…A warm summer day. The oncoming wind slightly rustles the steppe feather grass. Our bus stops at a launch rocket and space complex. All ready to fly.
Imagine that we are participating in this space flight. We have to fly on the new space transportation vehicle. Outwardly it’s a big plane (length 31.1 m) with the same Delta wing (wingspan 23.8 m) as a supersonic airliner Tu-144. Although the design features are evident on the fuselage of large diameter and in the rear three powerful rocket engine.
A significant part of the ship is the cargo Bay. Its length is 18.3 m, diameter of 4.6 m. it is neatly arranged equipment, in special holders fixed nodes of the new orbital station, which will be assembled in orbit. Now flip the prop and the farm keep the vehicle in vertical position (Fig. 1).
We get in the Elevator. He quickly lifts us up. From the Windows of the Elevator great view (its length 46.5 m, diameter 8.1 m), covered with frost fuel tank and two boosters cigar-shaped (length 35.2 m, diameter 4 m). They are attached to the aircraft. At the height of almost 12-storey building, the Elevator stops, and we have a special ladder go into the bow compartment of the ship.
The crew of two, pilot-cosmonaut and two of the operator — in a special cabin in its place. Left the cabin for passengers. Six comfortable seats on the sides of two portholes. We are seated, wear seat belts. The cabin is sealed, so that it is possible to fly without space suits, in regular clothes as in regular airplane. Over the last prelaunch check.
— The key to start! — served team.
— There is a key on start! — responsible commander.
We feel strained buzz earned rocket engines and boosters and feel a slight vibration. The commander, his assistant and operators once again, check the readings, I report to the head start.
— The start!
— There is a start!
We smoothly off the ground. Faster and faster the speed increases, the farther the spaceport. The body is pressed into a soft chair — overload increases. It took only a few minutes, at an altitude of about 40 km firing boosters and parachute. They get picked up and used for the next start.
Rocket engines of a ship now themselves, without outside help, overcome the earth’s gravity. We did not notice as the ground was somewhere above his head. This before going into orbit, the commander changed the orientation of the ship. There is no discomfort, because we are already in zero gravity. Finally from the spacecraft separated empty fuel tank. For some time he flies over us, then behind and disappears from sight. Time will pass and he will burn in the dense layers of the atmosphere. This is the only part of the transport ship, which was lost forever.
— The spacecraft went into orbit — reports the commander of the ship in the mission control Center. — Proceed to the assignment.
Our ship approached the space station under construction. Opened cargo Bay doors, and at the team of operators of automatic manipulators took out a section of the space station and dock them with the already collected (Fig. 2).
Work in space is completed. Included jet engines. Return to the Earth. Before entering dense layers of the atmosphere, the pilots fired some rockets to slow down the speed. The earth is getting closer and closer. In the Windows is seen as being put forward are hidden in the fuselage of the jet engines. Since then, the ship will start flying like an ordinary jet plane. Seemed familiar runway. Finally the wheels gently touched the concrete, and a massive Hulk quickly dashed forward. Hello, Earth!
Take — off- rocket, landing an aircraft. This is the main principle of the new transport spacecraft. Rocketmodeler familiar with this principle for the launch of raketoplana with a rigid wing.
We talked about the American project “the Shuttle” (“Shuttle”). What caused the design and construction of such a space technology that will be used in the same way as we use now and a regular transport aircraft (i.e., repeatedly)?
More and more often is sent into space satellites, ships, entire orbital stations and laboratories. What happens after that with the rocket, or rather with its steps? They fall into the atmosphere and burn up on the way to the Ground. The launch of manned space vehicle with the booster the same thing happens. And space ships don’t all come back to Earth. The only part that of the total spacecraft remains intact, this lander, but it is for reuse not suitable. Goes, powerful rocket engines, unique equipment, the labor of thousands and thousands of people — workers, engineers, scientists go down the drain, are used only once and turn into ashes?
Of course, such a proposition is too straightforward. Every flight into space enriches the science of humanity with new knowledge about the universe, on other planets. In addition, the space begins to “faithfully” to serve us. The cost of space exploration every year pay more and more. For example, the economists ‘ calculations show that only accurate predictions of weather around the globe for three days ahead, which can be obtained with the help of specially equipped satellites that would save 60 billion dollars annually.
Scientists estimate that by 1985, the frequency of space flight into Earth orbit and to other planets of the solar system will increase 10-15 times. And one-time launch of the spacecraft will become simply unprofitable. Ships multiple use would reduce these costs by 10 times.
Now on this idea of working scientists and engineers leading space powers.
Scientists believe that air and space transport ship type “Shuttle” will be able to make up to 100 flights. A low orbit (an altitude of about 180 km), he will deliver a load of 29.5 t on 18.5 MT and the highest (500 km) — 11T.
There are other projects rockets reusable. According to one view, developed in the USA, the booster will consist of two parallel manned winged stages. For both stages is installed a liquid-propellant rocket engines. They will work on liquid oxygen and hydrogen. The length of the first stage is 30.5 m, the second 15 m. the sweep Angle of the wings will be about 16°. Managing levels is due to the moving surfaces of the wings, which the first stage is directed downwards, the second upwards.
Both cruise missiles start with rails that are longer than 3 km, the Dispersal rockets within 10-12 s to a speed of 900 km/h will produce a truck with jet engines. The engines of both stages of the rocket begin to work after the flight. The separation of winged launch vehicles will occur at an altitude of about 400 km (Fig. 3). In the first embodiment the first stage will separate with the aid,use of pyrotechnic explosive bolts, the second — the second stage will go by guide rails mounted on the first stage. More reasonable scientists believe the second option.
After stage separation, the crew of the first stage performs a controlled flight to the landing site, and second, increasing speed up to the first space, the whole ship into orbit. Estimated time spent on-orbit for 24 hours. Payload, which will be delivered into space will be 2 to 3 T. After the assignment, the crew of the spaceship translates his mode of entry into the atmosphere and landing at a specified area. Both stages in the landing approach using pyrotechnic devices landing gear and landing like a jet.
According to the English project the spacecraft consists of three similar size and construction stages (Fig. 4). One of the three levels plays the role of a space ship and displayed on the working orbit, two others serve as carriers of fuel perform the functions of the accelerator devices. Using this device is reusable, according to scientists, it will be possible to deliver the cargo weighing 3 tons to a height of 600 km. the Propulsion system of all three stages at the start are included at the same time. The separation of the first stage will occur at an altitude of 250-300 km, the second — 400— 450 km. All three steps will make planning a landing on a runway like a plane. Upon returning to the Ground stage is recovered and can take the next flight.
Designing a spacecraft is reusable, the scientists put the task of creating such machines to prepare for the next flight time, and maintenance was limited to the production of modern passenger and transport aircraft.
The importance and relevance of the creation of carrier rockets reusable, their low cost and ease in preparation for the next flight forced scientists to take energetic measures for its speedy resolution.