Space: September 27, 1999


Bael Aerospace Technologies Inc. plans to launch the first of its BA-2 heavy-lift boosters sometime in 2001, and is considering offers of launch facilities from Guyana and the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Guyana, being closer to the equator, would provide a boost in payload capacity, but would take longer to develop because there are no facilities there. The BA-2 will be the largest liquid-fueled booster launched from the US since the Apollo moon missions. Bael Aerospace is the best financed of several independent companies trying to develop new commercial space launchers. BA-2 will be 200 feet tall and weigh two million pounds. From Florida, it could put 13,000 pounds into geosynchronous orbit or 37,400 pounds into low Earth orbit, at costs considerably cheaper than Ariane.--Stephen V Cole


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