Carrier has arrived.

Carrier on a string! This is one of the concepts for an orbital carrier which houses the actual orbiter, or deep space faring vehicle. The hollowed out center of the ship fits into the fuel tank which is released when the carrier is above the Earths atmosphere. The carrier uses a thermal protective system (black stuff) to protect it from burning up on re-entry. Below is the concept, 3D model used for paint over and the finished (above).