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Delta Clipper
DC-Y
DC-Y
Credit: NASA
The ultimate goal of the Delta Clipper program was to produce a prototype reusable single-stage to orbit, vertical takeoff/vertical landing space truck. The DC-I Delta Clipper would be the full production version.

AKA: DC-I;DC-Y;Douglas Clipper. Status: Study 1993. Payload: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb). Thrust: 5,330.20 kN (1,198,277 lbf). Gross mass: 470,000 kg (1,030,000 lb). Unfuelled mass: 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). Specific impulse: 425 s. Specific impulse sea level: 330 s. Burn time: 260 s. Height: 46.00 m (150.00 ft). Diameter: 9.15 m (30.01 ft). Span: 12.20 m (40.00 ft). Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

The eight engines for the DC-Y were to use off-the-shelf technology as much as possible. The LOX turbopump was the Fiat Avio - HM60 which was being flown on the Ariane. The Hydrogen Turbopump was from the P&W XLR- 129. The controls and health monitoring system was based on a P&W system developed for NASP. The thrust chamber assembly was based on a program run out of Marshall. It used a copper tubular chamber based on P&W IR&D. The Regenerator was to be new. The extendable nozzle was based on the existing RL-10. Engine valves were from the Fiat HM60. The engine was throttleable from 10% to 100% and used an expander cycle.

Crew Size: 2. LEO Payload: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb) to a 300 km orbit at 90.00 degrees. Payload: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb) to a LEO 28 deg. Launch Price $: 350.000 million in 1991 dollars.

Stage Data - DC-Y

  • Stage 1. 1 x DC-Y. Gross Mass: 84,000 kg (185,000 lb). Empty Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,051.200 kN (236,319 lbf). Isp: 373 sec. Burn time: 271 sec. Isp(sl): 316 sec. Diameter: 5.00 m (16.40 ft). Span: 5.00 m (16.40 ft). Length: 20.00 m (65.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 16. Engine: RL-10A-5. Status: Study 1993.
  • Stage 1. 1 x DC-I. Gross Mass: 470,000 kg (1,030,000 lb). Empty Mass: 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 6,860.000 kN (1,542,180 lbf). Isp: 425 sec. Burn time: 260 sec. Isp(sl): 330 sec. Diameter: 9.15 m (30.01 ft). Span: 9.15 m (30.01 ft). Length: 38.72 m (127.03 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: Plug-Nozzle J-2. Status: Study 1993.



Subtopics

DC-X The Space Defense Initiative Office's Single Stage Rocket Technology program of 1990-1995 demonstrated technology readiness for an SSTO vehicle. Despite successful test flights of the DC-X technology demonstrator, no development funding was forthcoming, and designs for prototype and production rockets remained on the drawing boards.

DC-XA American VTOVL test vehicle. After a hard landing in the last flight of this series, the vehicle was rebuilt to the DC-XA configuration. The DC-XA flew from May 1996 until destroyed when it tipped over while landing on its fourth flight on 31 July 1996.

DC-X2 American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Proposed intermediate 1/2 scale test vehicle between DC-X and DC-Y orbital version. No government agency was willing to fund the $450 million development cost -- and neither were any private investors.

Family: Manned spacecraft, orbital launch vehicle, SSTO. Country: USA. Engines: RL-10A-5. Agency: Douglas. Bibliography: 282, 8252.

1993 August 18 - . 22:43 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MDAC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Verified flight control systems and vertical landing capabilities. Reached 46 m altitude in a 59 second flight..

1993 September 11 - . 17:12 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MDAC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Ascent and landing mode control and ground effects survey. Reached 92 m in a 66 second flight..

1993 September 30 - . 16:28 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MDAC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Demonstrated 180 degree roll; provided aerostability data. Reached 370 m during 57 second flight. Last test of first series -- vehicle mothballed when SDIO funding ran out..

1994 June 20 - . 14:42 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MDAC. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). First flight of second series after additional SDIO funding received. Full propellent load; radar altimeter in control loop. Reached altitude of 870 m during a 136 second flight..

1994 June 27 - . 14:36 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MDAC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). In-flight abort after gaseous hydrogen explosion; vehicle demonstrated autoland capabilities. Reached altitude of 790 m during a 78 second flight..

1995 May 16 - . 15:40 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: BMDO. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Continued expansion of flight envelope; constant angle of attack. Reached altitude of 1330 m during a 124 second flight..

1995 June 12 - . 14:38 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: BMDO. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). First use of reaction control system thrusters; demonstrated change of angle of attack from 0 to 70 degrees. Reached altitude of 1740 m during a 132 second flight..

1995 July 7 - . 13:02 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: BMDO. Apogee: 2.00 km (1.20 mi). Final flight of second series. Demonstrated turnaround maneuver. Aeroshell cracked during 4 m/s hard landing. Reached altitude of 2500 m during a 124 second flight..

1996 March 15 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • DC-XA Rollout - . Nation: USA.

1996 March 22 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • DC-XA arrives at White Sands - . Nation: USA.

1996 May 4 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • DC-XA Engine Test 1 - . Nation: USA.

1996 May 7 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-X.
  • DC-XA Engine Test 2 - . Nation: USA.

1996 May 18 - . 14:20 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-XA.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). First flight of the DC-XA; aeroshell caught fire during slow landing. Reached altitude of 244 m during a 62 second flight..

1996 June 7 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-XA.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Maximum structural stresses with 50% full LOX tank. Reached altitude of 590 m during a 64 second flight..

1996 June 8 - . 18:17 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-XA.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 3.00 km (1.80 mi). 26-hour rapid turnaround demostration; new altitude and duration record. Reached altitude of 3140 m during a 142 second flight..

1996 July 31 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Delta Clipper. Launch Vehicle: DC-XA. FAILURE: Landing strut 2 failed to extend; vehicle tipped over and LOX tank exploded; vehicle destroyed..
  • Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Reached altitude of 1250 m during a 140 second flight..


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