Something for TDG http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/...
Imagine a revolutionary new single-stage space vehicle, greatly rivaling the design of the Space Shuttle, boasting these features and capabilities:
1. Instead of using traditional rocket fuel, the vehicle is powered efficiently by silicon-based derivatives of sand (called silanes). Its combustion system is made environmentally safe by using oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere.
2. It has a flying saucer-like appearance and takes off horizontally, similar to an airplane, using air while in the atmosphere before switching to an onboard oxidizer after reaching the upper limits of the atmosphere. In this way, it greatly reduces the oxidizer-to-payload ratio problem traditionally found in space flight.
3. It uses the most advanced engine design, making it capable of speeds of more than 9,000 mph in the atmosphere.
Sounds like science fiction? Not quite.