Re: SPACE: Death of the "indie" bossters

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Tue Jan 02 2001 - 09:49:20 MST

David Stern wrote:

> The technology just hasn't gotten to the point that
> >private venture investment can make a go of it. There aren't any
> >intermediate steps to orbit to establish an incremental approach that
> >smaller, private ventures can build on one step at a time: The initial
> >threshold of success is just too high. Until material and manufacturing
> >technology get to the point where a relatively small group of people can
> make
> >a go of it n one relatively short push from start to finish, I think space
> >access will continue to be the domain of governments and huge institutions.
> The X-Prize Foundation offers a 10 million dollar prize to the first
> private group to fly 3 passengers to 100 km in a re-usable vehicle.
> There are 18 entries listed on their web site.
> David Stern

I think the lifting body one that is a seaplane is a good idea. Also, the
Russian design has some advantages.

If it was a seaplane, and launched and landed at sea, what with water covering
most of the planet, there would be more open launch paths. At the same time,
the things to launch are not necessarily at sea.

A reusable space plane is a good thing to have, as the space shuttles have shown
us. It is good that this kind of competition encourages development of the
technology to support reusable spaceplanes. Then, it is a matter of finding
which vendors produce all this technology in its various deployments.

For inert cargo like bulk raw materials, it might be more economical to use a
relative scale mass accelerometer to launch it like a cannon into orbit. That
is, it would have ground launch assist like a catapult. Far enough away, by the
other planets, there are more raw materials.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:16 MDT