How The UK Can Lead The New Space Age

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D. Ashford (2009), JBIS, 62, 354-361

Refcode: 2009.62.354
Keywords: New space age, spaceplane, lunar base, reusable launcher, space tourism

A new space age is in sight with launchers like aeroplanes (spaceplanes) replacing those like missiles that can fly only once. Access to orbit will be far safer and less expensive. The cost of space science will become comparable to Antarctic science and public access to space will become routinely affordable. This paper presents a road map showing how the UK can lead the way to the new space age at low cost and risk. The first vehicle on the sequence is a small entry-level sub-orbital spaceplane. The UK has all the required technology to build this, and is the only major industrial country not committed to `old space'. For a modest investment soon, the UK could become the centre for a new European spaceplane industry, with wide political, economic, and educational gains.


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