Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cosmos Mariner

Cosmos Mariner
American manned spaceplane. Study 2004. X-Prize suborbital spaceplane concept of Lone Star Space Access, Houston, Texas.

Cosmos Mariner was a concept of Dr. Norman LaFave of Lone Star Space Access, Houston, Texas. The rocketplane would takeoff and land from conventional airfields. Dr. LaFave was a Houston-based physicist who advised NASA on space rendezvous matters. The Cosmos Mariner employed airbreathing jet propulsion for take-off and landing from conventional airports, and rocket propulsion for ascent to 65 km altitude. From there, the vehicle coasted to a target altitude of 120 km. The airframe was designed to interface with two turbofan engines, each with 11,300-kgf static thrust. For rocket propulsion, the Cosmos Mariner was to use three 40,800 kgf thrust, staged-combustion engines. No details of the design ever emerged.

Thrust: 1,200.30 kN (269,838 lbf).

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  • X-Prize The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger. More...

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