October 1, 1997

Venture Star -- Launch Vehicle for the 21st Century

Image Credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center.
The vehicles shown in this image are the X-33, Venture Star, and NASA's space shuttle. All three are designed to be launched into Earth orbit vertically, like a rocket, and to return to Earth horizontally, like an aircraft.

But there the similarities end. The X-33 is a half-scale test vehicle of Venture Star, designed to demonstrate a whole new approach to getting people and payloads into Earth orbit -- and doing it ten times cheaper, and with less risk, than the space shuttle. Operations should then become routine, the way airlines operate their planes.

Venture star is the full-scale, real thing, to be developed and go into service early in the next century.

For more information on the X-33 and Venture Star, click on the following:


Venture Star

More Cool Stuff

A Web site for the X-33 is maintained by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). You'll find lots of good information and images there:

Another excellent Web site with information on the X-33, Venture Star, the linear aerospike engine, and more is at:

For a good summary of the developers' hopes for Venture Star, read an address James A. Blackwell, president and chief operating officer of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Sector, made at the Farnborough Air Show in England on September 4, 1996:



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