Back when I left Masten to start Altius, I originally thought I was starting a launch vehicle company focused on reusable nanosat launchers. While we pivoted away from that to focus on space robotics, I’ve continued to dabble with a smallsat RLV concept that I started developing from ideas from this blog back while I was still at Masten. Since we’re definitely not in the launcher business at this point, I wanted to share the idea in the hopes that at least some of the crazy ideas get picked up by someone at some point. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Boomerang Air-Launched TSTO RLV.
What is Boomerang?
Boomerang is a concept for a low-cost, eventually fully reusable, two-stage to orbit launch system. Boomerang had the following three main system elements, which will be described in more detail in subsequent blog posts:
A subsonic airbreathing carrier aircraft
A glide-forward recovery liquid rocket powered first stage
A hypersonic plasmadynamic decelerator-recovered liquid rocket powered upper stage
All three components are designed to return for a precision landing at the originating air-field, with design decisions that should optimize the probability of gas and go reuse.
While I ...