New Space Plane Would Take Off On A Runway And Fly Directly To Space


When you consider space travel, pictures of massive rockets launching from a launchpad are likely to spring to mind. 

Now, one startup wants to alter that by constructing a spaceship that, like an aircraft, will take off straight from a runway.

Radian Aerospace, a Washington-based aerospace firm, said last month that it had raised $27.5 million to construct the "first fully reusable horizontal takeoff and landing" space plane, the company stated in a news statement.

The vehicle would be single-stage, which eliminates the possibility of boosters being unintentionally launched towards the Moon. Additionally, it would be totally reusable, lowering the cost of space travel even further.

“We believe that widespread access to space means limitless opportunities for humankind,” Richard Humphrey, CEO and co-founder of Radian, said in the release. “Over time, we intend to make space travel nearly as simple and convenient as airliner travel.”

While two-stage rockets such as NASA's Space Shuttle have been in operation for decades, no one has yet succeeded in developing a single-stage spaceship. If Radian succeeds, it will be a significant first that will greatly reduce the expenses and technological difficulties connected with space flight.

The aircraft, called Radian One, is currently planned to carry a crew of five and up to 5,000 pounds of cargo, according to Freethink. The vehicle would be launched on a rocket-powered sled that would speed the aircraft down a runway before yeeting it into low earth orbit.

The objective is to preserve fuel on the Radian One while reusing the rocket sled for subsequent flights.

This plane has the potential to bring in a bright new age of space travel. It may even render Elon Musk's self-landing rockets obsolete in contrast.

Reference(s): PR NewsWire, FreeThink


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