I came across your group while searching for info about spaceplanes.
My name is Simon and I've been interested in space since I was a
little boy. I'm three weeks older than the space age, which should
give you an idea of my age.
I'm particularly interested in Cold War space, and unflown space
projects. I'm also interested in British Space being British. (Yes
we once did have a space programme but it was cancelled for reasons
that are still unclear.)
As to the question as to the economics of re-usable and expendable
launch vehicles it depends on what you mean. Re-usable vehicles can
be (or should be) developed more like aircraft with progressive
flight testing. Expendable vehicles which have no non-destructive
abort capability either work or are destroyed.
I think (and I'm not an expert in the field) that re-usable vehicles
are not yet reliable enough to be our only access to space. In the
short term they are 'cheaper' as most development costs have been
effectively written off but in the long term for affordable access
to space re-usable vehicles must be the way to go.