Status: Study 2004. Thrust: 1,200.30 kN (269,838 lbf).
Cosmos Mariner was a concept of Dr. Norman LaFave of Lone Star Space Access, Houston, Texas. The rocketplane would takeoff and land from conventional airfields. Dr. LaFave was a Houston-based physicist who advised NASA on space rendezvous matters. The Cosmos Mariner employed airbreathing jet propulsion for take-off and landing from conventional airports, and rocket propulsion for ascent to 65 km altitude. From there, the vehicle coasted to a target altitude of 120 km. The airframe was designed to interface with two turbofan engines, each with 11,300-kgf static thrust. For rocket propulsion, the Cosmos Mariner was to use three 40,800 kgf thrust, staged-combustion engines. No details of the design ever emerged.