4 April 2008. Europe must take the lead in making access to space more affordable and more practical. Going back to one of the recommendations from the ESA Long Term Space Policy Committee (LSPC), an innovative new proposal for a competitive and affordable partly reusable launcher is detailed in this issue of “ESPI Perspectives”.
The author of this issue of “ESPI Perspectives” (download here) on “More affordable satellite launchings”, ESPI Senior Research Fellow Rolf Skaar, firmly believes that Europe’s strong position over several decades as the market leader for commercial satellite launchings, in the future will come under threat from the new privately funded entrepreneurial companies in the US, as for example SpaceX with its Falcon family of launchers.
He also believes that the most important factor in increasing space activities and making space more useful is by making access to space more affordable. In this issue of "ESPI Perspectives" he develops his ideas of combining an Airbus 380 Freighter with the VEGA Solid Rocket, now under development by ESA, for a partly reusable launch vehicle (the Airbus 380 as the first reusable stage for an air lunch) and the potential for further development of this concept to provide a Delta II class capability.
Photo Rolf Rolf Skaar, Senior Research Fellow at ESPI
“ESPI Perspectives” (formerly “Flash Reports”) are short and concise thought or position papers, prepared by ESPI staff or external researchers.