Advanced technology, investment clearing way for spaceliners

Development of spaceplanes for suborbital tourism, satellite launches and point-to-point terrestrial transportation are benefiting from advanced technology, panelists said at the Space Tech Expo Europe here…

The German space agency DLR has a concept for a vertical takeoff, horizonal landing spaceplane similar to the SpaceX Starship, said Martin Sippel, DLR head of mechanisms and products. “It can fly in 90 minutes to Australia and about one hour to West America or to East Asia,” he added.

In addition to point-to-point flights, Spaceliner could provide uncrewed transportation to low Earth orbit and flights to geosynchronous transfer orbit with an additional stage, Sippel said.

“The idea is to have mass production, like aircraft production, for reusable spacecraft,” Sippel said. “The Spaceliner and Starship could be launch vehicles and also serve a small portion of long-distance business travel.”