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The cancelled Venturestar Shuttle replacement.


Grumpy Martian
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Below are some details of the Venturestar programme. This was planned to be a single stage to orbit vehicle to replace the Shuttle. But it was cancelled in 2001. It seems a shame as there would have been many advantages. Safer exhaust emissions and much cheaper to operated. With a much higher planned safety ability. Not sure why it was cancelled. Also will it's technology be revisited again. It's engine whilst still chemical was a more efficient aero spike design.

 

VentureStar was a single-stage-to-orbit reusable launch system proposed by Lockheed Martin and funded by the U.S. government. The goal was to replace the Space Shuttle by developing a re-usable spaceplane that could launch satellites into orbit at a fraction of the cost. While the requirement was for an uncrewed launcher, it was expected to carry passengers as cargo. The VentureStar would have had a wingspan of 68 feet (20.7 m), a length of 127 feet (38.7 m), and would have weighed roughly 1000 t (2.2 million lb).

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Whilst it was a great achievement to send astronauts to the moon with apollo.

That programme set in motion by Jack Kennedy cancelled the X-15 space plane project. All efforts went to the apollo programme. This in my opinion caused it's cancellation. The X-15  would have in my opinion led to a proper spaceship that takes off from ground and straight to orbit.

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Yes, Apollo was a blind alley that NASA was rushed into for no other reason than cold-war politics, which we cannot discuss.

That being said, a reusable SSTO "space-plane" with a sensible payload is not a trivial task.

Back in the day there were ideas of a two-stage solution with a ramp-launched booster plane (Like a beefed up V1) launching the orbiter stage.

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Plans, and budget cuts over here, having the chance of changing every 4 years have wasted a lot of money, not just in space exploration. 

We do need something that can lift a really heavy or large piece of equipment into orbit, and if possible economically. 

I like looking at the old information that shows the lift capability of the rockets as they first started then got better.

The jump from the regular rockets, Atlas and Redstone to the Saturn V was incredible.

Then came the Shuttle.

Be really nice to call the ISS and tell them next years supplies are on the way! 😁

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21 hours ago, maw lod qan said:

Plans, and budget cuts over here, having the chance of changing every 4 years have wasted a lot of money, not just in space exploration. 

We do need something that can lift a really heavy or large piece of equipment into orbit, and if possible economically. 

I like looking at the old information that shows the lift capability of the rockets as they first started then got better.

The jump from the regular rockets, Atlas and Redstone to the Saturn V was incredible.

Then came the Shuttle.

Be really nice to call the ISS and tell them next years supplies are on the way! 😁

The space elevator perhaps.

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