January 20, 2004

Rocketship Nipponjin?

As I first reported back in October 2003, the Japanese have been testing a reusable rocketship -- the RVT -- much like the DC-X for the last several years (since 1999 - here's a good background).

Today, Hobbyspace posts an interview of Prof. Yoshifumi Inatani, the head of the RVT program.

Of particular interest to this blog is the fact that Rocket Man Mark Oakley helped prepare some of the questions on vehicle design.

Read the whole thing, and then ask yourself where we might be today if the military had kept control of the DC-X (remember, as Jerry Pournelle points out, that the first thing NASA did with the DC-X was to crash it -- through incompetence rather than malice, but still. . .)

The interview has some links to pictures and video. You may also want to check out these videos of the DC-X before its untimely demise: Small (8MB) or Large (31MB).

Posted by JohnL at January 20, 2004 09:19 PM
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