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

In a message dated 11/17/97 8:25:20 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net wrote:

>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.

True I've seen far better numbers out of McDonnel Douglas' internal market
studies.  But then NASA HQ does really beleve their is any potential market
for many launches.