NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SpaceLiner maglev rocket. Computer artwork of a hypothetical SpaceLiner 100 MagLev rocket launch- ing a satellite into orbit. This is one of several possible third-generation reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) projected for use around 2025. It would be accelerated to 1000 km per hour along a horizontal friction-free magnetic levitation track. At this speed, its ramjet engine could suck in enough air as it flies to burn its hydrogen fuel. By not carrying oxygen, flight costs are lowered. Third- generation RLVs should be able to carry payloads 100 times more cheaply than the first-generation space shuttles. This is part of the Advanced Space Transportation Program at NASA, USA.
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