It's been rumored that on Tue, 09 Feb 1999, Spike Jones wrote:
>on the subject of rotons: i notice they are still concentrating
>on the helicopter reentry systems. what if they skipped that
>part, used the weight delta to lift the entire craft into an
>orbit that will be stable for 20 years, then use the empty
>vehicles for raw materials in orbit? seems like that would
>be much more valuable up there than bringing it all back
>each time. if they accomplish true single stage to orbit,
>even if it is expendable, we can manufacture the things by
>the zillions and still get payload to orbit for less than 5k$/kg. spike
It might be more valuable once there is an industry that can use the raw materials, but right now I think that the roton is more valuable as a vehicle than as raw materials.
Notice, as well, that the target price for the roton is 2.2k$/kg, less than half of the price you mention. Cost is the major factor for many industries...
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