This drawing from the magazine Air Force and Space Digest shows a proposed NASA “ONE-STAGE-TO-ORBIT” aerospace plane. The craft would be able to take off from a regular airport using turbojet engines, then switch to ramjet propulsion at supersonic speed. To reach orbital speed in space, the aerospace plane would use a third set of engines using rocket propulsion.
In the drawing (above) the combination turbo-ramjet engines are housed in pods, just inside the vertical tailfins (on either side). The huge scoop atop the rear half of the fuselage contains the rocket engines and a novel collection and compression unit for gathering oxygen to burn in the rockets. The other propellant would be liquid oxygen carried in the craft’s tanks.
After it’s orbital mission, the aerospace plane would be able to reenter the atmosphere and land as a conventional aircraft at an airfield. The craft would be about 90 feet long and weigh some 100,000 pounds.
CREDIT LINE (UPI PHOTO) 7-21-62 (ML) UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL ROTO SERVICE
FOR FRIDAY PMS. NOV. 21 USE WITH SPACE STORY BY DR. WERNHER VON BRAUN
(NY5-Nov.20) SPACE SHUTTLE — One of the most important steps the nation’s space should take is the development of a space shuttle, shown here in artist’s conception above, says Dr. Wernher Von Braun in article written for the Associated Press. The shuttle, in drawing by Space Division of North-American Rockwell, is shown launching an unmanned space probe. (AP Wirephoto) (hmb50400ho) 1969
(DN4) DALLAS, TEX. APR. 23 — ROCKET OF THE FUTURE — The Rombus rocket, capable of orbiting 500-ton payloads is shown in this artist’s drawing. Rombus and several other proposed future rocket concepts were described by John W. Stone, launch vehicles advanced studies manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at the Manned Space Flight Conference in Dallas today. Rombus would be more than 400 feet tall and 120 feet in diameter. The launch pad would be a water-filled basin. (AP Wirephoto) (ft31430ho) (For use with Howard Benedict story) 1963