Spaceplanes: From Airport to Spaceport (Astronomers' Universe)
By Matthew A. Bentley
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"Spaceplanes From Airport to Spaceport presents a vision of the near future in which space vehicles can take off from an international airport, refuel in space, and fly regularly between the Earth and the Moon. The book is built on the solid engineering foundation prepared by David Ashford in his book Spaceflight Revolution, but develops the argument.
This is a coherent, lucid, and optimistic picture of the future – aimed directly at the reader as a future space passenger – which explains why the Space Tourist market could easily become the single most important factor in the mid-term future development of space transportation. In a few years it will be possible to board a spaceplane and fly into Earth orbit, and perhaps visit a space station. Later development could include refuelling in orbit to take a tour of cislunar space.
As the latest news has shown, the successful flight of SpaceShipOne and the imminent inauguration of Virgin Galactic’s sub-orbital rides from the New Mexico desert have already begun this process.
This book explains the technical details of precisely how all this can be accomplished within the next few decades."