Here are examples of tentative designs for a space shuttle, made public by members of the four industrial teams competing in the project:
- McDonnell Douglas/Marietta
- North American/General Dynamics
- Grumman Aerospace
Each of pictured space-shuttle versions is a composite craft consisting of two stages, a booster and an orbiter, and is launched vertically like a space rocket, as shown. It’s two stages separate in space, and both return to earth for re-use.
Image credit: Robert McCall
Text and Images: Popular Science