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In a statement that will provide a much-needed boost to efforts to find a replacement for the ageing orbiter fleet, it (the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB)) concluded: "It is in the nation's interest to replace the shuttle as soon as possible."
The last major effort on these lines was for the X-33, a mid-1990s effort to build a reusable single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle. It was a partnership between Nasa and Lockheed Martin.
Originally posted by PARALYZ
Time for the shuttle to be retired.It did it's job back in the day.Bring on a new spaceship.
Originally posted by RichardPrice
Theres one in the works, check out the Crew Exploration Vehicle project (currently at the initial proposal stage with tenders out to Lockheed, Boeing and others)
Originally posted by DiabolusFireDragon
The CEV will be a module and capsule type craft launched from a staged rocket. While practical, I find it boring. I wish they'd come up with a replacement for the shuttle with extraorbital capabilities. That'd pump more excitement into the space exploration programs to actually have a full fledged "Spaceship."
Originally posted by WestPoint23
They have to develop something that can take off on its own power, without big expensive fuel guzzling rocket boosters. I think they were looking into a type of sled launched space vehicle that would be cheaper and safer to launch then the shuttle.