September 19, 2008
Arrrrr.....one of the Brickmuppet's crack crew of alchemaic wenches has picked up this bit of scuttlebut from that thar scurrvy dog Brian Wang.
It seems that a bunch o' 'lubbers at ESA have been lookin' into spacejammers, and have figgued ot how to get more speed outa their sun sails by usin' St Elmo's fire!
This here sail there talkin about doesnt ride the light from the sun like other spacejammers, it rides the suns own westerlies!
That might not be of any interest to us 'ceptin that this Wang feller has figgured out how to use this here contraption to find treasure amongst the planets. Real treasure mayties, not just gold and silver mind you, but platinum and fresh water too!
If'n this thing works it'll be fast too! ...about 1, 494, 625 kts faster than one of them new fangled 15 kt clipperships!
September 05, 2008
They point out that while we have had the math worked out on reaching space for a century and we've been doing it for about half as long, it is still too great a hurdle for cheap access and large scale development.
This is a side effect of expendable launchers, which make sense from an engineering standpoint (they have maximum fuel efficiency and the highest payloads) but in an economic sense...they make no sense.
The problem here is that with the most current launch vehicles we are doing the equivalent of flying to Japan in a 747 and then blowing up the plane......every time. If that were the process for a transpacific flight..I could not have afforded to go to Japan last month.....just about no one could have.
So how do we fix the problem? Well obviously we make the damned thing reusable so you can fly it more than once!
While it may seem at first blush to be a dispatch from the department of "Duh!", that task is not as easy as it sounds...nor as impossible as some suggest.
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