American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. P Seigler founded a company in 1976 to promote his design for a VTOVL SSTO vehicle using a lox/hydrogen aerospike engine.
Investors to back the scheme could not be found, and the company folded within a few years.
AKA: Single Stage to Orbit And Return.
More... - Chronology...
Status: Design 1976.
SSTO Category of launch vehicles. Single Stage To Orbit. More...
VTOVL The concept of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit Vertical Take-Off Vertical Landing (VTOVL) launch vehicle that would reenter and return to its launch site for turnaround and relaunch was first proposed by Philip Bono in the 1960's. The appealing simplicity of the concept has been offset by the technological risk in developing it. The problem with any single-stage-to-orbit concept is that if the empty weight of the final vehicle has been underestimated it will not be able to deliver any payload to orbit, or even reach orbit. Since weight growth of up to 20% is not unknown in aerospace projects, this is a very real threat which has made both NASA and private investors reluctant to invest the billions of dollars it would take to develop a full-scale flight vehicle. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Hudson, Gary C, History of the Phoenix VTOL SSTO and Recent Developments in Single-Stage Launch Systems, AAS 91-643, included in Proceedings of 5th ISCOPS, AAS Vol. 77, pp 329-351, November 1991.
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