Future Space Exploration This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In the 21st century, space exploration will be a lot less expensive. The reason - the newly designed space shuttle called Venture Star. With its wedge-shaped reusable rocket and revolutionary engine, it flies like a plane in space. It is expected to carry about a 40,000 pound payload into orbit at one-tenth the cost of today's shuttle launchers. Today's shuttle costs $5,000,000 per launch and doesn't carry half of what is expected to be carried by the Venture Star, which makes it one solution to help ease the national debt.

NASA designed Venture Star to carry heavy loads and people to build a larger space station. Although the space shuttle does that now, it costs two times the amount it will cost to fly the Venture Star. Another reason this shuttle was designed is the many doubts about the safety of the space shuttle. For the Venture Star to fly, NASA will need to stop launching the space shuttle to save money, but that is currently politically impossible.

The reusable rockets on the new spacecraft are possible because of new technology. In the future, there are expected to be more reusable rocket spacecraft. One of them, the X-34, is supposed to be launched in 1998 and should carry a 1,500 pound payload. The Russians and British have also designed this type of spacecraft. The Russians have designed two: the MAKS (Multipurpose Aero-Space Plane), which can carry an eight-ton payload and be launched from an airplane. This project will not be finished due to lack of money. The other spacecraft is the Burlack shuttle which also may not be launched because of money problems.

The British have designed an aircraft called the Space Cab, which, like the MAKS, launches from an airplane. It cannot carry too much weight because of its design. Some benefits these rockets have are (a) they may lower taxes, (b) they will ensure more safety in space exploration and (c) the United States future space station, called Freedom, may hopefully be built more quickly.

The reusable rocket launchers are a breakthrough in space technology, making it less expensive, thus allowing more countries access to space programs.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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