National Aero-Space Plane Pioneering New Frontiers

by Jess Sponable, AFSC/NAR, United States,
Terry Kasten, AFSC/NAR, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II


Paper reviews the current status, technology and potential future space launch applications of the joint DOD/NASA National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) program. Key program goals include first flight of the X-30 experimental spacecraft in 1997 with a single-stage-to-orbit flight by 1999. A conceptual design of a first generation operational vehicle derive from the NASP technology is presented. Operating out of conventional runways with a substantial 20,000 lb payload to space station, future operational vehicles offer the hope of more responsive access to space at significantly lower costs.

Subject Headings: Aircraft and spacecraft | Space exploration | Flight | Space stations | Aerospace engineering | Airport and airfield pavements | Vehicles | Benefit cost ratios

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