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Multi-Unit Space Transport And Recovery Device
Manufacturer British Aircraft Corporation / English Electric
Country of origin UK
Height 118 feet 0 inches (35.97 m)
Diameter 13 feet 1 inch (3.99 m)
Mass 424,270 kilograms (935,360 lb)
Stages 2
Launch history
Status Cancelled
Total launches 0
Engines 1
Thrust 162,963 kilograms (359,272 lb)
Specific impulse 405
Burn time 215 seconds
Fuel LOX/LH2

The Multi-Unit Space Transport And Recovery Device or MUSTARD was a concept explored by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) around 1968 for launching payloads weighing as much as 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) into orbit.


The project started life under English Electric; English Electric's aerospace activities merged later with other firms to become BAC. For one year, collaborative work was done at Edwards Air Base. Once this collaborative work was over, three American prototype similar-looking aircraft appeared at Edwards Air Base. The Space Shuttle would later have a comparative design, and function.[dubious ]


MUSTARD was a delta-winged three-stage reusable vehicle which used the triamese concept.[1][2] The design team was led by Tom Smith, Chief of the Aerospace Department at BAC.[3]

Rocket stages[edit]

The three components of the design were three largely identical lifting bodies (each similar to the Northrop HL-10), stacked back-to-belly.

The units would be stacked for launch, and two of them would act as boosters to launch the third into Earth orbit. The booster units would feed any excess fuel to the unit which was to be the spacecraft. At 150,000 to 200,000 ft. (45,750 to 60,960 m), at around 30 nautical miles, the booster units would separate and land like aircraft.

The spacecraft would place its payload into orbit at around 1000 nautical miles, after 10 minutes from launch, and then return in a like manner.

See also[edit]


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