The Aerospike Engine Was Considered for the Shuttle, But Never Flew. That’s About to Change

The aerospike engine is a time-honored concept. In the past, NASA tested the concept extensively on the ground and hoped to incorporate it into the Space Shuttle and their next-generation Venture Star program (a Single-Stage-To-Orbit (SSTO) vehicle). However, due to budget constraints, the Space Shuttle ended up being equipped with bell-shaped nozzles instead, and the Venture Star never saw the light of day.

But thanks to New Mexico-based aerospace company ARCA, the aerospike engine is...


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