Space travel with VentureStar
The VentureStar is envisioned to be the space delivery system of the 21st century. It will deliver a wide range of payloads to orbit more reliably and less expensively than today’s launch vehicles. Between flights VentureStar simply undergoes inspection, refueling, and reloading. The VentureStar will be 15,2m long, 4,6m wide, 4,6m deep (50 x 15 x 15 feet). The target is to carry 25 000 kg (56,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit (LEO), and 8 000 kg (18,000 pounds) to geosynchronous transfer orbit, roughly equivalent to those of the Space Shuttle. VentureStar will reach approximately 28 000 kph (17,500 mph) or greater than Mach 25 to reach Earth orbit, using the linear aerospike engine. This is the speed required for any space vehicle to stay in orbit. The linear aerospike engine has several performance benefits over conventional rocket engines. Initially designed and tested for use on the Space Shuttle in the 1970s, officials decided to develop another design, known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine.