Encyclopedia Astronautica

American SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. Vertical Takeoff Horizontal Landing (winged).

in: 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 20.000 million.

Stage Data - VTOHL 9t

  • Stage 1. 1 x VTOHL 9t. Gross Mass: 687,503 kg (1,515,684 lb). Empty Mass: 71,901 kg (158,514 lb). Thrust (vac): 11,186.092 kN (2,514,734 lbf). Isp: 467 sec. Burn time: 500 sec. Isp(sl): 385 sec. Diameter: 36.00 m (118.00 ft). Span: 36.00 m (118.00 ft). Length: 58.50 m (191.90 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 3. Engine: SSME Plus. Status: Study 1978.

AKA: Vertical Takeoff Horizontal Landing.
Status: Study 1978.
Gross mass: 687,503 kg (1,515,684 lb).
Height: 70.00 m (229.00 ft).
Diameter: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Thrust: 9,222.00 kN (2,073,188 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 9t Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 687,503/71,901 kg. Thrust 11,186.09 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 467 seconds. More...

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