posted on Jul, 16 2018 @ 03:58 AM
originally posted by: TheHans
A few themes are jumping out. First, the oddly authoritative wiki on Black Star states that “According to one declassified Rand Corp. report, two of
the three vehicles failed to achieve their full flight envelope (i.e. couldn't make orbit), while the third, an "assisted SSTO", did achieve orbital
capability.” Either this a fabrication, disiminformation, or perhaps “assisted SSTO” means it gets refueled in mid air like the Black Horse:
Its none of that. The quote refers to the multitude of white world military SSTO studies in the 80s, Have Region specifically. They didn’t build any
vehicles but prototype structures for risk reduction and to validate design concepts. Boeing met the design goals with the Reusable Aerodeynamic Space
Vehicle concept but it was eventually merged with the NASP efforts.
It went something like this according to this paper: chapters.nss.org...
1980-82 Air Force Advanced Manned Space-Flight Capability study
1980-82 Air Force Transatmospheric Vehicle study
1982-84 Air HQ (RDSL) Science Dawn program
1984-85 Air Force Science Realm program
1984-86 DARPA Copper Canyon study
1986-88 Air Force Have Region program
1986-92 DOD-NASA National AeroSpace Plane (NASP) program
I’m lazy and someone has done all the work already, so just read up on the details here if interested:
The point is, none of these projects involve a XB-70 like mothership with an upper stage orbiter or whatever. Those projects looked at the feasibility
of SSTO design and varied widely between HOTOL/VTOHOL, rockets and scramjets. None of it was far along and basically precursors to NASP and later
projects like X-33. They were not at all focused on designing and building rather small scale TSTOs for military applications.
Of course I think all those white world efforts in part masked black world projects. At one point or another must have noticed that TSTO were far
easier to build than SSTOs and would be very interesting for the military. I don’t think its just a coincidence that all those projects barely touch
true TSTO designs.
If you look at all those programs listed above (and others not listed) there is no shortage of dead ends which may have been picked up in the
One possible avenue is a Copper Canyon / Copper Coast link, I wrote about it a while back: