From Earth to Orbit Using a Single-Stage Rocket

From Earth to Orbit Using a Single-Stage Rocket
July 17, 2017 | Source: New Atlas, newatlas.com, 31 March 2017, David Szondy

New Mexico-based ARCA Space Corporation has announced that it is developing the world's first Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) launch vehicle that can deliver both a small payload and itself into low Earth orbit, at a cost of about US$1 million per launch. Dubbed the Haas 2CA after the 16th century rocket pioneer Conrad Haas, the new booster uses a linear aerospike engine instead of conventional bell-shaped rocket engines to do away with multiple stages.
What ACRA is trying with the Haas 2CA is to replace the conventional engines with a linear aerospike engine, which the company claims is 30 percent more efficient than those used today. It's an idea that dates back to the 1960s and basically works by cutting a rocket engine's bell in half, then placing the two halves back to back to form a tapering spike.