Why the X-33 VentureStar gave SSTO a bad name?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

Why the X-33 VentureStar gave SSTO a bad name?

Thus, the Venturestar RLV as visualized by the X-33 was doomed to failure at the outset as an SSTO because: the original and fundamental aerodynamic concepts were abandoned; inefficient structural concepts were adopted, thus contributing to the structural mass fraction penalties; and finally the well-noted tank …

Is the VentureStar spaceplane real?

VentureStar was a single-stage-to-orbit reusable launch system proposed by Lockheed Martin and funded by the U.S. government. After failures with the X-33 subscale technology demonstrator test vehicle, funding was cancelled in 2001. VentureStar was essentially a bigger version of the X-33 but was not produced.

Why was the X-33 canceled?

However, the X-33 program was cancelled in early 2001 after the project had problems with a carbon fiber composite hydrogen fuel tank. The program was managed by the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Several years after it was cancelled the problems with hydrogen fuel tank were resolved by aerospace companies.

Was the space shuttle SSTO?

By then, the now legendary space shuttle was coming to be around two decades old, had served reliably on 34 missions and was a marvel of 20th Century engineering. NASA, along with a bunch of private companies had already started work on the space shuttle replacement: an SSTO called VentureStar.

Why are SSTO’s bad?

Nuclear-thermal SSTO turns out to be one of the worst ideas anyone has ever come up with, for two simple reasons: hydrogen and the lousy thrust-to-weight ratio of nuclear thermal rockets. In the case of any earth-to-orbit vehicle, you’ve got to have the thrust to get off the ground in the first place.

Is single stage to orbit possible?

A single-stage-to-orbit (or SSTO) vehicle reaches orbit from the surface of a body using only propellants and fluids and without expending tanks, engines, or other major hardware. It is considered to be marginally possible to launch a single-stage-to-orbit chemically-fueled spacecraft from Earth.

What is Arrow Spike?

Spike is an extraterrestrial Dracokardosian from Earth-38. The pet of Alana, Spike had encountered Supergirl, the hero of National City.

Is single stage rocket possible?

Is a spaceplane possible?

Three types of spaceplanes have successfully launched to orbit, reentered Earth’s atmosphere, and landed: the Space Shuttle, Buran, and the X-37. Another, Dream Chaser, is under development. As of 2019 all past, current, and planned orbital vehicles launch vertically on a separate rocket.

Why are Aerospikes not used?

In aerospike the pressure (and temperature) of the gas remains very high all along the spike surface, and the sharp tip leaves very little room for cooling systems. You have a lot of extra-hot, very dense gas in contact with the narrow spike that must pass all the coolant and dissipate the heat somehow, not to melt.

Why can’t airplanes fly in airless place?

As the jet fuel and air burn, it produces thrust to propel the jet through the air. The bottom line is that airplanes can’t fly in space because there is no air in space. Airplanes rely on air to produce both lift and propulsion. Since there isn’t any air in space, airplanes must stay within the Earth’s atmosphere.

Why was the X-33 needed for the VentureStar?

The added size was necessary to accommodate a large payload bay, and the increased fuel supply needed to reach orbital speeds of Mach 25+. The VentureStar was intended to be a low-cost, reusable launch vehicle, while the X-33 fabricated to test the advanced technologies needed to build it.

What was the Lockheed Martin X-33 launch vehicle?

In 1996 NASA selected Lockheed Martin to build and fly the X-33 test vehicle to demonstrate advanced technologies for a new reusable launch vehicle to succeed the Space Shuttle. VentureStar was Lockheed’s name for this future spaceplane concept.

What kind of rocket is the VentureStar rocket?

VentureStar was Lockheed’s name for this future spaceplane concept. The Lockheed Skunk Works designed a lifting body shape with aerospike rocket engines and a metallic thermal protection system as a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle.

How much did it cost to launch VentureStar into space?

VentureStar was expected to launch satellites into orbit at about 1/10 the cost of the Shuttle. Readying VentureStar for flight would have dramatically differed from that of the Space Shuttle.

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