Orion 3 Spaceplane

The Orion III space plane is one of the most iconic vehicles in sci-fi movie epic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It is a two-stage spacecraft launched on a reusable winged booster. It is equipped with aerospike rocket engines and jet engines for atmospheric flight. The Orion III Spaceplane was owned by Pan American and provided service to and from Space Station V.

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The Orion III Spaceplane is an orbital spacecraft owned by Pan American World Airways and used in transit from Earth to Space Station V. It was about the size of a Boeing 737, and could seat approximately 32 passengers and at least 3 crew members, consisting of a flight attendant, and two pilots.

As Orion III approaches Space Station V, the two-man crew begin maneuvers which cause the spacecraft to rotate at the same rate as the station in preparation for docking.

Image of the Silbervogel taken from the 1952 translated edition of Eugen Sänger and Irene Bredt’s 1944 A Rocket Drive for Long Range Bombers. Austrian-German engineer Eugen Sänger’s concept of a plane that could travel around the world was developed for the Nazi war effort. Silverbird was never built, but after the war, German rocket scientists captured by the United States and the Soviet Union went on to influence the space programs of those countries.

After production of the film was complete, director Kubrick ordered all models, sets, and plans destroyed.

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