The is another step forward for the Virgin Galactic start up. It has now completed several trips into space including a recent flawless return cycle. And the mechanism used to launch the space vehicle is to get the craft to a high altitude using conventional lift then use a much smaller rocket to do the rest.
The full news story is at Virgin Galactic wants to do moon cruises.
NASA Space Launcher
NASA has demonstrated assisted Space Launch using a glider.
The key to the assisted launch is that it remove the need to keep enough fuel on the spacecraft to get the fuel into space. Up to 80% of the fuel on the space shuttle is to get the space craft and fuel into space. If you aren’t having to lift the fuel then you need a much smaller rocket.
And the use of aeronautical lift saves fuel for both the lift vehicle and the rocket. In the case of NASA’s glider assisted lift, there is no fuel at all on the lift vehicle.
The ultimate lift vehicle is the Space Elevator.
It may be a while before we get to the Space Elevator but the gliders and use of aeronautical lift make a lot of sense as an next best step in getting into space.
Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.