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Questions tagged [ssto]

Questions about single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft or system designs, that don't dispose any of their hardware during flight and can be reused as a whole. They can be entirely self-propelled, or partially accelerated to initial velocity by systems that are not parts of the space vehicle.

4
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1answer
209 views

Would the Space Shuttle External Tank have made orbit as a VT SSTO with 6 SSMEs?

Dropping the external boosters and also the entire 75-100 ton orbiter from the picture, would the tank all by itself have made orbit? This would require bolting at least 5, better 6, perhaps even 9 ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Is the UK's Skylon Project still going forward?

I have read a lot about Skylon which is a single stage to orbit concept space plane with a SABRE engine designed by the UK think tank Reaction Engines limited. However, in recent months it seems like ...
6
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1answer
130 views

Could a Roton-like SSTO work?

The Roton, developed by Rotary Rocket Company, was an attempt at SSTO using a helicopter rotor for takeoff and landing. This particular concept was cone-shaped with a tip-jet rotor on top and an ...
4
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0answers
53 views

Who owns the IP developed in the VentureStar program?

The VentureStar program including the prototype X-33 cost upwards of $1 billion, surely some of that went into still meaningful intellectual property. Who would own it now? NASA provided the funding, ...
6
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1answer
215 views

How many SSTO projects have ever existed with realistic goals and reliable designs?

Spaceplanes have always been thought to be a SSTO system with flight from ground to orbit and back, and while some concepts demonstrated suborbital capabilities, like the XCOR Lynx none ever made it. ...
9
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1answer
1k views

What are the details of the SSTO Mars profile for the BFR?

In this link and on other occasions, SpaceX has indicated that the BFR would land on Mars, "top off the tanks" as the article says, and then launch back to Martian orbit. SSTO doesn't work on Earth ...
4
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0answers
170 views

From a strictly engineering standpoint, would Venturestar have worked as an SSTO?

In looking at the questions here and here, I'm wondering - was the VentureStar platform doomed from the start (in ways nobody could foresee), or was it only the cooling problems with aerospike engines ...
8
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1answer
201 views

Number of burns for optimal launch ascent

If we consider Mars, with its relatively low gravitational acceleration and low density atmosphere, I had always assumed that if we have a single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle on the surface of Mars ...
2
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1answer
220 views

How plausible is the Skylon project? [closed]

Skylon is the frontier of launch vehicle research with literally 1 TRL(Technology Readiness Level), and it is more difficult than the Space Shuttle project. The project would cost estimate of 12 ...
4
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4answers
641 views

What thrust-to-weight ratio would be required for a SSTO without any external boosters?

Assume we have a society that has sophisticated enough engineering to build a SSTO chassis that can survive the rigors of repeated launch (MaxQ) and re-entry (thermal stress). What thrust to weight ...
7
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3answers
700 views

Burn spare oxidizer or carry it along?

Okay. This is not directly related to actual space travel, but it is semi-related, and definitely a practical, actual problem I face. It's about Kerbal Space Program and SSTO spaceplanes. And I ...
4
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2answers
563 views

Is SSTO viable on Mars?

I know that Single-Stage-to-Orbit is quite challenging from the surface of Earth, but it's relatively straightforward from the moon (as demonstrated by the Apollo LM). What about Mars? Let's assume in-...
11
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1answer
581 views

Is it possible to use zinc powder as a NTR propellant?

The ISP of a propellant is important when mass is the limiting factor; however, that is not exactly the case when launching a rocket. For the first part of the flight, the density of the propellant is ...
4
votes
1answer
288 views

Could the Atlas-B (SM-65B) have made it to orbit without jettisoning the first-stage engines?

Related to this question about single-stage-to-orbit vehicles, the Atlas-B launch vehicle seems to have been the closest to a true SSTO solution. Although it did jettison booster engines, the vehicle ...
36
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7answers
11k views

Has humanity launched a SSTO … ever?

If you've been reading the news lately, you've probably been reading about Skylon and it being Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO). I've had a think back and to the best of my knowledge humanity has always ...
20
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1answer
5k views

Why is the SABRE engine curved?

Why is the Reaction Engines Limited SABRE (Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) curved along it's length?     Illustration of the SABRE engine with the pre-cooler heat ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why have no reusable launch technologies been developed?

So we had the shuttle, and they obviously reused it many times, but it always needed new rockets to get it out of Earth's atmosphere. Why is it so difficult to create a spacecraft that is entirely ...
8
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Are we capable (engineering-wise) of building a spacecraft in space?

Rockets are expensive. And for the most part, one-time-use-only. SSTO promises to change that. However, SSTOs will have limited payload capacity (as will every launch vehicle), and eventually ...
5
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2answers
304 views

Could a SSTO bladder of air scooped from atmosphere improve performance?

Let's start out with an air breathing SSTO, like Skylon. These things have pretty bad mass ratios and pretty razor thin margins. Given that the engines react with the oxygen in the air during the ...
13
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4answers
3k views

What are the advantages of SSTO craft over Multi-stage crafts?

I hear a lot of talk about SSTO, and it got me to wonder, what's so good about them? Doesn't it make sense to get rid of parts that you no longer need for a mission? The way I see it, if it emptied a ...
5
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2answers
1k views

How exactly does the inclination and direction (specifically retrograde) of orbit affect the velocity I need to attain orbit?

this is my first question here; and a lot of what I've learnt so far has been pretty much self taught so I thought I best hear from professionals. :) First let me set the scene as to what I am trying ...
6
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1answer
565 views

Which launch vehicles are considered SSTO?

Are there any operating SSTO (single stage to orbit) vehicles? Are there others being tested such as Reaction Engine's Skylon?
12
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2answers
1k views

Was VentureStar a bad design or simply ahead of its time?

VentureStar was (IMHO) a pretty cool design; a reusable space plane designed for low running costs and rapid turn-around seems like just what the world needs. However, it was cancelled in 2001 due to (...
6
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1answer
235 views

Did VentureStar technology lead anywhere?

VentureStar seemed to make a bit of progress before being cancelled in 2001. Did any of the technology developed for this program lead anywhere? For example, its aerospike engines or high-tech fuel ...
8
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1answer
348 views

Any other countries/companies doing anything similar to British Skylon SSTO?

I was reading about the British Skylon SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) vehicle and its SABRE engine described in Wikipedia. The engine technology looks remarkable, if not revolutionary. Is this a unique ...