Airliners are an example of reusable craft that hints on business model. Destination is everywhere, LEO is first step, L-s next, NEO-s, Moon, heliosphere.Gravity_Ray":1wouuiec said:Can somebody explain the business model behind a "reusable" space vehicle? Reusability denotes a destination and right now there is no destination in space (The ISS is only going to be around for about 10 years). If you're talking about point to point from NY to Tokyo that's one thing but if you are going into deep space you need to deal with orbital speeds to re-enter Earth and for that you can't beat the design of a capsule. Wings in space makes as much sense as a one armed man clapping.
You can bleed your orbital speed above atmosphere, if you have fuel to burn, than go in slow and easy, no heat.
If you get in atmosphere at some couple of mach, you can glide in, parachute in, use rocket powered landing like new Russian post-Soyuz capsule; you could probably even use some lighter than air tricks. No need for such heavy heat shield and you have a better controlled descent.
There will be of course less ELVs sold, if that is bad for business but i think it's possible there will be actually more sold.
Check this design for Angara reusable boosters:
Here is a big table comparing various RLV designs: