Monday, March 06, 2006

Two-Stage-to-Orbit 'Blackstar' System Shelved at Groom Lake?

Holy Crap! Could we have actually flown a Two-Stage-To-Orbit spaceplane launched from a modified XB-70 bomber? No less than Aviation Week & Space Technology says "yep".

"For 16 years, Aviation Week & Space Technology has investigated myriad sightings of a two-stage-to-orbit system that could place a small military spaceplane in orbit. Considerable evidence supports the existence of such a highly classified system, and top Pentagon officials have hinted that it's "out there," but iron-clad confirmation that meets AW&ST standards has remained elusive. Now facing the possibility that this innovative "Blackstar" system may have been shelved, we elected to share what we've learned about it with our readers, rather than let an intriguing technological breakthrough vanish into "black world" history, known to only a few insiders."

The details in this story are facinating: Exotic boron-gel fuel; modified C-5 Galaxy transports; two types of orbiter!

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