MARVEL is the acronym for our full scale vehicle.
It stands for
A single engined stage turns this vehicle into a Single-Stage-To-Orbit vehicle in MARS or MOON conditions and a One-And-A-Half-Stage-To-Orbit vehicle on Earth. It is a reusable lander and ascent vehicle on MARS, the MOON and EARTH.
Below this engined stage, and typically only on Earth, we have one or more simple, low cost CFC drop tanks, which can be reused if desired. With all the engines firing at lift off, this design is inherently safe.
This unique configuration reduces parts, labor, integration time and complexity. More importantly, it reduces cost up to threefold compared to the competition.
In this phase we will start delivering medium weight payloads in LEO. In subsequent flights we will open the envelope of this vehicle to increasingly heavier payloads and operations in GTO, GEO, orbits around the MOON. We will also experiment with landing and reusability to be on par with SpaceX and Blue Origin at the same and a lower price point. One of the goals is to provide an orbital drop off service into different orbits, sort of like a train with scheduled stops. Every flight is intended as an orbital moon flight able to drop off packages along the way. This performance level is available thanks to the Aerospike-drop tank combination and the plan to use end of life MARVELS as an in orbit fuel depot. Refueling technology using several propellant combinations is currently being tested on the ISS with great success.
Along this path we will be careful to build in the safety margins, and already respect some of the requirements, for a human or crew rated version; both for LEO and deep space operations. We want to avoid costly redesigns later and set up a fast path from a cargo only to a multi-use and crewed version.
Where mission timelines permit, we expect to integrate an ion-tug into our operational vehicle. In exchange for (much) longer time, we get the benefit of low thrust, high ISP efficiency, allowing us to deliver more mass to far off orbits with the same propellant quantity. Most suited for cargo missions, we do see them as a safety feature on crewed missions (dissimilar redundancy).(1)
When in orbit for ultra long periods, MARVEL plans to have in its hold inflatable habitats from other providers. Both technologies combining each of their strengths (lightweight habitation/deep space mobility)