spaceplane


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spaceplane

(ˈspeɪsˌpleɪn)
n
another name for space shuttle
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
This is bringing America's spaceplane and America's rocket together for best-of-breed innovation and exploration.'
But the company's main aim has been to provide power for a satellite-launching spaceplane. BAE Systems made a "strategic investment" in the company in 2015.
1 Ever since the 1960s, engineers have dreamed of a spaceplane that can be reused frequently in a way that makes space travel more like air travel.
Originally, the company had reportedly planned to build a whole suite of rockets, including a spaceplane. But the change in plans came soon after the death reports of Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, who started Stratolaunch in 2011.
This "spaceplane" could whizz you there in less than an hour.
The United States also deploys manoeuvring satellites for space-based surveillance and inspection and has repeatedly launched its own mysterious spaceplane.
Most clearly on the horizon is DARPA's XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane. The XS-1 is being designed to carry up to 1,360 kg per launch with the ability to launch 10 times in 10 days.
Like a bomb, the spacecraft was released into a free fall before the pilot ignited the engine, propelling the spaceplane faster than the speed of sound.
One concept, the Skylon spaceplane, has been "a little bit of a distraction" in the public eye from the company's engine development, says a spokesman.
He's not wrong, given that the US recently launched the secretive X-37B unmanned spaceplane, which can remain in orbit for a year (ironically, the use of orbiting spacecraft as surveillance and weapons platforms was proposed by Soviet scientists decades ago), and that there is a real possibility that conventional hypersonic missiles (currently in development) could be placed on US military satellites.
Although Weinberger covers these and more, she fails to mention other cutting-edge, DARPA-sponsored systems beneficial to the Air Force, such as the semi-autonomous X-37 spaceplane and the innovative curved-focal-surface Space Surveillance Telescope.