The world's two leading rocket companies want to make rockets capable of taking people into space without spacecraft.
The idea of a direct-to-space rocket launch was initiated by Alliant Techsystems in the US and Astrium in Europe, the BBC said. The two companies sent their ideas to the US Aerospace Agency (NASA) because the US government was looking for commercial solutions to bring astronauts to the International Space Station after the submarine fleet. Their shuttle stopped working later this year.
Liberty, the name of the future rocket, will use both solid fuel and liquid fuel to fly. Its length is about 90 m (while the European Ariane 5 rocket is 50 m long). The human compartment will be at the top of the rocket.Liberty can carry 20 tons of cargo to low Earth orbit - where the International Space Station is flying.
Many MPs in the US parliament fear NASA will have to wait a long time before the new generation spacecraft is born. If that happens, perhaps the US will have to depend on Russia's Soyuz in bringing astronauts to space until the end of this decade. Liberty can become a " most nominated " solution. It not only helped NASA reduce the cost of the new generation of spacecraft generation programs , but also shortened the time it took to rely on Russia to bring astronauts to space. Alliant Techsystems and Astrium believe that, with their experience and potential, Liberty missiles will take off in 2013.