Re: SPACE: Is ISS a boondoggle?, was Re: SPACE: Why so much EVA on ISS?

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 21:29:14 MST

> Spike Jones <> writes:
> >Inclination changes are a huge propellant devourer.
> > Like it or not, 51 degrees is where it stays. {8-[
> Anders Sandberg wrote:

> What about attaching an ion engine and taking some time with the moving?

An ion engine would be the logical way to do this, however
it would still require buttloads of propellant. Consider the
advantage of launching from the equator: its around 300
meters per second over a 51 degree orbit. The rule of
thumb for orbit inclination changes for a LEO is about
8000*(# degrees change)/90, so I get 4600ish m/sec.
It would take a long time to make your money back
at that rate.

There is one other factor that wasnt said: if in a high
inclination orbit, more people with money see the thing
pass overhead, perhaps firing imaginations and encouraging
politicians to vote more funds into the thing. Lets face it,
the Apollo program was an enormous government boondoggle,
yet it did fire a lotta imaginations, and helped advance
extropian notions. The awesomeness of it all! The sheer
audacity! The wicked coolness! |8-] spike

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