The global U.S. reusable launch vehicle market size stood at USD 482.4 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,634.9 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.77% during the forecast period. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, there were several U.S. reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) that were in operation or development. RLVs are designed to be launched, recovered, and relaunched multiple times, with the goal of reducing the cost of accessing space.
Here's an overview of some of the prominent U.S. RLVs:
SpaceX Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy: SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, developed the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, which are partially reusable. The first stage of these rockets is designed to return to Earth after launch, landing vertically either on a drone ship at sea or at a ground-based landing zone. This allows SpaceX to refurbish and reuse the first stages for multiple launches. This reusability has significantly reduced launch costs.
Blue Origin New Shepard: Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos, has been working on the New Shepard suborbital vehicle. It's designed for suborbital space tourism and research flights. New Shepard consists of a crew capsule and a propulsion module. The propulsion module is designed to be reusable and lands vertically, while the crew capsule returns separately using parachutes.
NASA Space Shuttle (Retired): The Space Shuttle program, operated by NASA from 1981 to 2011, was one of the earliest attempts at developing a reusable launch vehicle. The Space Shuttle consisted of an orbiter, solid rocket boosters, and an external fuel tank. After completing its mission, the orbiter would reenter the Earth's atmosphere and glide to a runway landing.
Northrop Grumman Pegasus: The Pegasus is an air-launched rocket system that can carry small payloads into orbit. It's launched from the belly of an aircraft and ignited in mid-air. The Pegasus system has been used for multiple launches, though it is not fully reusable.
Astra Rocket: Astra is a startup working on small satellite launch vehicles. Their Rocket 3 series is designed to be reusable, with plans to recover and refurbish the rockets for multiple launches. As of my last update, Astra was in the testing and development phase.
Relativity Space Terran: Relativity Space is developing the Terran rocket family with a focus on using 3D printing and automation to simplify manufacturing. While I don't have the latest details, they have expressed intentions of making their rockets reusable in the future.
It's important to note that developments in the space industry can change rapidly, and there might have been further advancements or changes in the status of these programs since my last update in September 2021. For the latest and most accurate information, I recommend checking the respective companies' official websites, space industry news sources, and space agencies such as NASA.