Friday, September 14, 2012

An Idea to Make Space Affordable

Forget about the 'privatization' of NASA. Check out this idea for ways to make space travel cheaper:

The shift to using private enterprise to economize space travel is of course a good idea, but so far seems to overlook the central problem with getting to space cheaply -- rocketry. Using a rocket to get into space is simply too inefficient to be economical. Something like 2% of a rocket is actual payload; the rest, fuel and associated hardware for containing and harnessing the energy in said fuel.

The trick, as it seems to me -- get the fuel 'off' the space vehicle. At least for now, until otherwise radically different technologies become available.

The thing I really like about this guy's 'sales pitch' is that he has a hard and practical goal -- get fuel and supplies into space at about 90% less cost than presently feasible. Nothing particularly 'sexy,' just a clear and useful goal that could make a profit in relatively short order.

And he has a fair amount of hard evidence and experience to back up the feasibility his idea, not just theoretical calculations. Interesting.

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