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The Tip Tank Concept: An Economic Orbital Transportation System
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published February 01, 1967 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
Event: Space Technology Conference
A major step forward in economical near-earth orbital transport capability can be achieved through the “Tip Tank Concept,” based on the development of an integrated launch/re-entry vehicle with a high-degree of reusability. It consists of a long slender vehicle which carries all launch, orbital and re-entry subsystems for subsequent reuse -- plus low cost, lightweight, “throw-away” propellant tanks attached to the sides of the vehicle. With this configuration, it is possible to achieve orbit, utilizing present-day technology, without requiring any additional booster.
The integration of the boost propulsion system into the vehicle is a developmental problem which should be solvable utilizing existing booster technology. The operational costs of the tip tank orbital transport system are shown to be approximately one-fourth of the operational costs of a system using an expendable booster such as Titan IIIC with a reusable spacecraft.
CitationQuest, R., "The Tip Tank Concept: An Economic Orbital Transportation System," SAE Technical Paper 670226, 1967, https://doi.org/10.4271/670226.
- Koelle H. H. Rutland C. H. “Toward a Reusable Earth-Moon Transportation System.” Astronautics and Aeronautics January 1964
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- Bono Philip “The Rombus Concept.” Astronautics and Aeronautics January 1964