future scenarios using RBS. Conversely, development of a commercial launch capability that can satisfy Air Force launch requirements may lead to true competition and lower overall costs.

In addition, this analysis essentially accepts the feasibility and success of a reusable booster system in the time frames suggested by the Air Force projections. However, previous chapters have detailed a number of important technical areas (as, for example, with the rocketback maneuver) where considerable uncertainty exists about technology and timing. Additionally, persistently unstable funding may also delay technology development. Major delays in overcoming technological hurdles would significantly and negatively affect the cost trade-offs and breakeven points shown in previous charts. Technology maturity levels therefore would add another level of uncertainty to the balance of the cost equations between RBS and EELVs.



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