Re: SPACE: Roton in New Scientist

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 05 Aug 1998 13:13:07 -0400 wrote:

> In a message dated 98-08-04 19:21:46 EDT, you write:
> << I also hate to be techno-pesimistic, but this is *rockets* you are talking
> about. So, I'd like to point out that Gary Hudson has been involved in
> many, many rocket projects, all failures. I applaud his determination. In
> my opinion, he is a brilliant salesman, and can attract funding to any
> rocket project at all. Since his job in this curent endevour is not a
> technical one, I am sure he is an asset to the project. In my opinion, all
> of his technical ideas of the past were doomed due to a lack of respect for
> simplicity, and I am not speaking out of hindsight. For that matter, most
> space launch projects suffer the same problem.
> -PW >>
> What happens when the Rotons dont work? its doomed. If a shuttle loses its
> landing gear it can still land, but then again when has a shuttle lost its
> landing gear?

Since the roton is essentially a helicopter with rockets, it can complete autogyro maneuvers and can land in any patch of field in an emergency, while a shuttle requires a specially built 10,000 foot runway with twice the normal concrete thickness. A shuttle lands at over 250 miles per hour, so if it loses a landing gear, they are basically screwed unless they ditch at sea.Mike Lorrey