Contents

Preface xi

1 Rocketplanes at the Airport 1

The Wright Flyer 2

Rocket Men 4

Silbervogel: The Silverbird 5

German Rocket Gliders 7

American Rocketplanes 8

The Douglas Skyrocket (1948-1956) 10

The Bell X-2 Starbuster (1952-1956) 11

NASA Lifting Bodies 14

Today's Rocketplanes 17

XCOR Aerospace EZ-Rocket 18

XCOR X-Racer 20

References 21

2 Why Spaceplanes? 23

Space Tourism 23

Superior Vehicle 26

Basic Comparisons 27

Energy 27

Reusability 28

Refuelability 30

Efficiency 30

Safety 31

Simplicity 32

Operational Superiority 34

Versatility and Infrastructure 34

Ballistic Refuse 35

Conclusion 36

References 37

3 Rocket Science: Wings Added 39

The Airplane 40

The Rocket 43

The Rocket Equation 45

Staging 46

The Challenge of the Spaceplane 46

A Hybrid Is Born 49

4 Missiles and Modules 51

Historical Rockets 51

Types of Rockets 53

Modular Spacecraft 56

Rockets vs. Spaceplanes 61

Spaceplanes to the Moon 65

Spaceplanes to Mars? 66

References 67

5 Crawling into Suborbit: The Baby Spaceplane 69

The Mercury Redstone 70

The North American X-15 72

Costs vs. Benefits 78

Launch Methods 78

Safety 79

The Tourism Market 80

References 81

6 Going Ballistic 83

Ballistic Background 83

Dyna-Soar (1957-1963) 86

Hermes (1987-1993) 87

HOPE (1992-2003) 88

Kliper (2004-present) 89

References 91

7 Piggyback to Orbit 93

The Space Shuttle 94

Challenger 96

Columbia 98

Lessons Learned 99

Buran 100

Ascender 101

Spacecab and Spacebus 102

References 103

8 Advanced Propulsion 105

The Aerospike Engine 105

Ramjets and Scramjets 106

Orient Express: The X-30 110

The X-43 Hyper-X 110

Air-Augmented Rockets 111

Aerial Propellant Tanking 112

Liquid Air Cycle Engines 113

Turborockets 113

Future Design Concepts 115

Spaceplanes by the Numbers 116

Efficient Nozzles 120

An Elementary Exercise in Advanced Propulsion 121

Air-Breathing Centrifugal Rocket Engine 121

Impeller-Diverter Rotating Rocket 121

References 122

9 Single Stage to Orbit: The Advanced Spaceplane 125

From DC-3 to DC-X 126

The Spacefaring Public 132

Anatomy of a Spaceplane 134

Spaceline Timeline 137

Have Spaceplane Will Travel 139

Flank Speed to the Future 140

Tricks of the Trade 143

Getting There 146

10 Destination Moon: The Lunar Spaceplane 149

Lunar Vision 149

Why Go to the Moon? 152

Lunar Resources 154

Project Apollo 156

Project Constellation 159

Good Spaceships 165

Lunar Infrastructure 166

The Lunar Resort 168

Destination Mars 169

References 171

11 Strategies for Success 173

Establish a Vision 173

Develop the Market 174

Sustain the Effort 175

Apply Lessons Learned 176

Ask the Right Questions 177

Be Creative 179

Collaborate! 180

Deliver the Package 181

12 Spaceplanes at the Spaceport 183

Today's Spaceplanes 183

Benson Dream Chaser 183

Bristol Spaceplanes Ascender 184

EADS Astrium Spaceplane 184

Ramstar Orbital Spaceplane 185

Rocketplane XP 187

Skylon 187

Spacefleet SF-01 189

SpaceShipOne 191

SpaceShipTwo 192

XCOR Xerus 192

Space Hotels 193

Airports Today, Spaceports Tomorrow 193

Tomorrow's Spaceplanes 193

Beyond the Spaceplane 194

References 195

Appendix A Glossary 197

Appendix B Spaceplane Mathematics 213

Appendix C Spaceplane Timeline 221

Appendix D Spaceplane Data 225

Index 233

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