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AMSCI/ALSV - Air-launched mini shuttles from early 1980s - help needed

blackstar

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I think I have December 1987 Spaceflight.

Archipeppe, I do not have any better information than what I published years ago. I was referring to the fact that when I wrote the first article, some people who worked on some of these programs started commenting, and they also sent me some emails. That helped me with the other articles.

Unfortunately, this research was done with internal company R&D funding (what is often called IRAD funding), so it did not all become public. It is possible that some of the Boeing work still survives in their archives.
 

Bubba

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http://www.pmview.com/spaceodysseytwo/spacelvs/
Updated 6/15/2001, by Marcus Lindroos
perhaps it would be of any use...
 

blackstar

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Bubba said:
http://www.pmview.com/spaceodysseytwo/spacelvs/
Updated 6/15/2001, by Marcus Lindroos
perhaps it would be of any use...

I managed to get a fair amount more on the ALSV/spaceplane for my Space Review articles a few years ago (although only in the form of people remembering stuff, not actual documents). Marcus only has the Boeing concept, but there were several others as you can see from some of the artist illustrations in this thread. The Boeing one was the only proposal that actually got published, and their artwork got distributed widely.

It would be interesting to learn what prompted these companies to do this work. They obviously thought that USAF was interested, but was USAF really interested? (I guess that the fact that USAF never put any real money into this subject answers that question--nope.) And this little effort demonstrates something that people have discovered anytime they looked at this concept, which is that this approach could deliver a small payload or a single human to orbit, but probably not both. To get any meaningful payload out of an air-launched vehicle, you have to go really big, like Stratolauncher. And that creates a whole bunch of other problems, like getting that monster off the ground.
 

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One other thing that I just thought of--the AIAA paper about the Boeing-Rockwell International study mentions upgrading the RL-10 engines for the spaceplane. If I remember correctly, they refer to substantial increases in thrust. Here we are over 30 years later and the RL-10, which has been updated numerous times, still doesn't get near those power predictions. Now that could be partially because many of those updates over the years were for reliability, not thrust, but I get the sense that in 1980 they were hoping for performance improvements that simply were not possible for the RL-10. Either that, or they were over-promising.
 

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Excellent, really !

Just asking in passing... was some kind of connection ever found, between this one and the outrageously similar MAKS ? Remember, that was long before 1989 - more like 1978-1983, when Cold War temperature got "cold" again, particularly in the fall of 1983... Fascinating to think that during that time, Lozino and Rockwell got similar concepts.
 

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In the case of BOR-4, it was the US that reacted creating the HL-20.

In this case, I would guess it happened in reverse: the above picture must have been picked by the KGB in Aviation leak, which passed it to Lozino...
 

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flateric

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Excellent, really !

Just asking in passing... was some kind of connection ever found, between this one and the outrageously similar MAKS ? Remember, that was long before 1989 - more like 1978-1983, when Cold War temperature got "cold" again, particularly in the fall of 1983... Fascinating to think that during that time, Lozino and Rockwell got similar concepts.

All of sudden, in TsAGI museum...))
 

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