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Design Overview

Space Plane has a 250,000 kg maximum takeoff mass of which 66% is propellant, liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Its tanks are structurally built into the wing. A 250 m³ cargo bay delivers payloads of up to 5,000 kg to an altitude of 500 km.

Space Plane is equipped with a rocket based combined cycle engine (RBCC) using a series of small "ejector" type rockets in an internally ducted configuration that are augmented by intake air. Supersonic combustion is aided by detonation.

A fully retractable air intake below the wing opens right after takeoff and augments the variable hydrogen-rich ejector exhaust up to a speed of Mach 20. The air intake then closes, and the ejector rockets accelerate Space Plane to Mach 25.

Mach 25 is reached at 105 km altitude with a 3-degree inclination to the local horizon. Space Plane enters an elliptic sub-orbit of 450 km apogee, which is circularized by its orbital maneuvering system (OMS) with minimal propellant expenditure.

Space Plane has a length of 60.00 m, a wingspan of 30.03 m, a height of 7.77 m in its clean configuration, and a total volume of 3600 m³. Wing area and volume are 1330 m² and 2461 m³, respectively. Its propellant total volume is 1950 m³.

Space Plane Infographic

Space Plane Infographic