This Space Plane Will Use Microwave Beams To Reach Orbit

"The extraordinary opportunities that this system can open fully justify solving the technical challenges in front of us."

Over half a century after the dawn of the space age, getting to space remains an epic challenge. Twice this year, the first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket met a fiery end on the Atlantic Ocean—both attempts to recover and reuse rockets to reduce launch costs. A third rocket never made orbit, exploding on ascent.

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