A space shuttle booster rocket in development that will use liquid fuel instead of solid fuel. In 2004, the system was being developed by NASA and the Boeing Company, in preparation for flight demonstrations. The flyback boosters will separate from the shuttle at an altitude of approximately 49.3 km, descend to an altitude of approximately 7 620 m, and fire their jet engines, to be guided by computers back to the Kennedy Space Center to land on a runway. The shuttle's present solid-fuel boosters expend their fuel about two minutes after launch. The boosters then separate from the shuttle and fall into the Atlantic Ocean from which they are recovered and refurbished for a future mission.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.