A New Space Strategy for Europe

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D. Ashford (2007), JBIS, 60, 390-394

Refcode: 2007.60.390
Keywords: Spaceplanes, space tourism, low-cost launches

This paper shows how there is a one-time opportunity for Europe to take the lead in reducing the cost of access to space by adopting an aviation approach to transport to and from low earth orbit. Such an approach, using launchers like aeroplanes to replace those like missiles, was widely promoted in the 1960s but has never happened, initially because of Cold War pressures and then because of established habits of thinking. SpaceShipOne has shown that it is now possible to catch up rapidly with what might have been, using technologies developed since the 1960s for other projects. Europe is well placed to lead this breakthrough.

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