This model uses “scenes”. Do not load download into model. Open as a new file. ------ Initial acceleration and altitude by Magnetic Levitation rail system to 5000 meters and Mach 1. Ram jet carries orbiter to 30 kilometers and Mach 5. Thrusters using on-board fuel to orbit. Thrusters for orbital changes and de-orbit burn - thrusters are not reusable. Re-entry with moderate rotation to allow for heat dissipation. Maneuvering in "Frisbee" condition via spoilers. Catch by large twin fuselage aircraft. Alternate landing using steerable parachute and airbags. ---------- This is the largest model I've ever made, by a factor of about 1000. It is the biggest concept for a model I have designed. It is also the least well detailed model I have made, but when you are working this big, detail has to be sacrificed. --------- Made for SketchUp 3D Challenge 027; I've been thinking about a better shuttle system for years - finally an opportunity to build it. --------- 20080219 - updated with improved components and accidentally assigned a Google Earth location, so moved it to an equatorial mountain. The real place it should be is Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico; nearer the equator and over 18,000 feet high.