Hyderabad: The President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, has said that international cooperation in developing a hypersonic, re-usable space vehicle with higher payload efficiency and lower cost could revolutionize space transportation. Kalam was speaking at a two-day international conference on `High speed trans-atmospheric air and space transportation' here in the city.
"There is a need for all countries to work together to develop a single-stage-to-orbit, fully re-usable launch vehicles which can bring down the cost of the launch from the present US$20,000 per kg of payload to US$200 per kg," he said.
Speaking about hypersonic technology, Kalam said that the real value of space exploration for human advancement would occur only when a fully re-usable space transportation system were developed with very high payload efficiencies.
Pointing out that the payload percentage of current generation expendable launch vehicles globally does not exceed 1 or 2 per cent of the launch weight, he said, "Such space transportation systems, with marginal payload fractions, are wholly uneconomical for carrying out mass missions."
"The challenge before the world aerospace community was to bring about a revolution in air and space transportation by developing a single stage orbit re-usable vehicle," the President observed. "This needs innovative partnership among nations to design and develop a single-stage, reusable, safe and affordable aerobic space transportation system with a take off weight of 275 tonnes for a 25-35 tonnes payload for launching multi- purpose mission, including new orbiting space stations, space habitat and space solar power station," Kalam told a gathering of aerospace scientists and industry representatives.
"The partnership in designing a multi-role aerospace vehicle would bring down the development costs substantially. While cost effective space transportation system would bring in new applications to absorb development costs, high speed transcontinental air transportation
systems would become commercially viable."
India, he said, was already working on innovative design concepts for both small as well as large payloads into space with a goal to reduce the cost of access to space.
The President also suggested the creation of a World Space Council which could oversee the planning and implementation of exploration, space security and societal missions as part of the `Global Space Mission 2050'.
Kalam said he visualized integration of multiple technologies of supersonic aircraft, missiles and spacecraft to transform into unmanned supersonic long-range aircraft replacing manned fighter aircraft in the next two decades.