Encyclopedia Astronautica
Venturestar


American SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. Production reusable single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle using technology developed in X-33 testbed.

LEO Payload: 26,800 kg (59,000 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 28.00 degrees.

Status: Cancelled 1999.
Gross mass: 991,000 kg (2,184,000 lb).
Payload: 26,800 kg (59,000 lb).
Height: 39.70 m (130.20 ft).
Diameter: 39.00 m (127.00 ft).
Thrust: 13,390.00 kN (3,010,190 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Venturestar American manned spaceplane. Study 2006. Production reusable single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle using technology developed in X-33 testbed. More...

See also
  • SSTO Category of launch vehicles. Single Stage To Orbit. More...
  • VTOVL The concept of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit Vertical Take-Off Vertical Landing (VTOVL) launch vehicle that would reenter and return to its launch site for turnaround and relaunch was first proposed by Philip Bono in the 1960's. The appealing simplicity of the concept has been offset by the technological risk in developing it. The problem with any single-stage-to-orbit concept is that if the empty weight of the final vehicle has been underestimated it will not be able to deliver any payload to orbit, or even reach orbit. Since weight growth of up to 20% is not unknown in aerospace projects, this is a very real threat which has made both NASA and private investors reluctant to invest the billions of dollars it would take to develop a full-scale flight vehicle. More...
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...

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