NASA Contemplates System To Chuck Shuttles Into Space Horizontally

Posted by on September 14th, 2010


Launching gigantic shuttles into orbit (although awesome) is costly. So what if we just threw that bad boy as hard as we could like a paper airplane and then fitted it with some super sweet rockets to blast that sucker into the cosmos?

An early proposal calls for a wedge-shaped aircraft with scramjets to be launched horizontally on an electrified (magnetic levitation) track or gas-powered sled. The aircraft would fly up to Mach 10, using the scramjets and wings to lift it to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, where a small payload canister or capsule similar to a rocket’s second stage would fire off the back of the aircraft and into orbit.

Engineers also contend the system, with its advanced technologies, will benefit the nation’s high-tech industry by perfecting technologies that would make more efficient commuter rail systems, better batteries for cars and trucks, and numerous other spinoffs.

So we get a reusable solution for shuttle launches and the latest monorail technology? Well that’s good enough for me to link this song!


One Response to “NASA Contemplates System To Chuck Shuttles Into Space Horizontally”

  1. Josh Bulloc Says:

    I think we need to use it to travel. Just launch me to CA and hopefully I land in thew pillow factory.