One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An aircraft that takes off and lands conventionally but is capable of entry into orbit or travel through space.
- ‘Whatever its technological virtues, the shuttle will probably be the last attempt to build a multi-purpose spaceplane.’
- ‘The Romanian team will present a mock-up of a new winged spaceplane called Orizont.’
- ‘Projects like the HOTOL spaceplane have been rare exceptions to British disinterest in human spaceflight.’
- ‘After disconnecting from the tanker, the spaceplane starts its rocket engine and climbs to 70 mile altitude and Mach 15.’
- ‘It will not be easy to get from X Prize-class craft like SpaceShipOne to a genuine orbital spaceplane.’
- ‘At present NASA is committed to the construction of a light spaceplane for carrying astronauts to and from the beleaguered International Space Station - now manned by an emergency crew of two.’
- ‘With nothing but the nearby town in view, one can easily imagine a future where spaceplanes take off and land from a bustling facility on the site.’
- ‘As an engineer for the aerospace firm starting in the late 1980s, Zubrin worked on projects ranging from a nuclear rocket engine to a spaceplane.’
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