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RE: starship-design: Fwd: space study

> In a message dated 10/30/98 2:27:48 PM, KELLY_STARKS@udlp.com wrote:
> >Lee,
> >I read the space study, and the only thing that follows your statement of
> "space
> >resource mining becomes practical at $100 a pound to LEO" is the
> He3 mining
> >section.  I.E. lunar He3 could be cost competative to current electric
> >productino fuels at about $100 launch costs.  (Of course that assumes you
> have
> >a
> >He3 burning reactor.)
> >
> >Is that what you were refering to?
> >
> >Kelly

Partly. There are sections there for almost any kind of commerce in space
conceivable. Most of them come back to a figure of $100/lb to orbit (or
less). Currently, the best we can even HOPE for with launchers under
development is $1,000/lb, which is still a lot better than what we currently
have. There were one or two that have much higher break points such as the
communications industry, etc., but these can all be serviced easily with the
current generation of small launchers. Some of them are even going up on
salvaged ICBMs!

One of the reasons why the DC-X was so attractive was that it stood the best
chance of reaching extremely low payload to orbit prices. As I am sure you
appreciate, much of the cost of any orbital launch is in the ground based
infrastructure required to make it happen. DC-X did not require any of that
infrastructure. In fact, it could have been used as a lander on your
Explorer with no modifications. It was quite capable of orbit to surface and
return operations, something the shuttle derivatives will never do.


What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic
simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we
can assume it will be pretty bad.