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RE: RE: RE: starship-design: Space Money

Heh, yeah that's something few people mention: the Space Shuttle is
essentially a short-term Space Station, it's not a transport system.  In
fact, I've read proposals to extend the on-orbit time of a shuttle to 30
days (technically it is supposed to be that way now - but theory and
practice are two separate things).  Humorously, this is (I think) the
time length the Station is supposed to have guaranteed micro-g
envrionments (i.e. every 30 days there might be a reboost event or a
docking or something that would disturb the micro-g onboard).

Ah, SSTO's.  One day.... one day....

Hey, there's an interesting question/poll: If we accept that cargo costs
are $10k-$20k per pound right now, how many years does everyone think it
will take to reduce that cost by a factor of 10?  100?  (Factor of 10
gives average size companies the ability to pursue space projects.
Factor of 100 gives well-off individuals or groups of individuals to
pursue such projects.  I suppose factor of around 10000 makes it is
cheap as an airplane flight.)

My guesses: 10 in perhaps 10 years.  100 in 50 years.  After that I
think costs will drop dramatically - perhaps we'd start seeing something
akin Moore's Law for space travel.  You know, once the average company
is exploiting space, ten years later costs would be reduced by ANOTHER
factor of ten.  Then ten years later ANOTHER factor of ten, and so on.
Wishful thinking, I know - but I think we can all agree that when there
are a bunch of private companies actually -out there-, making good
money, that we'll see an explosion in space technology.
David Levine                     david@actionworld.com
Director of Development    http://www.actionworld.com/
ActionWorld, Inc.                       (212) 387-8200
Professional Driver.  Closed Track.  Do not attempt.

> ----------
> From: 	KellySt@aol.com[SMTP:KellySt@aol.com]
> All in all its hardly surprizing that the companies offering to build
> SSTO's
> were confident they could cut costs a factor of 10.
> I saw an interview with a couple of the old astronauts (Matingly and
> Conrad)
>  They joked that NASA did an excelent job, under bad conditions, to do
> the
> shuttle.  But they did a great job of building the wrong ship.  I.E. a
> do
> anything, reusable cheap to build, uses lots of existing facilities,
> can act
> as a space station or cargo craft, space ship.
> Kelly