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Space Cowboy

MSTO - Multi Stage to Orbit

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We have done well as a community, to break the so-called SSTO barrier, in terms of space planes. The mind wanders. SSTO in the so-called real world, is impossible. In 2001 A Space Odyssey, the Orion had aparrently been lifted to a certain altitude and speed by a jet only base ship. The reason for this post, is to possibly start a new thread / design ideology / imagination springboard. SSTO has been a holy grail, and by and large, achieved. Let us consider and design two, perhaps three part space planes, and share. Detaching boosters are entirely acceptable. No rules in fact, except perhaps that the primary means of getting to the edge of the atmosphere is caused by wing lift, vs. thrust.

Edited by Space Cowboy

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I have previously experimented with building winged fly-back stages with solid rocket strap-on boosters. The solids (which have little recovery value) are lost, but the rest of the plane is recovered.

I haven't revisited the idea since re-entry heating was added to KSP. Maybe I'll give it another go and see what I can come up with.

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About the simplest version of this I know is the kind with drop-tanks.  As long as it has enough air-breathing engine power to lift a little extra weight, you can use small external rocket fuel tanks to burn through while doing its trans-atmospheric burn.  Once the tanks are spent and it has a trans-orbital trajectory, you can drop the tanks and save some weight for the orbital circularization burn.

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4 hours ago, Space Cowboy said:

SSTO in the so-called real world, is impossible.

Not impossible... just unable to turn a profit. :wink:

 

Edited by Streetwind

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This sharing of craft (for such it will prove to be) has been moved to the craft sharing subforum. 

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Though spaceplanes with drop tanks are more efficient, I don't build them as i don't find them as challenging to build, (the challenges of building complex designs is one of my favourite things in the game) and let's be honest, no one builds sstos for efficiency, they build them for cool factor. If reusability became practical in the game, that might change, but right now why else would people (or at least me :)) put satellites in orbit with sstos? Just my thoughts on mstos.

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3 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Not impossible... just unable to turn a profit. :wink:

 

Not necessarily. I'm still holding out hope for smaller SSTO rockets, which should be capable of carrying small payloads to orbit for a lower price than any other rocket except for the falcon 9, and should have fewer moving parts and therefore more reliability than conventional rockets. (I'd like to point to the ARCA Haas 2c as an example, but given its suspiciously high mass ratio, and the number of typos in its website, i do not necessarily trust in designs like it, i merely hold out hope that they will work)

Though of course, reusability is more important than SSTO'ing at this point.

2 hours ago, MiffedStarfish said:

no one builds sstos for efficiency, they build them for cool factor. If reusability became practical in the game, that might change, but right now why else would people (or at least me :)) put satellites in orbit with sstos?

SSTO spaceplanes can be more than twice as efficient as conventional staged rockets, and the recovery bonus for SSTO rockets is worth the extra development and deorbiting time (imho). But yes, coolness is definitely more of a factor than recovery. :)

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9 hours ago, Space Cowboy said:

We have done well as a community, to break the so-called SSTO barrier, in terms of space planes. The mind wanders. SSTO in the so-called real world, is impossible. In 2001 A Space Odyssey, the Orion had aparrently been lifted to a certain altitude and speed by a jet only base ship. The reason for this post, is to possibly start a new thread / design ideology / imagination springboard. SSTO has been a holy grail, and by and large, achieved. Let us consider and design two, perhaps three part space planes, and share. Detaching boosters are entirely acceptable. No rules in fact, except perhaps that the primary means of getting to the edge of the atmosphere is caused by wing lift, vs. thrust.

A very old design:

http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/craigmotbey/Kerbal/Beta/Kerbodyne Showroom/Sabotage/story

screenshot280_zpsz6mu6am0.jpg

 

screenshot282_zpskyvana10.jpg

screenshot288_zpslofvod9j.jpg

screenshot291_zpsnddnk1kz.jpg

screenshot293_zps7nxbjct2.jpg

screenshot297_zpsimhcx9fu.jpg

screenshot300_zpsqjntxdyw.jpg

Edited by Wanderfound

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1 hour ago, Fellow314 said:

I built this a while ago.  I have no idea if it would still work :)

 

That is awesome! So cool, such sawg, much greatness

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Just did a new install x64 on a WIN10 partition on a MacbookPro. Am so impressed with the smoothness I may get around to trying my hand.

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