A conceptual study of Japan's unmanned two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle is described. The first stage of the vehicle is reusable and has a wing-body configuration and air-breathing engines as the propulsion system. The second stage is expendable and rocket powered and is mounted under the fuselage of the first stage. The assumed mission is to deliver a 2-ton payload to a 300-km circular orbit at various inclination angles. There is an acceptable set of launch, landing, and emergency landing sites along the coast of the Japanese islands, and the corresponding flight paths including those for emergency landings can be defined for several selected cases. Emphasis is placed on showing the geographic advantage of Japan, which it is surrounded by sea and with territory that stretches in a northeasterly direction. The method of staging separation is also described.
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