Country of originSoviet Union
OperatorSoviet space program
ApplicationsTransport to low Earth orbit and back
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Design life1981 to 1991
StatusCanceled, 1991

The MAKS (Multipurpose aerospace system) (Russian: МАКС (Многоцелевая авиационно-космическая система)) is a Soviet air-launched orbiter reusable launch system project that was proposed in 1988, but cancelled in 1991. The orbiter was supposed to reduce the cost of transporting materials to Earth orbit by a factor of ten. The reusable orbiter and its external expendable fuel tank would have been launched by an Antonov AN-225 airplane, developed by Antonov ASTC (Kyiv, Ukraine). Had it been built, the system would have weighed 275 metric tons (271 long tons; 303 short tons) and been capable of carrying a 7-metric-ton (6.9-long-ton; 7.7-short-ton) payload.[1]

Three variants of the MAKS system were conceived: MAKS-OS, the standard configuration; MAKS-T, with upgraded payload capability; and MAKS-M, a version that included its fuel tank within the envelope of the orbiter.[2]

As of June 2010, Russia was considering reviving the MAKS program.[3] In Ukraine this project has developed into other air-launched orbiter projects, such as Svityaz and Oril.

See also


  1. ^ "Maks Air Launch System". 11 November 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  2. ^ Lukashevich, Vadim (2005). "Multipurpose Aerospace System (MAKS)". Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  3. ^ Hsu, Jeremy (3 June 2010). "High-Tech Space Planes Taking Shape in Italy, Russia". Retrieved 22 December 2010.