India Taking Step-by-Step Approach to Developing Hypersonic SSTO takes a look at India’s step-by-step approach to developing reusable hypersonic launch vehicles:

The RLV will loft a satellite into orbit and immediately re-enter the atmosphere and glide back for a conventional landing. The RLV and the rocket booster will be recovered separately, with the former making a conventional landing on a runway and booster making a parachute landing.


Greetings from Phoenix

I’m attending Space Access 2010 Conference in Phoenix. It begins in about an hour. I will be blogging on it through Saturday. I also will be on a panel about World Space on Friday evening.

Space Review Looks at Augustine, RLVs and Saddam Hussein


The Space Review features the following articles this week:

  • Jeff Foust reports on the reaction to the Augustine Commission report and how the report is the next step, but not the last step, in crafting a new space policy.
  • Taylor Dinerman sees some encouraging signs that big companies and the government are taking a renewed interest in reusable launch vehicles.
  • Sam Dinkin looks at how further improvements in morbidity can make space settlement imminent.
  • Dwayne Day looks at Saddam Hussein’s effort to develop a space program.

RLVs: The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

The Simple Truth about Reusable Launchers Is Not So Simple
Space Daily

There are several key factors that have retarded progress in this area. An ideal RLV would be: a single stage vehicle; inexpensive to operate and able to be turned around quickly. Thanks to NASA’s failed billion-dollar experience trying to build a scaled down technology demonstrator, the X-33, we can say that single-stage RLVs are beyond the current state of technology. The fundamental reason has to do with the energy needed to achieve orbit and the lack of a propulsion system that can deliver the required vehicle velocity at a high enough efficiency.


STTOs: The Answer to a Thousand Dreams

What Ever Happened To Reusable Launch Vehicles
Space Daily

The simple truth is that we do not know how to make reusables and we cannot make a good business case for them. Many have tried, but all have failed. Most recently NASA spent over one billion dollars trying to build a scaled down technology demonstrator, the X-33.