1997-10-01

A Military Space Plane Candidate 975630

This paper presents a Military Space Plane design concept. While the current military space plane activity is focused on rocket-powered concepts, the concept presented here is powered by a rocket-based combined cycle engine that uses both rocket and air-breathing engine cycles. The design concept is the reference SSTO design concept used in the NASA HRST ANSER study. The reference concept is a derivative of the NASA air-breathing Access to Space study SSTO design concept. The Access to Space air-breathing vehicle's combined cycle engine was replaced by the Aerojet rocket-based combined cycle engine. The orbital performance capability of the reference design concept is presented for 100 n mi., polar, and 225 n mi., 51 deg. orbits. The sensitivity of GTOW to payload and margin is also presented.

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