The Alternative Launcher Question: Should the U.S. Shuttle and Titan 4 Rocket Be Replaced? 942121
Debate continues as to whether the current launch programs, namely the U.S. Space Shuttle and Titan Rocket, have passed their level of effectiveness and economic practicability.
Last fall, at a meeting discussing the United States' ability to launch into space between NASA, the Air Force and the Defense Department, the experts agreed on one primary item: the current systems are inefficient and uneconomical. This agreement came despite the years of study and shifting policy positions that have left the three organizations with sharply opposing views over the direction the country should take in launch vehicle development.
It is believed by a growing number of insiders that single-stage-to-orbit vehicles, once developed, could provide a more reliable, and cost-saving method of space transportation.