The ITS launch vehicle is a privately-funded orbital launch vehicle in development by SpaceX. The initial design objective of the vehicle is to launch a variety of SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System missions to Mars and other destinations in the beyond-Earth-orbit portion of the Solar System. Design work on the vehicle began in 2012 and first launch is not expected before the 2020s. The high-level specifications for the vehicle were publicly announced in September 2016, although limited information had been released as early as 2012.

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  • The ITS launch vehicle is a privately-funded orbital launch vehicle in development by SpaceX. The initial design objective of the vehicle is to launch a variety of SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System missions to Mars and other destinations in the beyond-Earth-orbit portion of the Solar System. Design work on the vehicle began in 2012 and first launch is not expected before the 2020s. The ITS launch vehicle is described as a two-stage rocket. Its first stage will be powered by 42 Raptor rocket engines—also designed and manufactured by SpaceX—operating on densified methane/oxygen propellants that have not been widely used as rocket propellants in the past. Like the Falcon 9 orbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the ITS launch vehicle's first stage is designed to be reusable, following a return to the launch site and vertical landing following each launch. New on this vehicle will be full reusability of even the second-stage and spacecraft as well. The large payload capacity of the launch vehicle places it into the super-heavy lift class, with the ability to place 300 metric tons (660,000 lb) into low Earth orbit in reusable configuration and 550 metric tons (1,210,000 lb) in expendable mode. The second stage of the Earth launch vehicle will be one of two spacecraft that, unusually, will also serve as upper stages during the launch. Both are powered by six vacuum-optimized Raptor rocket engines with three additional sea-level-nozzle Raptor engines for maneuvering. Thus, the element of the launch vehicle that provides second-stage acceleration to orbital velocity on all launches from Earth will also be used—in much longer-duration roles—as on-orbit spacecraft. The two model options are the ITS tanker, a transport carrier of propellant cargo to Earth orbit; and the Interplanetary Spaceship, a very long-duration carrier of both passengers and space cargo to interplanetary destinations, and which will also serve as both a descent and ascent vehicle at Mars. The high-level specifications for the vehicle were publicly announced in September 2016, although limited information had been released as early as 2012. (en)
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  • 2 (xsd:integer)
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  • In development
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  • Rendering of ITS launch vehicle stack ascending with an Interplanetary Spaceship on top
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  • (spaceship or tanker)
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  • The ITS launch vehicle is a privately-funded orbital launch vehicle in development by SpaceX. The initial design objective of the vehicle is to launch a variety of SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System missions to Mars and other destinations in the beyond-Earth-orbit portion of the Solar System. Design work on the vehicle began in 2012 and first launch is not expected before the 2020s. The high-level specifications for the vehicle were publicly announced in September 2016, although limited information had been released as early as 2012. (en)
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  • ITS launch vehicle (en)
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  • ITS launch vehicle (en)
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