The Rocket-propelled, German ‘SpaceLiner’ hypersonic passenger plane, could be a reality by 2030.
SpaceLiner will travel between Europe and Australia in under 90 minutes, carrying 100 passengers.
To allow fast intercontinental passenger travel, a rocket booster would take shuttle to edge of space.
The key-challenge of space transportation is the reduction in launch cost. Production is one of the main cost drivers due to the very low manufacturing numbers of stages and engines. Without a new market application for space technology no improvement is to be expected.
DLR has developed a vision which ultimately has the potential to enable sustainable, low-cost space transportation to orbit. The number of launches per year should be strongly raised and hence manufacturing and operating cost of launcher hardware should dramatically shrink. The obvious challenge of the vision is to identify the very application creating this new, large-size market.