Latest in Adeline

Image credit:

Airbus thinks it can trump SpaceX's reusable rockets

61 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Airbus isn't done trying to beat SpaceX... in fact, it's going for the jugular. The German aerospace firm has unveiled Adeline, a reusable first-stage rocket engine that aims to one-up the efforts from its American rival. Rather than try to return the entire first stage to Earth, Adeline carries just the most expensive bits, the engine and avionics. The machine has an aerodynamic shield that reduces engine stress on the way down, and two winglets with rotary motors to guide the craft safely to the ground -- Airbus envisions the rocket segment landing on runways, not launchpads. This approach reportedly requires much less fuel than SpaceX's approach, and would lop as much as 30 percent off routine launch costs.

Not that Elon Musk and company are worried about this upstart, at least not in the short term. Adeline only exists as a scale prototype right now, and it isn't expected to launch until 2025 even if it gets the necessary financial backing. If it pans out, though, it could help usher in an era of cheaper spaceflight where key components are rarely thrown away.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
61 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Yamaha updates its THR desktop guitar amps for the first time in years

Yamaha updates its THR desktop guitar amps for the first time in years

View
Facebook’s latest AI experiment helps you pick what to wear

Facebook’s latest AI experiment helps you pick what to wear

View
iFixit's iPhone 11 Pro Max teardown investigates charging rumors

iFixit's iPhone 11 Pro Max teardown investigates charging rumors

View
TiVo wants to make a comeback with $50 Android TV dongle

TiVo wants to make a comeback with $50 Android TV dongle

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr