Re: SPACE: thinking seriously about space development

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 10:43:39 MST

Adrian Tymes wrote:
> The main obstacle - almost the only one, given its relative size, and
> definitely the one that needs to be tackled first - seems to be how
> expensive it is to get stuff of human scale (like, say, human beings
> and their life support systems) into orbit. I'm seeing more and more
> groups trying to tackle that problem, most famously (at the moment,
> given as they seem to be all over the news after their recent rollout)
> XCOR Aerospace.

Yeah, we're pedaling as fast as we can. I must say I'm a bit surprised
at how the publicity all came together this week, we couldn't have timed
it better if we had tried (and we didn't really, we were just scrambling
for all the press we could get). We also had the EZ-Rocket on display
at the Arthur Clarke gala last night: It never
rains but it pours :)
> BTW, anyone else notice that the new NASA chief is from its historic
> mortal enemy (so far as rivalries go in "allied" beauracracies), the
> OMB? This could be very good for NASA, or very bad for NASA. Either
> way, it is likely to be interesting...

I get the impression that O'Keefe will be an interim administrator, kept
in office just long enough to make some heads roll and shake up a
stagnant and inefficient bureaucracy. Interesting times indeed. Is it
just me, though, or does he look waaaay too much like Peter Sellers?

A really *slick* idea has been cooked up by Mircorp- the first hotel in
orbit, but coorbital with ISS so that after visiting the "Mini Station",
the Soyuz crew (including tourists) flies over to ISS, leaves the new
Soyuz there as a lifeboat, and returns to Earth in the old one. This
will let Rosaviakosmos defray the expense of providing Soyuz rotations
for ISS while keeping the tourists that NASA abhors out of ISS other
than to go from one Soyuz to the other. Clever! The Mini Station
itself will probably use components that were planned for ISS, but are
being deleted due to the budget overruns.

Doug Jones, Rocket Plumber
XCOR Aerospace

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