Spaceplanes pp 83-91 | Cite as

Going Ballistic

  • Matthew A. Bentley

As we saw in the last chapter, the easiest way to give a projectile enough energy to enter space is by using a ballistic missile. Although they are perhaps the most effective and certainly the quickest way to achieve spaceflight, ballistic missiles are also the most costly. Government-run space programs have always used ballistic missiles, because funding was seldom an issue. This was true especially during the early years of the Space Age. Furthermore, these programs have never been bothered by corporate competition, fiscal responsibility, or reputation.

Ballistic Background

During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Russia were locked in a fierce competition for the ultimate high ground of space. The Space Race was thus an international contest that resulted in amazing advances in just a few years. Ballistic missiles allowed this to happen. Let us take a quick look at how these events unfolded, before examining several ballistic spaceplane ideas.

On October 4, 1957, Russia...


International Space Station Space Shuttle Launch Vehicle Ballistic Missile Payload Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew A. Bentley
    • 1
  1. 1.Rock RiverUSA

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