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This New Spacecraft Could Take Off On A Runway And Fly Directly To Space

A startup has come up with a novel idea about sending spacecraft to space.  They have been developing a spacecraft that would take off directly from a runway like an airplane.

Radian Aerospace is a Washington-based aerospace group. It announced last month that it had acquired $27.5 million in funding to develop the “first fully reusable horizontal takeoff and landing” space plane, a press release from the company said.

The crafts would be single-stage, which means no pesky boosters to accidentally crash into the Moon like one of its SpaceX counterparts. It would also be entirely reusable. This will cut down the costs of space travel even more. 

“We believe that widespread access to space means limitless opportunities for humankind,” Richard Humphrey, CEO, and co-founder of Radian said in the release. “Over time, we intend to make space travel nearly as simple and convenient as airliner travel.”

Two-stage rockets such as NASA’s Space Shuttle have been in use for a long time. No one has been able to develop a single-stage spacecraft yet. If Radian can bring one in the market, it would be a major first that’d massively reduce a lot of the costs and technical issues that are tethered to space travel. 

The plane will be called Radian One and the plan is to carry a crew of five and up to 5,000 pounds of cargo, Freethink reports. The craft would launch on top of a rocket-powered sled that will rapidly accelerate down a runway before sending the plane into low earth orbit. 

The idea would be to conserve the fuel on the Radian One while being able to reuse the rocket sled for future missions. 

Time will tell whether the space plane will ever take off. If it is developed, though, it could usher in a bold new era of space travel.