Single-Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) launch vehicle is the commercial follow-on to the X-33
Technology Demonstrator. VentureStar is an independent, commercial Limited Liability
Company (LLC) founded with Lockheed Martin seed money. VentureStar LLC will develop
and operate the VentureStar SSTO to serve the commercial and government markets. The
VentureStar vehicle is designed to place up to 50,000 lb of payload in a LEO orbit and
15,000 lb in a GTO orbit.
The VentureStar vehicle will
build upon the technological innovations developed for the X-33 demonstrator. Like
the X-33, VentureStar will be a vertical take-off / horizontal landing lifting body
vehicle employing the Boeing Linear Aerospike RS-2200 engine. The vehicle will have
two composite hydrogen tanks located aft with an external 15 x 50 foot shuttle-sized payload
bay. At this point, it is unclear whether the single liquid oxygen tank, located in
the nose of the vehicle, will be fabricated out of aluminum or composite.
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