Posts Tagged ‘rockets’

The Sea Dragon missile, in development by the U. S. Navy, is actually not the first such device to bear that name. Back in the 1960s, a heavy rocket called Sea Dragon was developed but never field-tested or deployed. If implemented, this rocket would have been considerably larger than the Saturn rockets used by N. A. S. A. at the time.

The concept, originating with Robert Truax of Aerojet, was a cargo rocket that could be launched from sea. The design was self-contained and independent of any land base. This saved the expense of facilities and personnel. Sea Dragon would have been built with standard materials at already existing shipyards, then towed to sea. A system of ballast tanks would have brought it to the upright position from which it could launch. Remarkably, the lower half of the rocket would have been submerged during launch.

Aerojet formed a partnership with the spacecraft corporation T. R. W. to implement Truax’s designs. However, outside budgetary constraints caused the project to languish. It was eventually cancelled, so that Sea Dragon never existed beyond the domain of drawings and schematics.

Truax was ahead of his time with this design. Sea Dragon would have been operated remotely and included reusable components, much as Space-X spacecraft do today. Who knows — maybe one of today’s commercial space corporations will take another look at the Sea Dragon.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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