[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

On Sunday, November 16, 1997 10:16 PM, KellySt@aol.com 
[SMTP:KellySt@aol.com] wrote:
> Ah, given current (actully a little dated) tech and a large enough 
> you can drop 2-3 orders of magnitude off current launch costs.  This
> would
> bring launch costs down to the cost of current trans ocean air frieght
> costs.
>  Given these have similar energy requrements, this isn't unexpected.
You are quite right. It is actually more a matter of economics and scale 
than it is technology. The paper I posted from John Walker goes into this 
pretty thoroughly.

The commercial space transportation survey conducted several years ago, 
might disagree with his conclusions somewhat though. Of approximately 70 
surveys sent to Silicon Valley biotech companies, over 90 percent were not 
returned at all, the remainder indicated no plans to use space 
manufacturing at all (despite the obvious benefits of doing so). The 
authors concluded (somewhat wishfully I think) that it was a public rela  
tions problem rather than a real lack of need.

NASA has drawn up a plan similar to the one proposed by John Walker. Of 
course they used a brand new booster, etc. and launch costs per pound are 
predicted to be $9,000 or more. Let me get this straight - they propose a 
massive launch program of small cargoes to bring down launch costs, but the 
best they can do is $9,000 per pound? Naturally, it will never work...

They did a fairly rigorous market analysis though that showed that only 20 
launches a year should drop the cost to around $300 per pound.


                                                          (o o)
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;

William Allingham, Ireland, 1850