Progress in new U.S. launch systems has slowed because rocket technology has virtually reached its limits and the time is ripe for the privately funded development of an all-new, liquid-fueled engine in the 500,000-lb.-thrust class, according to Antonio Elias, head of advanced programs at Orbital Sciences Corp. Speaking at the Joint Propulsion Conference here, Elias says an “awesome reality hangs over us in our industry. It’s a problem. Look at the iPhone and how it benefits from Moore’s ...


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