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Re: RE: [Fwd: starship-design: HIGHLY OPTIMIZED TOLERANCE]

In a message dated 3/18/00 9:42:24 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net writes:

>> >Rotary Rocket and LightCraft are the only ones that look to
>> be ready in
>> >the near future.+3 years. The other SSTO's are still several
>> years away.
>> Actually neiather are doing that well.  Space Access is doing
>> pretty well,
>> and they completed the ground tests of the most critical
>> parts.  Namely the
>> ejector ramjets.  They alone are a dramatic improvement over
>> Rotary or most
>> of the other designs.  Who's lightcraft by the way?
>Rotary has yet to go any further in its testing program than DCX did. I
>still think DCX was the better way to go. 

Better then rotary?  Yes.

>Lightcraft has flown nothing
>MODELS. Lightcraft's biggest problem is building sufficiently powerful
>ground lasers for a full size craft - none currently exist.
>BTW, any laser capable of lifting a full size cargo or passenger carrying
>lightcraft to orbit makes one hell of an ABM weapon system and will likely
>run into unexpected political problems as well....

Agreed.  Wouldn't want to be able to defend ourselves.  ;/

>> >> Why?  Regular fusion research (ignoring the DOE work) has
>> shown excelent
>> >> results.  Its generally assumed we could get fusin in a
>> decades or two
>> >if we
>> >> tried.  Space is thought to be a "Market" that could support it.
>Space has almost no need for fusion power expect for spacecraft propulsion.
>Solar power is easier, freely available and far cheaper.

Solar power is only avalible in the inner solar system.  Even at Mars its 
chancy.  You want to go past that you need nukes or fusion, and nukes are a 
political no-no.

Space needs high power propulsion to get around.  Fusion is politacally 
infeasable, so they ae thinking of looking into fusion.

>> Since no one has any pressing reason to build on, no one ever
>> really started the 10 year program.
>Bingo! As long as fossil fuel is cheap, you can forget fusion....
>> >Funding is a big problem as investors always think of the
>> next 6 months
>> >rather than the next 6 years.
>> Interstellar exploration won't interest any investors.  It
>> couldn't return
>> anything marketable.
>This has always been a big problem with interstellar exploration. Other
>scientific knowledge of limited marketable value, there is precious little
>reason to go. The only thing that I can even remotely come up with is some
>sort of Diaspora where some disaffected group of society decide to leave
>mass and somehow fund it by pooling their resources. 

To a remote colony where they will be highly dependant on Earth sent suplies?!

There won't be any
>investment return, just a new chance at life the way they want to live
>Science fiction paints a very unrealistic picture I'm afraid.