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DynaSoar

(DYNAmic SOARing)

dyna-soaricon.jpg (11965 bytes)
Credit - Boeing Co.
(Click to enlarge - 28 KB)

DynaSoar (a.k.a. X-20) was first conceived in 1957 by the Air Force as a logical successor to the X-15.  It was a reusable, single pilot space plane that would reach orbit from the top of a Titan IIIC and glide back to a landing on Earth. Boeing was the prime contractor and mock-up had been completed before DynaSoar was cancelled on 10 December 1963. This was to have been a military vehicle, used for reconnaissance. There was even a bomber version to carry a nuclear warhead.

Six Air Force pilots had been selected to be the astronauts who would fly the X-20. Drop tests were to have been started in 1964 with two unmanned flights planned for 1966. Dynasoar 3, the first manned flight, was to have flown a single orbit in July of 1966, piloted by James Wood, one of the six chosen and lead test pilot of the team. Dynasoar 4 and 5 were also to be single orbit flights, scheduled for October 1966 and March 1967, respectively. Dynasoar 6 was to have been the first multi-orbit flight, and was scheduled for October 1967.

Wing Span: 20 ft, 5 in (6.22 m)
Length: 35 ft, 4 in (10.77 m)

Much of the technology developed for the X-20 was later used for the Space Shuttle.

titan_dynasoar.jpg (10012 bytes)
(click to enlarge)

Sketch of a DynaSoar being launched by a Titan IIIC

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(click to enlarge)
B-52 overflies X-20
DynaSoar after first drop test.
Credit: © Dan Roam

How it might have been

 


Page last modified: 17 August 2015 22:26:36.