Surplus launch vehicles

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 22:58:08 MDT

Doug and Spike, extropian space cadets, (insert joke here about keeping up
with the Joneses),

Would you speculate on the usability for leo launch purposes rather than
the originally intended nuclear warhead delivery, of the various icbm's
slated for decommissioning as part of the end of the cold war. Could we
strap these old boosters together and get a series of bargain basement
launches out of them? Any idea of the number of boosters we're talkin
about here? Are they mostly solid fuel? What's the shelf life on those
things, how long do they "keep" before the fuel starts to get "old"
(whatever that means, beyond unsatisfactory reliability re national defense
megadeath happy meal purposes. (Eat this you commie swine and smile!))?

I can just see it. Govt. auction. Offered for sale: surplus to current
operational needs. Fifty minuteman icbm's. Recently inspected. Never
been used. Buyer must arrange for transport. No minimum, no reserve. etc etc

What do they do with these things, anyway, when they decommission them as
part of whatever arms control/disarmament agreement requires it? Anyone
know FOR SURE? Destroy them, would be my guess. But perhaps they're just
no good for "peaceful" purposes. Doug, spike? Anyone?

I won't embellish my question any further because you can see where I'm
going. I mean it isn't exactly rocket sci...well, er,... I guess,
actually, it is.

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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