1. von Hindenburg says:

    Hopefully, this will be an achievable reality sometime soon. SpaceX is 80% of the way there with the Falcon 9 and (knock on stainless steel) won’t bork their own Starship by launching without a flame diverter a few months from now. You have a few other companies with a track record of actual launches (Rocket Lab) pursuing partial reusability, but the only other reasonably serious group with a ‘near term’ plan for it (Relativity Space) has scaled back their ambitions. The Indians are testing a model space plane, though nobody knows quite why. The Chinese have dozens of companies with exciting slideshows of SpaceX knockoffs (and, legitimately a little potentially reusable hardware starting to fly). And the Europeans have announced solemn accords to stand up a committee to research the best way to decide on the proper committee structure to research reusable designs sometime within the next decade. (There are a few private European attempts at reusability on the horizon, but ESA makes NASA look agile and results-focused)

    • Captain DaFt says:

      Lets not Forget the UK, who, after abandoning space in the sixties, now proclaims itself “World space pioneer” for providing various widgets (Via contracts with third parties) to one or two space agencies.

      • von Hindenburg says:

        Indeed. While Scotland claims to be the number two sub-national entity in the world in the manufacture of space components and satellites (behind California), it’s a long way to fall from an independent orbital capability. Currently, there are two spaceports (Saxavord in Shetland and Sutherland in Scotland) under construction (as well as ‘spaceport’ Cornwall). There are a few launch companies in various stages of development, such as Orbex and Skyrora. Both have interesting tech, but with the smallsat market as tight as it is, it seems unlikely that they can succeed without government patronage. Then, of course, there’s the sad story of Virgin Orbit, which just fell into bankruptcy after months of trying to launch from Cornwall.

  2. Fred says:

    Seventy four million seems a bit steep, if I wanted to spend that kind of money I could just buy a tesla.

  3. tom says:

    Oh. At first I thought it was “Rock Rentals:” That is something I might go for.

  4. John Salmon says:

    I would like a trip to the Moon on gossamer wings. Just one of those things, I suppose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *