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Estes Orbital Transport
At some point in my young model rocket career, I owned an Estes Orbital Transport, but I am going to try to
procure one through an eBay auction. Incredibly, these models are regularly going for more than $120. The one I
won on eBay is pictured below.
The Orbital Transport was an early space shuttle concept that used a high
altitude airplane to lift the orbiter to the edge of space and then the orbiter would launch itself into orbit.
The solid rocket booster and powered shuttle ended up winning out, as evidenced by our now-defunct Space Shuttle
(Space Transportation System - STS) project. Interestingly, the system being developed by Burt Rutan's Scaled
Composites Virgin group, "SpaceShipTwo
is akin to this Orbital Transport.
To the right are pages 44 and 45 out of the 1971 edition of the
1971 Estes Model Rocketry Catalog
the Saturn V and Saturn 1B models.
Length = 23" (58.4 cm)
Body Diameter = 0.976"
Wingspan = 7.9" (20 cm)
Weight = 2 oz. (57 grams)Re-Entry Vehicle:
= 8.6" (21.8 cm)
Body Diameter = 0.736" (18.7 mm)
Wingspan = 5" (12.7 cm)
Weight = 0.5 oz. (14 grams)
is the Astron (Estes) Orbital Transport model rocket kit that I won on eBay. It is part of the collection I am
attempting to assemble that represents Estes model rocket kits that I had as a kid back in Mayo, Maryland.
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Kirt Blattenberger, BSEE
My lovely enabler, Melanie