Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
American winged orbital launch vehicle. In February 1976 this version of the shuttle was proposed. A single liquid rocket booster under the external tank would replace the two solid rocket boosters.

In January 1976 the Sigma Corporation proposed use of a single liquid rocket booster under the external tank to replace the two solid rocket boosters. The pod would be powered by 3 to 4 F-1 engines or by three high performance liquid oxygen/kerosene engines being designed by the System Development Corporation. These developed either 308,000 kgf or 363,000 kgf at sea level, depending on the version selected. Both parallel and serial burns of the LRB and the Shuttle/External tank combination were studied. The external tank would be stretched and the orbiter strengthened to handle the increased payload available. However use of the booster would require the construction of new launch facilities.

Status: Study 1976.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

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