- 26 May 2006
- Reaction score
TomS said:There's a second fly-back booster shown in that first picture. It looks like a revisit of the Siamese launcher concepts before the Shuttle.
Lockheed Martin's Preferred architecture is also a two-stage-to-orbit vehicle, combining a kerosene-fuelled first stage with a hydrogen-fuelled second stage. The fly-back first stage returns on jet power to the launch site while the second stage continues to orbit. Cargo is carried in a fairing on the back of the second stage, which opens to release the payload. The vehicle then reenters and glides back to a runway landing.
Alternatively, an orbital space plane (OSP) can be mounted on the second stage in place of the cargo fairing. The spaceplane would detach itself, operate in orbit, then re-enter and glide back.