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Space Briefing Book:

Components of a Space Launch System

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Reaching Earth orbit and beyond requires a careful combination of rocket engines, spacecraft, fuels and other systems. Here is a generic diagram of how some launch systems are designed, indicating: the Launch Abort System (LAS); the Payload Fairing; the Crew or Cargo Module; the Service Module; the Guidance System; and the rocket engines and propellants.

Note: There are other kinds of space launch systems in use, including air launch-to-orbit.

diagram of a launch system

A generic diagram of a launch system’s components. Credit: The Space Foundation

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