Consolidated Astronautics VX-9
The VX-9 was Consolidated Astronautics' first true "production spaceship". Created by members of the same team that built the famous Luna, the VX-9 used an improved version of the same solid-core fission reactor that propelled the first spaceship to the Moon. In fact, preliminary work on the VX-9 started even before the Luna was completed in anticipation of a demand for transport rockets capable of ferrying crews and supplies to the Moon. The company's foresight payed off, and VX-9s were pressed into service as fast as they came off the assembly line during construction of the first U.S. colony near Landsberg crater.
At 150 feet long, the VX-9 had the same overall length as the Luna but was slightly larger in diameter to accommodate a larger propellant tank and payload compartment. The VX-9 used a different fin design intended to reduce weight and drag, and took off and landed on its tail.
While the VX-9 is long obsolete, a few are still operated by belt prospectors and colonists and as lunar ferry rockets. At least one is known to have been converted into a private yacht.
Bisbee Engineering Company has recently begun manufacturing replicas of the VX-9 under license from Consolidated Astronautics. Their X-Ecutive model is outwardly identical to the classic VX-9, but features a roomy cabin, state-of-the-art equipment, and a modern high-performance gaseous fission drive.
About the model: The VX-9 model featured on this page was built using an Estes "Moondog" flying model rocket. The photo was taken by Free Trader using a Kodak DC4800 Zoom Digital Camera, then retouched using Corel Photohouse to produce the black background.