NEXUS heavy-lift booster concept. Atlas ICBM at lower left indicates scale.
The NEXUS reusable rocket was a concept design created in the 1960s by a group at General Dynamics led by Krafft Ehricke. It was intended as the next leap beyond the Saturn V, carrying up to eight times more payload. Fully fueled, it would weigh 24,000 tons, as much as an ocean-going freighter. It would carry a 1,000 tons to orbit, allowing it to launch a spaceship bound for Mars. This behemoth would have a diameter of 202 feet with its height approaching that of the Washington Monument. It would fly as a single-stage launch vehicle. Fully recoverable, it would touch down in the ocean following a return from orbit. Parachutes would slow its descent. Retro-rockets, firing during the last seconds, would assure a gentle landing. General Dynamics NYSE: GD is a defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2005 it is the sixth largest defense contractor in the world . The company has changed markedly in the post-Cold War era of defense consolidation. ... This article is about the rocket. ... For the Roman god, see Mars (mythology). ... The Washington Monument The Washington Monument usually refers to the large white-colored obelisk in the center of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. It is a United States Presidential Memorial built for George Washington, the first President of the United States and the leader of the revolutionary Continental... A single-stage to orbit (or SSTO) launcher describes an as-yet theoretical class of spacecraft designed to place a load into orbit as a self-contained vehicle without the use of multiple stages. ...
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