spike jones wrote:
> ...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?
to expand on my earlier post, we could perhaps build an on orbit materials processing facility which would (somehow) collect the spent rotons, cut them up, separate the carbon fiber from the aluminum and lithium, store the raw materials in a more compact form than the original empty tanks. this could raise the ballistic coefficient sufficiently that something like a 400 km circular orbit could be stable for a couple decades, long enough to build something useful out of it. spike