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|Origin:||4th ISCOPS, AAS Vol 77, pp 349-351|
Since the first proposals for single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) launch vehicles in the late 1940s, the chief criticism of the concept has remained the need for high mass fractions (ratio of propellant weight to loaded weight less payload) required for the concepts to be practical. Whether reusable or expendable, in many critics' minds the impossibility of SSTO remains tied to this issue. The purpose of this analysis is to dispel the concern over the issue of mass fraction. We propose to do this by means of a thought experiment.
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