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"A history of one particular aspect of US space history—the attempt to develop a single-stage-to-orbit launcher... it is a story of muddle and waste... Butrica provides a competent and readable account of this debacle, which concentrates on the small research vehicle, DC-X."

"The 'holy grail' of the spaceship movement has been the development of a vehicle that could accomplish single stage to orbit (SSTO) flight. This study describes the evolution of this concept from the 1920s to the present, revealing a conservative space agenda that has not yet been the subject of historical analysis. As such, it makes an important contribution to space history literature."