Re: Surplus launch vehicles

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 23:30:27 MDT

Jeff Davis wrote:
> 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?

Oh, they're good for "peaceful" purposes. They deliver a payload to a
target; that can be used for good or evil. But, since their primary
purpose is war, the danger that anyone seeking to repurpose them into
useful stuff is actually just covering for acquisition of weapons is, in
the minds of the ICBMs' current holders, too great to risk selling them.
Or, at least, so I understand.

Besides, there's gotta be better ways than chemical fuels to achieve
orbit. Get the fuel to achieve orbit to under 10% of the rocket's mass,
and that alone would probably get you cheap access to space, relative to
today's costs. (It'd probably be more due to reduced maintenance to
reduced mass, than directly to reduced fuel costs, but cheaper is

> 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.

So, what do rocket scientists call their not-as-tough-as-one-would-think

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