Encyclopedia Astronautica

Scramjet/Slush LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 140,000/60,000 kg. Thrust 1,370.00 kN. Specific impulse 1550 seconds.

Cost $ : 3,000.000 million.

AKA: NASP (National Aerospace Plane); Orient Express.
Status: Development ended 1990.
Gross mass: 140,000 kg (300,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 60,000 kg (132,000 lb).
Height: 80.00 m (262.00 ft).
Diameter: 16.00 m (52.00 ft).
Span: 36.00 m (118.00 ft).
Thrust: 1,370.00 kN (307,980 lbf).
Specific impulse: 1,550 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 1,550 s.
Burn time: 886 s.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Scramjet Scramjet engine for X-30 SSTO. 1372.9 kN. Development ended 1992. Thrust is maximum sea level thrust; specific impulse is average during ascent. Isp=1550s. Propellant Slush LH2. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • X-30 American SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. Air-breathing scramjet single stage to orbit. Second attempt after study of similar proposal in early 1960's. Cancelled due to cost, technical challenges. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Air/Slush LH2 Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines as an oxidiser. Slush hydrogen is formed by taking liquid hydrogen down to nearly the melting point. This produces a partly-solidified but still mobile version of the fuel with 20% greater density than liquid hydrogen itself. Proposed for use from the 1980's in air-breathing and rocket-powered single-stage-to-orbit vehicles where maximization of fuel weight to empty weight is absolutely essential. More...

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