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Re: starship-design: build it now...

bfranchuk wrote:

> Johnny Thunderbird wrote:
> >
> > I enjoy turning notions on their heads. Instead of a totally reuseable
> > launch vehicle, I came up with a totally expendable launch system,
> > all made of fuel except for the payload. Since efficiency is ultimately
> > the basis of cost, you won't get much cheaper launch to orbit, than
> > with the Paper Cannon concept.
>    I wonder if that idea will work for fireworks too!!!

What counts is the social question which often accompanies innovation.
Is that what we really want?

Is what we really want, a super cannon so cheap to build that Mauritania
can have all the satellites it wants? The threshold for non shall we say
governmental institutions, e.g. gangs, to have hypervelocity artillery, is
crossed long before the smallest nations put up their peaceful scientific

I write science fiction, so I try to think about what people do with their
gadgets. The Paper Cannon notion, in my story about it ( sorry, not finished )
is really used for a weapon against satellites, more than a satellite launcher.
Some among the have-nots decide not to get trounced so badly by the haves,
and use this device, in thousands of low cost clone installations, to destroy
everything in low Earth orbit. That levels the playing field, especially since
hypervelocity artillery can sweep the skies clean of all flying objects. You
can call it fireworks. Actually, hydrogen burns with little flame.

Peace & Love,
Johnny Thunderbird