The Top 5 Largest Orbital Launchers by Low Earth Orbit Payload

  Rocket Country Manufacturer Payload Status
1 Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) USA SpaceX 550,000 kg In development
2 SLS USA United Launch Alliance 130,000 kg In development
3 Falcon Heavy USA SpaceX 63,800 kg Active
4 Long March 5 China CALT 25,000 kg Active
5 Delta IV USA ULA 23,040 kg Active
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 Special Report
  • The SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) was previously known as the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) from 2013 through early 2016.
  • The retired Saturn V rocket, with 13 successful launches, holds the record for Low Earth Orbit payload capacity at 118,000 kg.
  • The current top 2 on the list are in-development only and have no successful launches to-date.
  • Narrowly missing the list, from the USSR/Russia, is Khrunichev's UR-500 Proton rocket at a payload of 23,000 kg. More than any other active ship in its class, it has a staggering 399 total launches as of this writing.
  • The SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) is the only reusable rocket on the list. In its reusable configuration, its payload decreases to 300,000 kg.
Tags: Space & The Universe, Science & Technology, Transportation, Top 5 Largest

Sources:  Top 5 of Anything research 2017; including, NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Roscosmos.

List Notes: List comprises active or in-development launchers only.
Largest Orbital Launchers by Low Earth Orbit Payload

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