Delta Clipper, a VTOL Rocket Before SpaceX
shorts# DC-X, short for Delta Clipper or Delta Clipper Experimental, was an uncrewed prototype of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit(SSTO) launch vehicle built by McDonnell Douglas in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense's Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) from 1991 to 1993. Starting 1994 until 1995, testing continued through funding of the US civil space agency NASA. Built as a one-third-size scale prototype, the DC-X was never designed to achieve orbital altitudes or velocity, but instead to demonstrate the concept of vertical take off and landing.