The beginning of the space age. Throwaway launcher (very expensive to fly).
Most large aircraft companies study orbital spaceplanes
Aeroplane-like, fully reusable, potential for low operating cost. David Ashford takes part.
1970s – Now
Orbital spaceplanes not built
Initially because of Cold War priorities and then because of the power of the throwaway habit.
Bristol Spaceplanes is born
First orbital spaceplane
Fully reusable. No new technology. Airline service to orbit. The beginning of everyday spaceflight. You could afford to fly in a spaceplane! Our Spacecab is the only project on offer designed for this!