Where are we headed, as individuals, as a civilization?
What does the future hold in store for all of us?
Will we destroy ourselves in a nuclear war?
Will our civilization collapse due to overpopulation?
Will we muddle on with an ever growing divide between the haves and the have-nots?
Or will we take the next step and build a spacefaring civilization that sets no limits on what we might become?
We have been exploring space on a limited basis for over 50 years. Limited because of the cost. All the dreams and visions of large commercial passenger-carrying spaceships traveling between the planets, of cities on the Moon and Mars, of asteroid mining, and of space colonies scattered throughout the solar system, have remained dreams due to the high cost of spaceflight. Isn’t it time we came up with a workable vision on how to make spaceflight affordable to everyone? A vision that can be affordably built right now with existing technology?
Building a space transportation system that is affordable to everyone will allow us to make all of these dreams into reality.
Seriously, what other choice do we have?
The ideas and technologies that will make spaceflight affordable to everyone have existed for a long time.
The first component consists of choosing between air assisted launch or a ground assisted launch. Two ideas that have been around for a long time.
The second component is making the launch vehicle reusable.
The third component is some form of a combination air-breathing and rocket motor propulsion system.
The fourth component is a non-rotating Skyhook with an ion propulsion system.
These four components, when used together, will reduce the cost of going to orbit from the current price of over $20 million per person to $20,000 per person. And the best part of all this is that all four of these components can be affordably built with currently existing materials and technology, right now, today, no waiting.
Index of Articles
- Opening the High Frontier
- Skyhook, a Journey to Orbit and Beyond
- In the Beginning . . .
- Why do Rockets Cost so Much?
- Combination Launch Systems
- It’s All About Speed!
- Visions of the Future
- The Call of an Unlimited Future
- Combination Launch Systems, part 2
- Outward Bound: Beyond Low Earth Orbit
- and someday . . . Starships!
- Mars: how to get there
- Outpost Space Stations
- Dreams of Space
- The Moon or Mars?
- Skyhooks and Space Elevators
- Stratolaunch and the X-15