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The competition heats up: Boeing is about to begin environmental tests on a new composite fuel tank for rockets.
Tanks made of composite materials have been a dream of space engineers for decades. Lockheed Martin tried to build them for the X-33, and their failure was essentially what killed that spacecraft. If Boeing is successful here and the composite tanks can then be put into a variety of launch rockets, the savings in weight will lower the cost of getting payloads to orbit significantly.