Development of reusable space transportation technologies

  • LONG Lehao ,
  • CAI Qiaoyan ,
  • WANG Fei ,
  • MA Tingting ,
  • WEN Yue
  • China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing 100076, China

Received date: 2018-04-20

  Online published: 2018-05-22


The level of the space transportation technologies is closely related with the ability of accessing the space, utilizing the space, and ensuring security and protecting interests in the space. It symbolizes the comprehensive national strength. The reusable space transportation system is an ideal mean to reduce the space launch costs, to improve reliability and safety, and to shorten the turn-around time, as an important component of the future space transportation system. It is an inevitable tendency that the future space transportation system will turn from expendable to reusable. Developing an advanced and reusable space transportation system is of great significance for meeting the needs for the future space exploration and the low cost launch. This paper reviews the development trend of the reusable space transportation technologies. The development route of the future reusable space transportation in China is also discussed from three aspects, including the traditional launch vehicle configuration, the rocket-powered lifting-body configuration and the combined propulsion configuration.

Cite this article

LONG Lehao , CAI Qiaoyan , WANG Fei , MA Tingting , WEN Yue . Development of reusable space transportation technologies[J]. Science & Technology Review, 2018 , 36(10) : 84 -92 . DOI: 10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2018.10.009


[1] 龙乐豪. 我国航天运输系统发展展望[J]. 航天制造技术, 2010(3):5-10. Long Lehao. Development prospect of China aerospace trans-portation system[J]. Aerospace Manufacturing Technology, 2010(3):5-10.
[2] 龙乐豪, 王小军, 果琳丽. 中国进入空间能力的现状与展望[J]. 中国工程科学, 2006, 8(11):25-28. Long Lehao, Wang Xiaojun, Guo Lili. The present situation and prospect of China's space-entering capacity[J]. Engineer-ing Science, 2006, 8(11):25-28.
[3] 秦旭东, 龙乐豪, 容易. 我国航天运输系统成就与展望[J]. 深空探测学报, 2016, 3(4):315-322. Qin Xudong, Long Lehao, Rong Yi. The achievement and fu-ture of China space transportation system[J]. Journal of Deep Space Exploration, 2016, 3(4):315-322.
[4] 韩鹏鑫, 王宁宇, 王飞, 等. 可重复使用助推器系统RTLS飞行的风险评估[J]. 中国航天, 2017(2):18-22. Han Pengxin, Wang Ningyu, Wang Fei, et al. Risk assessment of reusable booster system RTLS flight[J]. Aerospace China, 2017(2):18-22.
[5] Tatical Technology Office. Broad Agency Announcement Exper-imental Spaceplane(XS-1)[R]. Virginia:DARPA, 2013:DAR-PA-BAA-14-01.
[6] Vozoff M, Couluris J. SpaceX products-advancing the use of space[C]//AIAA SPACE 2008 Conference & Exposition. New York:AIAA, 2013.
[7] Skylon[EB/OL].[2018-03-31]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_(spacecraft).