In 1954, several years before spaceflight began, space enthusiast Darrell C. Romick and two other Goodyear Aircraft workers designed this model of a reusable space transportation system and displayed it at the American Rocket Society's annual conference. Three piloted, winged rocket stages nested in a column would fire in sequence to launch the third stage at the top into orbit. All had retractable landing gear and could be flown as a glider during the return to landing. Although the concept was too massive to be practical at the time, it was an early vision for a space shuttle that could ferry people and equipment to and from an Earth-orbiting space station. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company gave this model to the Museum in 1980.
Gift of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company