The private space race is starting to finally, finally, heat up. True, companies like SpaceX have been around for years, but the move to actually get our collective ass into the Big Black have been moving painfully slowly.
Now, we actually have another competitor, using a classic method to get into space: Alliant Techsystems, and their multistage rocket.
The key thing here, though, is that Liberty, their attempt to get off the ground, is a lot cheaper than most other options. It’s an off-the-shelf rocket, if you will.
Essentially it’s made out of other space programs’ spare parts: solid rocket boosters from Constellation 1, a liquid booster for its second stage from Ariane 5, and NASA’s composite crew module, which Alliant seems to have continued to develop after licensing from NASA.
The key thing is that since Alliant doesn’t have to develop its own technologies, or at least only has to tweak existing ones, this multi-stage rocket doesn’t have any untested components. So it’s not only cheap, it’s less risky to use than untested technologies.
Now, let’s look into that Mars mission, guys.
image courtesy Alliant Techsystems