NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
VentureStar. Artwork of the VentureStar Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) in orbit over the Earth. A development of the X-33 rocket, VentureStar is a proposed RLV design which is intended to cut launch costs by 90% when it replaces the Space Shuttle. It will be launched vertically using the seven efficient aerospike rocket engines. The rockets and fuel tanks will all be contained within the fuselage. On its return to Earth, VentureStar will glide through the atmosphere, using its fins to steer as the fuselage creates lift. The X-33 and VentureStar are due to fly in 1999 and 2004 respectively.
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