A series of demonstrators is being planned by the U.S. Air Force to mature technology for the Reusable Booster System (RBS), its chosen replacement for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) family beyond 2025. The first of the demonstrators, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) RBS Pathfinder, is planned to fly in 2013 to evaluate the “rocket-back” maneuver that would enable the unmanned first-stage booster to return to a runway landing at the launch site. An RBS ...


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