ROTARY ROCKET CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROTARY ROCKET CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rotary rocket ATV. View of the Atmospheric Test Vehicle (ATV), a prototype of the Roton rotary rocket, used to test its unique helicopter landing system. This craft has four blades on its nose, which are used to slow and stabilise its descent from orbit. Roton is designed to be a cheap way of placing satellites in orbit. Unlike normal rockets, it does not have a single combustion chamber with weighty pumps feeding in fuel. Instead it has a 7 metre wide rotating disc with 96 small combustion chambers around it, into which fuel is thrown by the force of the disc's rotation. Roton has been designed by the Rotary Rocket Company, based in California, USA.
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