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Horizontal In LIne Launch Staging (HILLS)

December 16, 2012

DC3b

Today marks a new era of space commerce.  Many excellent ventures are emerging to provide more affordable space access.  In the 1930s aviation evolved technologies that enabled effective commercial air services.  Some have identified the DC3 as a great step in that direction.  What will mark a comparable step in this era of space enterprise?

WINGED SPACE LAUNCH IS THE FUTURE

Orbital Sciences Corporation has demonstrated winged vehicles for orbital launches.  Their Pegasus uses aerodynamic lift for space launch.  With Scaled Composites Stratolaunch, orbital costs will drop with real reusability.

Unlike the rocket launches of the past these are aircraft flown from a runway with air breathing jet engines.  This reduces the size of the vehicle.  It is a step in the right direction.  They still do not recover the upper stages though.

Another type of airframe is giving more efficient results.  Blended wing bodies may be ideal for both horizontal launch and recovery.  The whole vehicle is used and not thrown away.

 SP8

In-line staging can further reduce drag while using lift from both stages. Both rocket and air breathing propulsion have their places.  This will yield a smaller lighter system.

THIS DESIGN PROTECTED UNDER US PATENT 8,528,853 B2

SP3

 The next generation of space access

SP4

THE COST OF SPACE MUST COME DOWN

Much of the launch cost is lost when the rocket can only provide one mission.  To be reusable requires the entire vehicle to be reusable for many missions.  Wings can provide lift for ascent and a gentle recovery as well. 

SP9

A blended wing body delivers internal volume and structural efficiency.  It is suited to high speed with turbine or rocket engines.  It may be rounded for heat dissapation and still able to gain orbital speed in the thin air of higher altitudes.  Wings are not a mass penalty; they are an asset.

SP10

CONGRESS IS PLANNING A HUGE MISTAKE

While the Space Shuttle was losing money, the replacement may lose our entire space economy.  To place massive payloads Congress proposes to force obsolete designs on NASA.  The Space Launch System duplicates the waste of the past.  A return to the methods of the Apollo program is not the way to the future. 

A grossly expensive booster is not needed.  A fully reusable system is critical to make space services affordable.   

WINGED ACCESS IS NOT OPTIONAL

The alternative proposals to land by pure rocket thrust miss the most obvious use of aerodynamic lift.  They offer no redundant safety in the event of propulsion failures.  They also ignore the advantages of aerodynaic lift on ascent.  Wing mass is not a penalty.  It is a life line.  In-line staging is a straight line to that life.

SP1

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

The atmospheric ocean is our friend or our foe.  The thrust of the past was a frontal attack that was not economical.  It is destroying our space economy.  To repeat our mistakes with a gigantic old technology is not to expect any better results.  We need space access for both military and civil services.  We must invest in space, but not in the ways that assure renewed failure.  It is time to rediscover the inclined plane; a simple mechanical solution.

BUILDING THE DREAM

62

REUNITE AERO AND SPACE! 

Americans poineered winged flight, we will not abandon the good lessons of the past.  The X-15 and Shuttle orbiters will give us lessons again.  Join us on line or add to our team effort!

DAVID I. LUTHER

diluther@starband.net

 

Facebook group:

OrionCraft

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/group.php?gid=110821682303324

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