NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Space Express rocket. Computer artwork of a hypothetical Space Express rocket blasting out of the atmosphere. This is one of several possible third-generation reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) projected for use around 2025. They would travel into space like a rocket, orbit like a spacecraft and land like an aeroplane. Third-generation RLVs should be able to carry payloads into space 100 times more cheaply than the first-generation space shuttles. They would only need a small ground crew and could be relaunched in a day. Their launch safety should be similar to that of a commercial aircraft. This rocket is part of the Advanced Space Transportation Program at NASA, USA.
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