OPTIMUM LAYOUT TEXT

STAGE 2 COMPRISES:

  1. A linear motor launch track on the taxiway; a delta-winged space-plane, the Swala RLV, mounted on a carriage on this track
  2. A ramjet under each wing, to take it to +/- 30km and perhaps as much as Mach 5
  3. The ramjets are detachable and are parachuted back into the sea (as with the Space Shuttle solid fuel boosters
  4. A solid fuel main motor to take it to low earth orbit and cold gas or hydrazine thrusters for precise positioning as used on the International Space Station
  5. The payload being placed into orbit
  6. Re-entry drawing on space shuttle experience, but probably using high temperature alloys in place of heat shielding because of the vehicle’s low ballistic coefficient
  7. Landing by gliding back onto the launch or similar carriage speeding down the linear motor track, using systems developed for autonomous landings on aircraft carriers.