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Questions tagged [spaceplane]

A spaceplane is an aerospace vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space.

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Has the use of any commercial launch vehicle's engines on an unrelated vehicle ever been seriously considered?

When reading On the Cusp: What’s NextDARPA Perspective on Space Briefing prepared for 53rd Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium March 12, 2015 I saw the slide shown below. The slide's heading is ...
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How did the X-15 control attitude above the Kármán line?

This interesting, archived page https://www.webcitation.org/618QHms8h?url=http://www.fai.org/astronautics/100km.asp which I found in this answer, says: In the early 1960´s, the U.S. X-15 Aircraft ...
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How many companies are working on creating viable spaceplanes in the near future for human spaceflight(10-20 years)

As we are goinh into 2019 and we've seen the likes of XCOR Aerospace adn Virgin orbit working towards spaceplanes. How many other companies are working on getting humans to space, suborbital and ...
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How much higher is the wave drag for a spaceplane compared to its induced drag

I'm working on the conceptual design of the path of a suborbital spaceplane and am trying to do basic calculations. I read that wave drag near the sonic barrier can be huge and can impede the flight. ...
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ISRO's space plane on top of of a rocket - how unstable was it?

ISRO's space plane was launched on top of a rocket into a sub-orbital trajectory, with separation from the lift vehicle around 45 km and a maximum altitude of about 65 km, based on an analysis of the ...
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Seeking concept art or photo of MAKS on carrier plane

In an answer to this question Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed? Schlusstein mentioned the proposed MAKS system, which was new to me. (...
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Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed?

The Space Shuttle and the Soviet/Russian Buran have launched vertically, and their wings were exposed to the full load of aerodynamic forces during the launch. Stability may come from many factors, ...
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Can you get to orbital speed with an air breathing engine?

There have been some questions (and answers) that talk about using an airplane as part (or all) of the launch to space. There are active designs that use wings as part of the launch or landing ...
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Could you use a hypersonic space plane to fly into space?

Is it possible to use a hypersonic jet that goes at extreme speeds in the atmosphere, then once it's at a high altitude it points down to just above the horizon and speeds up. Then it flies by that ...
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Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

I'm really impressed with these two spaceplanes, so I'm thinking is there any chance to fly again, or some similar spaceplanes (similar design, size...) to be built?
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Is there any leaked information about the real purpose of the X-37B spaceplane [duplicate]

Is there any leaked information about the real purpose of the X-37B. It is said that it could be used as a multipurpose space-plane such as a spy satellite or demonstrating technologies for re-...
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Gliding into the atmosphere

The recent question about Cessna reentering from ISS got the answers that all imply a rapid drop. But from what I know, air drag is proportional: to square of airspeed to air density to attack ...
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Was the X-15 program a dead end for orbital insertion?

That's B-70 Valkyrie carrying the X-15. What private space is trying to accomplish, was done in the 60's. In fact, The X-15 remains the fastest and highest flying manned aircraft ever flown. What ...
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Could the 'anomaly' in the recent Virgin Galactic crash impact the other SpaceShipTwos?

I just found out about today's horrific crash of one of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes, the VSS Enterprise. It apparently was due to an 'anomaly.' I realize that details are still ...
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What could the X-37 be useful for?

While U.S. Air Force doesn't disclose the tasks and roles for the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle class spacecrafts, there are many things known about the vessel, such as its delta-v budget, its cargo bay ...
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Are today's rockets the last of a dying breed?

We're fortunate to live in an era where there are so many advances being made in aerospace engineering. There are a lot of new companies creating new machines to get to space. However, a lot of them ...
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What use could be getting to space just for a bit?

I asked a question about reaching space using non-rocket aircrafts on aviation.se and I found out that it may be possible to reach the space for a short moment and then a normal aircraft designed to ...