posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 03:34 AM
Lockheed Unveils Images of Revised Venturestar
By Jonathan Lipman
Special to space.com
posted: 11:42 am ET
05 January 2000
WASHINGTON (States News Service) -- Lockheed Martin VentureStar released these images of the redesigned VentureStar, a proposed reusable launch
The proposed look of the vehicle was changed late last year when engineers decided to move the payload bay outside of the vehicle's body. They added
a pencil-shaped external payload, shown here carrying a satellite.
The VentureStar proposal calls for Lockheed to build the craft entirely on its own, without government funding.
Designed initially to fly unmanned, the VentureStar will service the commercial satellite market.
A manned version is expected to follow, and NASA will buy time on the craft to send astronauts to the International Space Station.
By moving the payload external it becomes modular, VentureStar CEO Jerry Rising said last year. The entire bay can be expanded if necessary, or
removed entirely to be replaced by a proposed Crew Return Vehicle designed specifically for the ISS.
While VentureStar is a privately funded effort, the X-33, its beleaguered prototype is a joint venture funded by Lockheed and NASA.
The X-33 has a similar wedge shape and a similar internal structure of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, but is half the size of the full
craft. Already a year delayed, construction on the X-33 has halted until NASA discovers why a panel on one of the fuel tanks burst during testing.