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Origin:Proceedings of 7th ISCOPS, AAS Vol 96, pp 647-692

This paper is intended to serve as a basis for discussion of both normal and emergency operating procedures for a fully re-usable, piloted, VTOVL (Vertical Take-Off, Vertical Landing), SSTO (Single-Stage-To-Orbit) rocket. The reference vehicle is the "Kankoh-Maru", a transport of approximately 550 tons GLOW (Gross Lift-Off Weight) designed by the Japanese Rocket Society primarily for transport of tourists to and from low Earth orbit (1). As such the paper also illustrates the survivable, savable nature of such a rocket provided that it is designed and operated as if it were an aircraft, based on the safety philosophy developed within the aviation industry over decades of operations.

For this purpose we consider flight procedures for two typical cases, a commercial "airline" flight to and from an orbiting facility, and operation as an all-purpose cargo transport. While many details remain to be determined, a reasonably good picture of Kankoh-maru operations can be drawn. It is clear that, in order to make space transportation routine, a key requirement is the adoption of "aviation philosophy" by designers of reusable launch vehicles.

Referred to by:
Related Entries:
  • Kankoh-Maru
  • VTOL
  • SSTO
  • Japanese Rocket Society
  • ELV
  • NASA
  • DC-X
  • McDonnell Douglas
  • RATO
  • GLOW
  • LOX
  • LH2
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