TABLE 2.2 Major Reusable Booster System (RBS)/Reusable Launch Vehicle Features

Program Customer Crewa Reused Elements Ascent Concept Final Orbit Upper Stage Reuse Key Elements at TRL<6 at Program Start
Space shuttle NASA Y Orbiter and solidsb TSTOc LEO Y Reusable Solids Staged Combustion Engine Reentry TPS VTHL RTLS Ground Processing Operations
National AeroSpace Plane (X-30) Air Force/ NASA Y Total vehicle SSTO LEO Y Airbreathing propulsion system
Lockheed Martin X-33 NASA Y Total vehicle SSTO LEO Y SSTO Linear Aerospike Engine Thrust Modulated TVC EMA
Kistler K-1 Multiple Y 1st and 2nd stages TSTO LEO to GEO Y Reusable TSTO Land Recovery
SpaceXd Falcon 9 Multiple Y 1st and 2nd stages TSTO LEO to GEO N
RBS Air Force N 1st stage only TSTOe LEO to GEO N Reusable LO2/RP-1 ORSC rocket engine Rocketback Maneuver RTLS Ground Processing Operations

a Booster vehicle designed for potential transport of crew.

b Solids recovered down range.

c Main propellant tank expended, solids recovered downrange.

d Present Falcon 9 described. A SpaceX RTLS concept in development.

e Critical subsystems/processes not demonstrated at flight conditions.

NOTE: EMA, electro-mechanical actuator; GEO, geosynchronous Earth orbit; LEO, low Earth orbit; ORSC, oxygen rich, staged combustion; RTLS, return to launch site; SSTO, single stage to orbit; TPS, thermal protection system; TRL, technology readiness level; TSTO, two stages to orbit; TVC, thrust vector control; VTHL, vertical takeoff, horizontal landing;

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