The Longer Term Future of Launch and Propulsion Systems
In the previous chapter the remarkable progress that is being made to increase the reliability, performance and cost effectiveness of launcher vehicles was presented in some detail. This particularly stressed the progress that is being achieved with reusable launch systems. SpaceX Falcon launchers, Blue Origin New Shepherd and planned New Glenn and Sierra Nevada’s Dreamchaser vehicle that would provide resupply services to the International Space Station are just some of the new advances that are being achieved. Advances in 3D printing, additive manufacturing and other new production systems are not only resulting in spacecraft operating more efficiently and cost effectively, these new techniques are also serving to reduce the cost of launch vehicles as well. The advances of today will not be the advances of tomorrow, though. The space revolution will continue in the form of new and better forms of space transport.
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