Boeing Single Stage to Orbit Concept (1970)

Boeing Single Stage to Orbit Concept (1970)

Steve G.
A heavy lift to orbit concept from the early 1970's, it would have used 20 engines from a Saturn V moon rocket (4 times as many as on the first stage of that rocket) to lift 500 tons into earth orbit. It was supposed to be unmanned, 100 percent reusable, landing via retro rockets (no parachute) in a 3 mile wide lagoon at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was supposed to drive down the cost per pound to orbit to a reasonable level. From a practical point of view, it would have been a rat's nest of plumbing to that many engines and was supposed to use water converting to steam to protect the engines during re-entry. I don't see how the engine nozzles could be sealed well enough to the underside to prevent plasma from destroying the whole thing. I've included on version, in lift off mode and with the cargo doors open with two engine arrangements, one with the 20 engines in a ring around the outside of the bottom and one with 4 duplicate Saturn V arrangements under the theory that the flight controls were already known for that arrangement. #boeing #cargo #F1 #heavy_lift #rocket #saturn_V #space #ssto #unmanned
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