from the doubles-as-defense-against-borg-queens dept.
FleaPlus writes "The German Aerospace Center is planning to launch a novel reusable spacecraft in 2011, incorporating flat, damage-resistant tiles. Nitrogen will be pumped through the porous tiles, creating a protective gas layer that actively cools and shields the hottest parts of the spacecraft from the searing heat of reentry. The €12.5M unmanned 'SHEFEX II' project is a major technological step toward the team's eventual goal of a reusable space glider, which will be cheaper and easier to build than NASA's space shuttle."
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity
is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth.
-- Alfred North Whitehead