Would you go to space in a Capsule or Space Plane?


This week we examine the different Space Planes coming on the scene. Orbital planes such as Skylon and sub-orbital planes such as SpaceShipTwo. We ask you, would you want to go in to space in a Capsule or a Space Plane?

In Space News we have:
* SpaceX Pad Anomaly
* Asteroid probe apparently unharmed in nearby SpaceX anomaly, passes Flight Readiness Review
* China may have had a rocket anomaly on Wednesday
* Juno beams back dramatic new pictures of Jupiter
* New Zealand Launch Site Survives 7.1 Earthquake
* Hunt for Planet 9 reveals extremely distant objects

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  1. Chris Parr (@SpaceY_UK) on September 5, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    I’d definitely choose a capsule for journeys to and from Low Earth Orbit (or Lunar/Martian Orbit). They’re a proven design with the highest safety record of manned spacecraft. The next generation of capsules (Crew Dragon, Starliner, Orion) will be more ‘sci-fi’ looking inside and at least one will eventually have the ability to land using rockets.

  2. John Bensted on September 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I would choose a capsule over a spaceplane to get from earth to space and space to earth. This is an exercise for Occam’s Razor (among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected). A spaceplane has variable and complicated geometry and this presents multiple problems during reentry. We only have to bring up the Columbia tragedy for an example. Capsules are simple and robust. They are a spacecraft and an escape system all-in-one. To sum it up, think of capsules as astronaut taxis and escape pods.

    — Ad astra! Live long and prosper!

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