Breadbox Shuttle Rockets Towards Space, Making Traditional Launches Seem Like School Children with Backpacks

The concept of a space shuttle shaped like a breadbox might seem unusual considering the streamlined and pointed designs of most exploration vehicles. However, this offbeat idea was seriously considered during the early days of the space program, particularly by the then-renowned aviation and space exploration company, Rockwell, which was known for creating the Space Shuttle and the B-1 Lancer nuclear bomber.

The peculiar shuttle design, known as the Rockwell C-1057, was developed by engineer Harry Scott in 1972. Unlike the conventional design, this concept essentially featured a cargo bay module placed on its side, resulting in a shorter orbiter. The aim was to create a vehicle that could still accommodate ample cargo for transportation to orbit.

The specifics of how such an unconventional design would have enhanced missions or how the cargo bay, powered by a series of engines, would have been integrated with the rocket remain unknown. The Rockwell C-1057 remained in the concept stage and never moved into development.

Despite its unusual design, preliminary details indicate that the breadbox-shaped shuttle could have been surprisingly aerodynamic and theoretically practical. Over the years, the unique design has attracted attention, with a solid-cast resin kit of it being sold by the Fantastic Plastic Virtual Museum Store.

The design concept was brought to life in a video animation by Hazegrayart, offering a visual representation of the C-1057 in action. The video showcases the various stages of a space mission, from the rollout of the rocket and shuttle to the launch pad, to the release of a satellite in orbit. Despite the C-1057 never making it past the concept stage, the animation suggests that the design might have been feasible for space exploration missions.

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