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Delta Clipper-Experimental

The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's Single Stage Rocket Technology (SSRT) program was chartered to demonstrate the practicality, reliability, operability and cost efficiency of a fully reusable, rapid turnaround single stage rocket, with the ultimate goal of aircraft-like operations of reusable launch vehicles (RLVs).

The program focused on using existing technologies and systems to demonstrate the feasibility of building both suborbital and orbital RLVs which are able to fly into space, return to the launch site, and be serviced and ready for the next mission within three days. Such a suborbital RLV could potentially support many of BMDO's planned suborbital system tests and experiments.

As part of the program, BMDO built an experimental suborbital launch vehicle, officially designated the SX-1 (Spaceplane Experimental), but known as the DC-X (Delta Clipper-Experimental). Flight testing is scheduled to be conducted in mid 1993 at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. The DC-X was designed to take off vertically and return to land in the same attitude. The DC-X was not designed as an operational vehicle capable of achieving orbital flight.

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