Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Futurism Turns Perfidous!!!!

The Carnival of Tomorrow is up! But this week it's at the Ministry of Minor Perfidy!

Buckethead and company have put together a particularly perfidous one this week by simply linking to Jefferry Bell, who is the absolute master on "NO!" with regards to reuseable launch vehicles. Read the link Dr. Bell does have some points.

In the above linked paper he pooh-poohs the idea of SSTOs, but this is a bit off the mark IMHO. A reuseable launch vehicle need not be single stage, a 2 stage fully reuseable design would work nicely ala' Spaceship One (and IIRC was proposed for the Venture-Star when they ran into problems with their LH2 tank...but not proceded with).
Jerry Pournelle has a different take on the "cold equations" here. Note that the DC-X, with its 52% propellant weight fraction was a TEST BED never intended to achieve orbit. Even if this was impossible, or is impossible now we are VERY close to being able to pull it off. If the unobtainium Dr. Bell refers to is necessary it may not be unobtainable for long. :)

There are scads more cool links on all manner of futuristic topics at the Ministry so go check them out! :)

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