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Phil Santos

SASSTO at Astronautix

Image credit: Douglas

Image source: SDASM Archives


SASSTO (Saturn Application Single-Stage-to-Orbit) combined launch vehicle and spacecraft. Only 62.3 ft (19m.) tall, a single plug-nozzle engine would serve both as launch vehicle and for soft-landing back on Earth after an orbital mission. The craft – seen here with a Gemini two-man capsule – would be recovered intact and could be used repeatedly. It would be a particularly appropriate for ferry missions into Earth-orbit including the emergency rescue of astronauts.

  1. Optional fairing around the two-man Gemini Capsule;
  2. Gemini adapter section;
  3. Transition support structure;
  4. Orbit injection / retro and control propellant tanks (6);
  5. Toroidal liquid-oxygen tank;
  6. Annular combustion chamber;
  7. Truncated plug nozzle and re-entry heat shield;
  8. Attitude-control system (4);
  9. Retractable landing legs (4);
  10. Spherical liquid-hydrogen propellant tank.

Frontiers of Space
Philip Bono & Kenneth Gatland
Macmillan, 1969

SASSTO at Astronautix

Image credit: Douglas

Image source(s):

SDASM Archives

Numbers Station