Encyclopedia Astronautica

Phoenix 1985
Credit: Gary Hudson
American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing.

in: 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 50.000 million.

Stage Data - VTOVL

  • Stage 1. 1 x VTOVL 150t. Gross Mass: 4,093,761 kg (9,025,198 lb). Empty Mass: 419,154 kg (924,076 lb). Thrust (vac): 63,387.802 kN (14,250,145 lbf). Isp: 485 sec. Burn time: 500 sec. Isp(sl): 412 sec. Diameter: 29.70 m (97.40 ft). Span: 29.70 m (97.40 ft). Length: 26.50 m (86.90 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 17. Engine: Plug-Nozzle SSME. Status: Study 1978.

AKA: Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing.
Status: Study 1978.
Gross mass: 4,093,761 kg (9,025,198 lb).
Height: 32.00 m (104.00 ft).
Diameter: 29.70 m (97.40 ft).
Thrust: 53,846.90 kN (12,105,265 lbf).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Plug-Nozzle SSME Notional lox/lh2 rocket engine. 3728.7 kN. Study 1978. Isp=485s. Used on VTOVL launch vehicle. 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...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

  • Cohan, Christopher J, Space Transportation Systems, 1980-2000, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, New York, 1978.

Associated Stages
  • VTOVL 150t Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,093,761/419,154 kg. Thrust 63,387.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 485 seconds. More...

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