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An aviation approach to space transportation: (A strategy for increasing space exploration within existing budget streams)

  • D. Ashford (a1)


This paper presents a strategy for developing the first orbital spaceplane soon and at low cost and risk. The paper then shows how this vehicle will introduce an aviation approach to orbital space transportation to replace the present missile paradigm, leading to far lower costs and improved safety.

To illustrate the potential benefits, the paper presents preliminary sizing and cost estimates of a simple lunar base. Even including the cost of developing the spaceplanes and other vehicles required, the total cost is about ten times less than that of present plans that use large new expendable launch vehicles. Timescales need not be greatly affected.



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