- Published: Monday, 10 August 2015 13:34
Interest in the ALV and SPARTAN projects has grown rapidly in the last few months. The following articles have recently been published on the ALV and SPARTAN vehicles:
Undoubtedly the recent activities of SpaceX have focussed attention to the cost reduction promise of partially reusable launch vehicles, and particularly that of flyback boosters.
Back in 2011, when our calculations first showed that flyback boosters are cost optimal, there was little interest in any form of reusability. But fortunately the message is spreading that reusing only the first and second stages of a vehicle represents the largest potential cost savings. If such reusability can be achieved through simple means, as is proposed by the ALV concept, then low cost space access may finally become a reality. And in combination with SPARTAN, aircraft-like space launch operations may become commonplace in future.
A further reason for the increased interest in ALV and SPARTAN may be the fact that Heliaq, UQ and TECSA are nearing the first test flights of the small scale ALV demonstrators. Detail design work is progressing at a fast pace, and the first components have been procured. Exciting times lie ahead!