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== Why is there no SSTO? ==
 
== Why is there no SSTO? ==
  
Though throughout the history of spaceflight there have been many SSTO designs, no such design was ever put into production. The reasons for this are not only economic in nature; there are also substantial engineering problems that must be solved:
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Regardless of the amount of historic SSTO designs, no SSTO design ever reached production stage. The reasons for this are not only economic in nature; there are also substantial engineering problems that must be solved:
  
 
#Fuel tanks - The biggest problem for all SSTO designs lies in the ratio between launch mass and payload mass. In the rocket equation, this parameter is part of the [[mass ratio]]. Because SSTOs can't drop [[construction mass]] during launch, they have to carry the large fuel tanks into orbit, even when they are almost empty. While multistage launchers can simply drop a stage and reduce the construction mass during ascent, a single-stage rocket has to accelerate the whole structure into orbit.  
 
#Fuel tanks - The biggest problem for all SSTO designs lies in the ratio between launch mass and payload mass. In the rocket equation, this parameter is part of the [[mass ratio]]. Because SSTOs can't drop [[construction mass]] during launch, they have to carry the large fuel tanks into orbit, even when they are almost empty. While multistage launchers can simply drop a stage and reduce the construction mass during ascent, a single-stage rocket has to accelerate the whole structure into orbit.  
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#Recovery - An SSTO launcher only makes economic sense when it can be reused.  However, making the system reusable increases structure and fuel mass (in other words, total launch mass).
 
#Recovery - An SSTO launcher only makes economic sense when it can be reused.  However, making the system reusable increases structure and fuel mass (in other words, total launch mass).
  
Many past SSTO designs have been multimillion kilogram vehicles, standing taller than the Saturn V.
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Many past SSTO designs have been multimillion kilogram vehicles, standing taller than the Saturn V.  
  
 
== Alternatives ==
 
== Alternatives ==
  
 
EADS Bremen is currently developing a Single-Stage-to-Suborbital launch vehicle with a reuseable winged  first stage. This approach needs significantly less fuel for ascent and landing. Similar approaches had been pursued by the USA until the mid nineties, but were discontinued as a result of budget cuts.
 
EADS Bremen is currently developing a Single-Stage-to-Suborbital launch vehicle with a reuseable winged  first stage. This approach needs significantly less fuel for ascent and landing. Similar approaches had been pursued by the USA until the mid nineties, but were discontinued as a result of budget cuts.

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