NASA’s Space Plain X-34
The space plane was a project that NASA didn’t put too much effort into because at that time it was realized that expendable machines were much cheaper to build and maintain. But things apparently will go in a different direction because they just announced the X-34 a model that manufacturers hope will return safe to Earth once the outer space mission will end.
It was designed at Orbital Sciences and it was presented to the public back in 1999. At that time its mission was simple: launch into orbit, release some devices and turn back home safe. But in 2001 after some comprehensive analysis they realized that the project will be too expensive to build.
Their new approach will go towards the Virgin Galactic space program in which the company simply boosts a spacecraft towards the orbit. They will try to combine this revolutionary thinking with the old X-34 model.
It’s about time they try something different because technology has advanced greatly and for sure there are the means to make this a dream come true.
Source: Soft Sailor