Model, Space Shuttle, Goodyear Meteor Jr. 3-Stage Fully Reusable Concept

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    Model, Space Shuttle, Goodyear Meteor Jr. 3-Stage Fully Reusable Concept

    3-stage vehicle proposed in mid-1950's; fully reusable; each stage manned and winged; red and gold; some damage on interstage.

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This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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.