DC-X: The Rocket That Beat SpaceX by 20 Years

Twenty years before modern spaceflight companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin began designing rockets that launch and land vertically, the DC-X had already done it.

Manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, the DC-X, short for Delta Clipper Experimental, was a single stage reusable rocket that was conceived to demonstrate the vertical takeoff and vertical land capability that was previously only possible in the realms of science fiction. Indeed, the DC-X looked something straight from the future. An elongated, white pyramid standing on four slender legs. It was only 12 meters tall, a dwarf among rockets.

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McDonnell Douglas DC-X

The first test flight of the Delta Clipper-Experimental Advanced. Photo: NASA

Source: amusingplanet.com

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