PLD Space, Airborne Systems North America sign to Develop Llauncher Recovery Systems

ARION 1 & 2 technology demonstration. (Credit: PLD Space)

PLD Space is developing a family of recoverable launch vehicles
Airborne Systems has almost 100 years of experience in the EDLS systems

ELCHE, Spain — October 3, 2018 (PLD Space PR) — Airborne Systems has developed a parachute recovery system for PLD Space to advance the development of their recoverable launch vehicle family (ARION 1 and ARION 2). Drawing on almost 100 years of experience with the design and development of Entry, Descent and Landing Systems (EDLS), Airborne Systems provide a solution consisting of a Drogue parachute Subsystem and a Main parachute subsystem.

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Cool Blue Origin Engine Picture

NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (r) discusses the upcoming testing of Blue Origin’s BE-3 engine thrust chamber assembly with Steve Knowles, Blue Origin project manager, on the E-1 Test Stand TODAY at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. The BE-3 will be used on Blue Origin’s reusable launch vehicle as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Development Program. Blue Origin is one of NASA’s partners developing innovative systems to reach low Earth orbit.
NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center
:  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (r) discusses the upcoming testing of Blue Origin’s BE-3 engine thrust chamber assembly with Steve Knowles, Blue Origin project manager, on the E-1 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. The BE-3 will be used on Blue Origin’s reusable launch vehicle as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Development Program. Blue Origin is one of NASA’s partners developing innovative systems to reach low Earth orbit.

XCOR Made Significant Technological Progress in 2010

The FAA’s 2011 U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Developments and Concepts: Vehicles, Technologies, and Spaceports report highlights a pair of significant advancements by XCOR Aerospace in 2010. They involve significant progress on a new type of piston pump engine that could make turbopumps obsolete. XCOR also completed a series of crucial wind tunnel tests on its Lynx suborbital vehicle.

Both achievements are worth a closer look. Excerpts from the report follow with my notes in italics.

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India Taking Step-by-Step Approach to Developing Hypersonic SSTO

Brahmand.com takes a look at India’s step-by-step approach to developing reusable hypersonic launch vehicles:

The RLV will loft a satellite into orbit and immediately re-enter the atmosphere and glide back for a conventional landing. The RLV and the rocket booster will be recovered separately, with the former making a conventional landing on a runway and booster making a parachute landing.

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NASA, Air Force Partner on Commercial Reusable Launch Vehicles

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NASA PRESS RELEASE

NASA is partnering with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a technology roadmap for the commercial reusable launch vehicle, or RLV, industry.

“NASA is committed to stimulating the emerging commercial reusable launch vehicle industry,” said Lori Garver, deputy administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “There is a natural evolutionary path from today’s emerging commercial suborbital RLV industry to growing and developing the capability to provide low-cost, frequent and reliable access to low Earth orbit. One part of our plan is to partner with other federal agencies to develop a consensus roadmap of the commercial RLV industry’s long-range technology needs.”

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Reaction Engines Celebrates 20 Years, Looks Forward to Success with Skylon

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REACTION ENGINES PRESS RELEASE

On 15th August 2009, this Oxfordshire aerospace company celebrated its 20th anniversary. Reaction Engines Ltd (REL) has been developing the SKYLON spaceplane, a progression from the HOTOL project, over the past 2 decades and believes that a single stage to orbit (SSTO) reusable launch vehicle (RLV) is the future of global Space travel.

The secret to SKYLON’s success is its innovative SABRE engine which possesses the dual capability to be in air-breathing mode up to 30km and Mach 5 before switching to rocket mode.

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India Looks Toward Reusable Rockets

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ISRO to launch re-usable rockets within next 10 to 15 years
The Hindu

“ISRO will launch these re-usable rockets within next 10 to 15 years,” [ISRO Chairman G Madhavan] Nair told reporters on the sidelines of AV Rama Rao Technology Award Lecture on Advances in Space Materials on the occasion of National Technology Day celebrations at IICT here on Monday.

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RLVs: The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

The Simple Truth about Reusable Launchers Is Not So Simple
Space Daily

There are several key factors that have retarded progress in this area. An ideal RLV would be: a single stage vehicle; inexpensive to operate and able to be turned around quickly. Thanks to NASA’s failed billion-dollar experience trying to build a scaled down technology demonstrator, the X-33, we can say that single-stage RLVs are beyond the current state of technology. The fundamental reason has to do with the energy needed to achieve orbit and the lack of a propulsion system that can deliver the required vehicle velocity at a high enough efficiency.

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STTOs: The Answer to a Thousand Dreams

What Ever Happened To Reusable Launch Vehicles
Space Daily

The simple truth is that we do not know how to make reusables and we cannot make a good business case for them. Many have tried, but all have failed. Most recently NASA spent over one billion dollars trying to build a scaled down technology demonstrator, the X-33.
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Space Florida Completes Upgrades to RLV Hanger

PRESS RELEASE

Space Florida is pleased to announce the completion of a three-year/$1.8 million project to finalize upgrades to the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Hangar, located near the Space Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. Major additions included a foam fire suppression system and critical roof upgrades. The newly-installed Polyurethane Foam Fire Suppression System will now allow fueled aircraft to be stored at the 50,000 sq. ft. hangar.

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