from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Re-usable spacecraft sound like a good idea — if they actually saved any costs and refurbishing them was economical. There are only a few examples of re-usable space vehicles so far, and NASA retired its space shuttle program in 2011, narrowing the field a bit. SpaceX seems to be getting closer to demonstrating a re-usable rocket system, but it still needs to re-launch one of its rockets (and it currently only has one rocket for such an attempt).
- India has an incredibly frugal space program which has just launched a mini reusable shuttle called the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV-TD). This shuttle was developed for about $14 million and looks like a smaller X-37B, but it has a lot more testing to undergo before performing the same kind of tricks. [url]
- SpaceX’s latest rocket to successfully land may not be able to be re-used because it sustained “max damage” from its re-entry path. Still, this rocket stage will provide plenty of data to benchmark future re-usable rocket stages — or perhaps inspire modifications that could make the journey less damaging. [url]
- NASA is working on high altitude balloons to study the upper atmosphere. Okay, this isn’t exactly space, but NASA could also get a telescope to fly above a lot of atmosphere for a few months (or longer?) — and that would be a lot cheaper than a satellite. [url]
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