Image courtesy Armadillo
See the video of this "perfect
test flight" in which the vehicle flies
up and then
straight back down for a powered landing.
Some suborbital space tourist companies, such
Galactic and Rocketplane,
will use winged vehicles that take off either
from a runway or are dropped from a carrier vehicle
and after the spaceflight land on a runway. However,
several companies are developing vehicles that
"will take off and land the way God and Robert
Heinlein intended"* - on a column of flame.
Below we list four such projects.
* From "Single Stage to Infinity!", Dr. Arlan
Andrews, Analog magazine, 1993/