Rombus; American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Bono original design for ballistic single-stage-to-orbit (not quite - it dropped liquid hydrogen tanks on the way up) heavy lift launch vehicle. The recoverable vehicle would re-enter, using its actively-cooled plug nozzle as a heat shield. AKA: Reusable Orbital Module-Booster & Utility Shuttle. Status: Study 1964. Payload: 990,000 lb. Thrust: 17,932,784 lbf, Gross mass: 14,028,000 lb., (7,000 tons) Height: 95.00 ft., Diameter: 78.00 ft., Apogee: 114 mi., In 1964, Phil Bono of Douglas Aircraft Co. proposed a low-cost heavy lift VTVL SSTO RLV plus lunar base as a logical follow-on to the Apollo project. Bono's "Reusable Orbital Module-Booster & Utility Shuttle" (ROMBUS) concept was based on his patented plug nozzle rocket engine design, which doubles as a heat shield during atmospheric reentry.
September 6th, 2016
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