GALLERY OF TEEN SPACE BOOKS

ESTES MODEL ROCKETRY CATALOG (circa 1970)

ESTES MODEL ROCKETRY CATALOG

Copyright 1970 by Estes Industries


DISCUSSION

The above cover depicts a proposed vehicle called the ORBITAL TRANSPORT. It is described as the "launch vehicle of the 80s." The combination aircraft/rocket is to use a scramjet reusable air-breathing booster. The kit's cost is a mere $3.25. The first stage booster was 23 inches long with an 8.6 inch re-entry vehicle which ejected and glided back to Earth. The vehicle was featured on the cover of the NOVEMBER 1959 POPULAR MECHANICS. The accompanying article spoke of a sub-orbital configuration which could transport passengers coast to coast in 30 minutes. By 1970 the concept expanded to an orbital vehicle. Later space shuttle proposals included portions of the concept. Among these was a piloted first stage booster. Later cost savings scrubbed this concept in favor of two enormous reusable solid rocket boosters. The scramjet propulsion concept was adopted by the AEROSPACE PLANE program (1990s).


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