Day Return to Space

What is the future of manned space flight?  Will we or our children be booking return trips to the moon?  Will our grandchildren be taking holiday cruises to Mars?  This film charts the future of spacetravel, and explores the new space race now getting underway - the race to make space travel affordable.  This space race involving NASA, the big aerospace corporations, and a growing number of private entrepreneurs aims to come up with a space vehicle which could make astronauts of us all...

In 1995 NASA asked the USA’s top aerospace companies to come up with designs for a new spacecraft which they called the X-33. Intended as a Reusable Launch Vehicle, the spacecraft is designed to return from space in one piece and to be ready to fly again in seventy two hours, reducing the cost of putting a pay-load in orbit by a factor of ten.  In complete contrast to the Shuttle, the plan is that the RLV should be commercially viable, and privately funded. This film follows as spectacular disaster befalls one of the contenders, and the winner sets up a team capable of delivering a flying prototype in just two years time. 

The X-33 is not the only new spacecraft being planned, however, and this film also charts the progress of three of the most prominent participants entering the X Prize - a $10 million cash prize for the first privately funded team that launches a manned vehicle into space twice within 14 days.