An early 1951 concept for a reusable spaceplane whose principles became part of the space shuttle design two decades later. Envisioned by Bell Aircraft Corporation, it was a two-stage vehicle having a large booster with five rocket engines and a small spaceplane with three. The two vehicles would be separated 2 minutes and 2 seconds after lift-off, with the winged booster gliding back to Earth as the spaceplane continued its flight. Bell predicted speeds of up to 8 450 kph.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.