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Proj 7969 Republic
Proj 7969 Republic -

Credit: (c) Mark Wade. 9,499 bytes. 258 x 400 pixels.

Class: Manned. Type: Spacecraft. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Republic.

Republic's studies for the Air Force or NACA initial manned space project started at the beginning of 1958. Their unique concept was a lifting re-entry vehicle, termed the Ferri sled. This was a 1,800 kg vehicle of triangular planform with a 75 degree leading-edge sweep. A 60 cm diameter tube ran continuously around the leading and trailing edge. This tube also served as a propellant tank for final-stage, solid-propellant rockets located in each wing tip. The man was housed in a small compartment on the top side. Aerodynamic and reaction controls would be available to the pilot, but normally he would only monitor the spacecraft systems. Deorbit would be accomplished with a modest retrofire delta V of 8 m/sec followed by varying the lift to drag of the vehicle. A heat-transfer ring in the front of the nose allowed a stabilised glide after re-entry of 5,800 kilometres per hour. An Inconel heat shield was used and the pilot would experience only low G forces during re-entry. The pilot would eject from the capsule at subsonic speed over the recovery area and parachute down to earth. The spacecraft had a ballistic coefficient (W/CdA) of 130 kg per square meter. It was expected that a first manned orbital flight could be achieved 21 months after a go-ahead. The all-solid propellant launch vehicle comprised three or four stages. The four stage version consisted of a Minuteman first stage, a Polaris first stage, a Minuteman upper stage, and a Jumbo rocket fourth stage. Republic Aviation representatives briefed both USAF and NACA Headquarters personnel on their concept without much success. A similar Space General concept, the FIRST re-entry Glider, was developed extensively in the 1960's. The spacecraft would be boosted by an Atlas + Polaris booster into a 241 km orbit for a 240 hour mission.


Design Life: 10 days. Total Mass: 1,800 kg.


Project 7969 DesignsProject 7969 Designs - Project 7969 designs. From left, top row: North American X-15B; Bell Dynasoar; Northrop Dynasoar; Republic Demi body; Avco maneuverable drag cone. Second row: Lockheed; Martin; Aeronutronics; Goodyear; McDonnell; Convair

Credit: (c) Mark Wade. 18,922 bytes. 640 x 273 pixels.

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .