The Hypersonic SSTO shuttle craft

Image from Steve Bowers

The Waverider Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) scramjet is a class of surface-to-orbit vessels, first developed in the late information age of Old Earth.

Waveriders use the hypersonic shockwave created by their own velocity to gain lift when leaving the atmosphere. More advanced versions of this design are used on many earth-like or terraformed worlds where oxygen is available for fuel.

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 07 February 2010.