Great summary of the current new space efforts and commentary

Interesting article and commentary about RLV development.  This is exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing at Mach 30!

Is the RLV industry emerging from hibernation?

by Taylor Dinerman
Monday, October 26, 2009

Comments (19)

The need for low-cost reliable access to space is greater than ever. Yet since the 1990s the efforts of the US government and industry to build these systems has stalled. The failed Lockheed Martin X-33 program of the 1990s created a fear factor inside parts of the aerospace establishment that has not gone away. It seems no one at NASA or in the Defense Department or the Congress is willing to gamble on making a multibillion-dollar investment in a new spaceplane program.

It’s been about five years since the Air Force essentially shut down the American government’s effort to build a reusable launch vehicle (RLV). The leaders decided that it would take a technological breakthrough on the order of the switch from piston engines to jets to build a successful system. NASA efforts to put together a viable RLV program had lead to the X-33 debacle and the 2nd Generation RLV programs were unable to gain technical, political, or budgetary traction.


“Since the failure of government programs the private sector has had the field to itself.”


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