SPACE PLANES

AMERICA'S NATIONAL AEROSPACE PLANE(PROPOSED)

=KNOWLEDGE19A PICTURE

National Aerospace Plane (NASP)

The National Aerospace Plane, or X-30, is a program which proposes to design and develop an air/space craft which is able to take off and land as a conventional aircraft and have a single-stage-to-orbit configuration. The NASP engines would be either hydrogen-fueled supersonic combustion engines or scramjets. The first flight test vehicle is proposed between 1997 and 1999.

The present design configuration (1990) employs 3-5 scramjet engines and a single 50,000-70,000 lb thrust rocket. The X-30 is to be 150 to 200 ft long and weigh, at take-off, 250,000 to 300,000 lbs. It will have a crew of two.

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