Three-stage launch system with scramjets

Toshiyuki Kimura, Keisuke Sawada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


An air-breather-based, three-stage-to-orbit reusable launch system is proposed. The first and the second reusable winged stages use turboramjet and scramjet engines, respectively. The rocket-powered third stage is expendable. The present system is designed to insert an uncrewed 2-ton payload to 300-km circular orbit inclined at 52 deg. The mission abort cases are also examined. To enhance the operational effectiveness, the landing sites for the first and the second stages are chosen to be at the same location. The calculations are made for the cases where this system is used in Japan, in the United States, and in between India and Indonesia. It is shown that the present three-stage-to-orbit launch system can exploit the potential benefit of scramjet propulsion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-680
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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