TL9+ Nuclear Orbital Lighter (Single stage to orbit) "Sinto"

A single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane. Not as cheap to operate as the Alida, but this is a logistically simple and robust design. Note this is a TL9 design so mature technology in THS.

Sinto class space planes are cheap, robust and easy to operate. They can take off and land at a normal landing strip anywhere in the world that has an airstrip and a liquid hydrogen supply. Liquid hydrogen is usually provided on demand by a road tanker from a local processing facility. It can easily make the return journey to and from a low-earth-orbit space-station once every two orbits or every 180 minutes.

Using Nuclear Thermal Rockets in fuel-less air-ram mode it takes off and clears local population centres before going supersonic and accelerating in an easterly direction until it reaches its maximum air speed of almost one mile per second. It then engages the boost phase and climbs into low-earth-orbit. Having docked and exchanged passengers it re-enters atmosphere and then makes a rapid descent back to Earth. The spaceplane can make a round trip journey once every 180 minutes.

Typically these craft take off over water and international airspace as few countries want fission craft flying over their territory. So, they typically take off from equatorial coastal countries and islands with several hundred miles of water to their east.

Sinto Spaceplane:

Front

Central

Rear

dST/dHP 20, Hnd 4 atmo/0 space, SR 5/4, HT 12, Move Flight 2G/3500 mph/0.97 mps, Move Boost 2G/5.67 mps, LWt 30, Load 1.1, SM +5, Occ 10+1 SV, dDR 3/0/0, Cost M$ 3.41, TL9, Streamlined, Winged, Length 20 yards

DeltaV 5.67 mps - 9 Hydrogen Fuel Tanks 9*0.45*1.4 (9 tank adjustment) = 5.67 mps

Combined Effective Delta-V = 5.67 + 0.97 = 6.64 mps

Economics:

Advance Return Passenger Ticket price = $5000


Transhuman Space Index