Aerospace Plane

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aerospace Plane


a new type of piloted, jet-engined aircraft (in particular, winged) with an airfoil shape, intended for flight in the atmosphere and in space and combining the properties of an airplane and a spaceship. Designed for repeated use, it must be capable of taking off from airfields, accelerating to orbital speed, flying in space, and returning to earth to land at an airfield. One of the main functions of the aerospace plane is to carry supplies and fresh crews to the manned orbiting stations. The fact that the aerospace plane can be used repeatedly is expected to make it more efficient and economical than present-day carrier rockets. The United States is studying the possibility of using the aerospace plane for military purposes. It is proposed that the aerospace plane be powered by a combination of an air-breathing jet engine for flight within the atmosphere and a liquid-fuel rocket motor for space flight. Studies are also being made of the possibility of using nuclear power. Research is being conducted into a number of complex problems relating to the building of the aerospace plane and work is in progress (1970) on specific aerospace-plane and space-shuttle projects (for instance, Astro in the USA and Mustard in Great Britain) with an initial mass of up to several hundred tons.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

transatmospheric vehicle

transatmospheric vehicle
Space shuttle.
A spacecraft capable of flight within the atmosphere in a manner similar to an aircraft. It may take off normally or be launched by a rocket. Also called an aerospace plane. The figure shown here is of a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) space shuttle—an example of a transatmospheric vehicle.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
The Reading team, headed by James Ferryman, has conducted trials on a British Aerospace plane and a mock Airbus.
Aerospace engineers first began thinking about such engines several decades ago in a project that became known as the National Aerospace Plane. But at the time, says Brand, the technologies required weren't mature enough to make the concept work.
Bob Koenig, Former Deputy Director of the National Aerospace Plane Program, NASA, as keynote speaker.
They were also asked to make a scale model of a British Aerospace plane using whatever materials they could find.
Or it could end up like the National Aerospace Plane, the National Launch System, and myriad other projects that were funded for a few years but never were taken into full production.
He has revised the third edition of Joseph Pusateri, A History of American Business (Harlan Davidson, 1996) and has also completed a history of the national aerospace plane to be published by the United States Air Force History Office.
The extensometer, which is "basically a transducer," according to Scanlon, is part of a much bigger custom-designed system, which is now being used to test composite materials that will be incorporated in Japan's national aerospace plane.
IT'S BEEN A tough year for the National Aerospace Plane.
Hotol, a horizontal takeoff and landing craft jointly developed by British Aerospace and Rolls Royce, is touted as a gap filler between rockets and the aerospace plane of the late 21st century.
He begins with a description of the early work on scramjets, follows developments on the Air Force's aerospace plane, on to the work of NASA's Langley Research Center, and concludes with why the space plane became unsustainable.
In an early May hearing, Valentine's subcommittee was supportive of the joint NASA-DOD National AeroSpace Plane program.

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