Spaceplanes pp 93-103 | Cite as

Piggyback to Orbit

  • Matthew A. Bentley
The juvenile stage of spaceplane development involves the cooperation of bigger, more mature rockets. Just as the development of the airplane involved many biwing (and triwing) designs to increase the total lift of the airframe (Fig. 7.1), so the development of the spaceplane has inevitably led to the piggyback concept, and for related reasons. In the case of early airplanes, one wing simply could not generate the necessary lift. Similarly, for current spaceplanes to have any hope of reaching orbital speed, they must be given a lift by a first stage of some kind.


International Space Station Space Shuttle Rocket Engine Launch Vehicle Liquid Propellant 
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    David HarlandM. Ralph Lorenz, D. 2005, Space Systems Failures: Disasters and Rescues of Satellites, Rockets and Space Probes. Praxis, p. 44.Google Scholar
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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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