The MUO missile was one of the first long range missiles developed, when rocket design was in its infancy.

Engineers were afraid to base a design on igniting large liquid engines in flight. As a result, it uses a unique stage-and-a-half design, where the vacuum-optimized sustainer engine is lit on the ground with the boosters. The booster engines are dropped in flight once the sustainer’s TWR is high enough.

The MUO family is one of the longest living rocket designs, having been adapted to carry HERMES manned capsules, as well as BELLE and INON upper stages.

Technical Overview

Height – 12.6 m
Mass – 31.505 t (w/o fairing)
Diameter – 3.1 m at widest point
Stages – 1.5
Stage 0.5
Muo-1E-89 “Buzzard”
Thrust (ASL): 180.996 kN
Thrust (Vac.): 205.0 kN
Stage 1
Muo-1E-105 “Vulture”
Thrust (ASL): 97.468 kN
Thrust (Vac.): 140 kN