vertical position, using its own buoyancy properties and a ballast unit. After its engines are ignited underwater, the rocket literally climbs out of the sea.

 

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