1) Big Falcon Rocket (SpaceX)
The Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) is a privately funded next-generation fully reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft system
BFR will be able to take up to 100 tons of payload or hold up to 100 passengers comfortably, all the way to Mars, provided the rocket gets refueled in orbit by some kind of tanker spacecraft.
BFR will be a gigantic rocket, reaching a height of nearly 387 feet, about the size of a 40-story building.
It will be powered by 31 main Raptor engines, a new SpaceX design that can provide a combined 5,400 tons of thrust.
The BFR system is sought to completely replace all of SpaceX’s existing space hardware, making BFR the core of its spaceflight operations.
However, this won’t come cheap for spacex. According to Elon Musk, BFR development is estimated to cost close to $5 Billion.
The BFR is intended as an interplanetary transport system which is capable of getting from one point in the solar system to another.
SpaceX envisions the BFR eventually ferrying people to the moon, Mars and other worlds on a regular basis helping humanity extend its footprint into the solar system.
Here on Earth, SpaceX is considering commercial passenger travel on Earth, competing with traditional long-range aircraft
Spacex plans for first uncrewed flight to Mars in 2022 with a crewed flight taking place as early as 2024
2) New Glenn Rocket (Blue Origin)
The New Glenn is a heavy lift orbital launch vehicle Named after pioneering astronaut John Glenn
New Glenn is a single configuration heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of carrying people and payloads routinely to Earth orbit and beyond.
With seven reusable BE-4 liquid oxygen, liquefied natural gas engines, the first stage generates 17,100 kN of thrust at sea level, resulting in a payload capacity of 45 tones to lower earth orbit and 13 tonnes to geo stationery orbit
New Glenn’s massive 7-meter fairing has 2x the usable volume of any rocket
It features a reusable first stage built for 25 missions with the ability to land back on earth
The first stage of New Glenn is designed for operational reusability with rapid turnaround times, minimal maintenance and inspection between flights.
Unlike Falcon 9, New glenn will be able to land on a moving ship, which could mean lesser delays and more reliable launch schedules for customers.
As of now, New Glenn isn’t expected to go into service until the 2020s
3) Space Launch System (NASA)
NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, is an advanced launch vehicle that provides the foundation for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit
NASA’s Space Launch System is the most powerful rocket ever built, with a thrust greater than that of Saturn V and is NASA’ first exploration-class rocket built ever since the Saturn V to take humanity beyond Earth’s orbit.
SLS will launch crews of up to four astronauts in Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple, deep-space destinations.
At 321 feet, it is as tall as a 30 story building and much taller than the Statue Of Liberty
At liftoff, SLS has 8.4 million pounds of thrust, more than 31 times the total thrust of a 747 jet or equivalent to 160,000 Corvette engines.
This is powered by four R-25 engines at core stage, combined with a pair of modified-Solid rocket boosters borrowed from space shuttle program.
SLS is designed to be flexible and evolvable and will open new possibilities for payloads, including robotic scientific missions to places like Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.
SLS is not expected to launch until mid- 2020s
4) Vulcan (ULA)
Vulcan Centaur is a heavy-payload, partly reusable launch vehicle under development since 2014.
Vulcan is sought to replace both the Atlas-5 and Delta-4 families.
Vulcan will be powered by BE-4 engines and six strap-on boosters, which could lift 40 tons into low-Earth orbit – nearly three school buses
ULA is evolving Vulcan’s upper stage (ACES) to use cryogenic oxygen and hydrogen, which are more resilient in the punishing temperatures of space.
Upper stage could be left in orbit for years to be refueled later and act as ‘Space Trucks’, instead of being discarded as “dead flying hulks in space”
This could become a transportation system that enables economic activity between Earth and other Celestial Bodies
For reusability, ULA plans to release BE-4 engines after first stage burnout and enter Earth’s atmosphere with the help of inflatable decelerator (HIAD)
After entering the atmosphere, the parafoil shoots up and engines begin a steady decent soon after a helicopter performs a mid-air capture and brings it back
ULA claims this technique is more cost friendly than landing the first stage back on Earth