NASA ended the US’s interest in spaceplanes when it scrapped the shuttle fleet a decade ago.
But other space agencies and private companies in other countries are very much in the game. ESA, India, even the UK.
And, of course…
Whichever future the spaceplane does have, it will involve China. “We know very little about the launch [of China’s experimental spaceplane],” says Deville. “But it shows that China is serious about developing its spaceplane concepts.”
The author believes this shows that “nonpartisan” desire to journey to space and preserve human heritage.
Well, I do agree with the assessment that it’s only a matter of time before the Moon is occupied by multiple political entities (China, India, Russia, the US, ESA…) and probably even a few private enterprises as well. Will the private company-sponsored missions agree to abide by a US law?
I’ve made good progress on my mother’s high school manuscript — up to Chapter 9 (out of 15). Taking notes while I type, particularly about cultural references and language usage, I came across one interesting prediction:
“The space program of the two major nations [US and Russia] were joined after the moon project because it was cheaper to outfit; also, with the world’s greatest minds working together, better vehicles could be built.”
This was written a full 9 years before the joint Apollo-Soyuz (or Soyuz-Apollo) Test Project in 1975 that basically ended the “space race” started by the launch of Sputnik.
Written by a 17-year-old in 1968. The reality was more complicated, but still, heck of a prediction. Go, Mom!