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Origin:The Aerospace Corporation

The design of the Lockheed Martin RLV is currently optimized for traditional spacelift missions. For these missions the RLV design objectives such as 7-day vehicle turntimes, $1,000/lb of payload, and 99.6% reliabilities are acceptable. This design may also enable a very limited human presence in space with a correspondingly high price for a ticket.

In this paper we explore a different design approach. We attempt to optimize the design of the RLV so that it can grow to economically and reliably (safely) accommodate a much larger market for human presence in space, space tourism. Market surveys suggest that space tourism, as a full human presence market, will dictate flight rates two orders of magnitude larger than traditional spacelift. The system must also accommodate traditional spacelift for early market and revenue capture.

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