Explains to the reader the importance of reusable space transportation systems
Sets out the consequences for future space exploration of reducing the cost of launching payloads into orbit
Reviews in detail the developments of air-breathing engines and their important environmental benefits
Provides an insight into the technologies necessary for developing economically viable reusable launch vehicles
In Reusable Space Transportation Systems the authors review the past 20 years in which concepts for reusable space transportation systems have been evaluated in Europe and elsewhere, including technological studies and assessments, and developments of the essential technologies needed for the design and construction of such transportation systems. For example, within the European Space Agency’s FESTIP programme, of which one of the authors, Dr Kuczera, was the Programme Director, many different types of reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) were designed, investigated and technologically assessed. Although the authors focus on European efforts in the development of reusable space transportation systems, they describe briefly what has been done elsewhere and reference all major international programmes and projects in this field.