Re: Re. SPACE: Economic Role for Manned Space Stations

Spike Jones (
Sun, 18 Jul 1999 08:46:29 -0700

> > wrote: the Shuttle, as a design and as a concept,
> > is increasingly inefficient. What's fascinating is that there's no real
> > reason we couldn't be going beyond Earth orbit with it after some
> retrofitting.

Well, after some *really profound* retrofitting, perhaps, such as taking off the wings. And wheels. And redesigning the rest of it to be lighter and carry more fuel. Better yet, keep the solids and the external tank, and start all over on the design of the orbitter, use it as a never-return vehicle. Or, consider Bob Zubrin's notion of a shuttle Z and an Ares, mentioned on page 62 of his book The Case for Mars. After I did the numbers on his space trucks, they look like a really good bet for what you propose. spike