posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 04:31 PM
is a small landing demonstrator for the hopper reusable first stage
The full scale hopper would take of from horizontally from a mag-lev rail at Kourou, and would have been powered by three Vulcan II engines as used on
the Ariane 5 ECA. It would release an internally carried expendable upperstage in suborbit and land on one of various mid Atlantic sites, Ascension
Island etc. IIRC the payload to orbit was about six tonnes.
I think the project was canned a long time ago. It would need a very high flight rate to recoup investment costs. A problem almost all reusable space
[edit on 15-7-2006 by Nacnud]