Conceptual Design of a Rocket-Powered Plane And Its Use For Space Tourism

  • Published : 2005.12.31


A rocket-powered vehicle is designed conceptually which uses an engine running on methane and oxygen and delivering 10 tons of thrust. The aerodynamic coefficients of the vehicle are taken to be those of the Japan's HOPE-X, and the weight of this vehicle is estimated using a method developed by NASA. The resulting vehicle will be about 9 meters long, 5.8 meters in wing span, weigh about 2 tons empty, carry a maximum of 5.6 tons of propellant, and endure a g-load of 4.5. The craft will be able to carry five passengers, in addition to a pilot, and fly for space tourism between a northern and a southern airport with a maximum g-load varying from 3g to 4g depending on the route flown.


Liquid Propellant Rocket;Space Plane;Space Tourism;Reentry;hypersonic aerodynamics


  1. Yamamoto, Y., Yanagihara, M., and Miyazawa, Y., 'Pre-flight Analysis of High Speed Flight Demonstrator Phase 2 Vehicle and the Validation of HOPE-X Transonic Aerodynamics', AIAA Paper 2002-0685, January 2002
  2. Harloff, G. J., and Berkowitz, B. M., 'HASA-Hypersonic Aerospace Sizing Analysis for the Preliminary Design of Aerospace Vehicles', NASA Contractor Report 182226, November 1988
  3. Sim, A. G., Murray, J. E., Neufeld, D. C., and Redd, R. D., 'The Development and Flight Test of a Deployable Precision Landing System for Spacecraft Recovery', NASA Technical Memorandum 4525, September 1993
  4. Ahn, H. K., Park, C., and Sawada, K., 'Response of Heatshield Material at Stagnation Point of Pioneer-Venus Probes', Journal of Therrnophysics and Heat Transfer, Vol. 16, No. 3, July-September 2002, pp. 432-439
  5. Park, C., Menees, G. P., Bowles, J., Lawrence, S., and Davies, C. B., 'Bent-Biconic Single Stage-to-Orbit Vehicle Conceptual Study', Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 33, No. 4, July-August, 1996, pp. 470-475
  6. Park, C., Chang, K-S., and Jung, Y-G., 'Flow Simulation for Mach 3 to 6', 1st International Mach Reflection Symposium cum Shock-Vortex Interaction Workshop, November 1-4, 2004, Jeju, Korea