Encyclopedia Astronautica

NASA / Rockwell SSTO
NASA / Rockwell Single Stage to Orbit winged launch vehicle
Credit: NASA
American SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. Vertical Takeoff Horizontal Landing (winged).

in: 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 30.000 million.

Stage Data - VTOHL 45t

  • Stage 1. 1 x VTOHL 45t. Gross Mass: 1,158,192 kg (2,553,376 lb). Empty Mass: 96,650 kg (213,070 lb). Thrust (vac): 18,643.471 kN (4,191,219 lbf). Isp: 467 sec. Burn time: 500 sec. Isp(sl): 385 sec. Diameter: 34.30 m (112.50 ft). Span: 34.30 m (112.50 ft). Length: 53.50 m (175.50 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 5. Engine: SSME Plus. Status: Study 1978.

AKA: Vertical Takeoff Horizontal Landing.
Status: Study 1978.
Gross mass: 1,158,192 kg (2,553,376 lb).
Height: 64.00 m (209.00 ft).
Diameter: 34.30 m (112.50 ft).
Thrust: 15,369.90 kN (3,455,291 lbf).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • SSME Plus Notional lox/lh2 rocket engine. 3728.7 kN. VTOHL studies, 1978. Isp=467s. More...

See also
  • 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...
  • 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...

  • Cohan, Christopher J, Space Transportation Systems, 1980-2000, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, New York, 1978.

Associated Stages
  • VTOHL 45t Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,158,192/96,650 kg. Thrust 18,643.47 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 467 seconds. More...

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