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Re: starship-design: LEO Costs

Hi Group,

KellySt@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 11/2/98 8:19:22 AM, lparker@gnt.net wrote:
> Actually a DC-X like craft could do costs to orbit below $200 a pound given
> some fairly good circumstances.  A very large scale market and a few upgrades
> could drop it well below $100 a pound.  (I had some friends on the DC-X
> program.)

Do tell...

>  More recent Air-turbo-ram-rockets (combined cycle) engine
> prototypes could drop costs (in said major market) down to a couple times air
> frieght costs.

Likewise. Tell us more. Or give us a URL.

> However He3 mining and the rest listed couldn't provide enough market.
> Surface to surface earth transport could (and was mentioned in passing in the
> report) but even with that, none of the space resource markets seemed more
> then iffy.  (Thou they could drop costs to orbit down to $15-$40 a pound.)

Would be nice to have LEO access at such costs. Like you said though it needs a
big market. How do we boot-strap the market? Ideas? If we want that starship by
2050 we better think of something!

Who's seen the article in "New Scientist" [24 Oct] about a possibly lower GUT
energy? Previous theoretical guesstimates put it at 10^16 GeV, but new theories
are bringing it down to ~ 1000 GeV i.e. achievable by the next generation of
accelerators. If we can achieve GUT unification then we might be able to either
cause matter annihilation or liberate some other kind of particle energy [say a
sustained matter/energy creation reaction.] If this could happen "soon" then our
2050 starship isn't so impossible as we thought. That's if GUT unification occurs
further down the energy scale than previously thought, which depends on the size
of the micro-dimension that particles extend into. If it's 10^-33 cm then its
10^16 GeV, but if it's bigger then the energy is lower.

As for the SETI thing time will tell, but a 44 year round trip time between
messages would be painfully slow.