wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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"We need to fly some rocket ships."

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That's my recommendation. We don't need a conference. We need an X program. DC/X showed the way. Next step is to build a larger one. I'd go for the full 600,000 GLOW SSX, but we can settle for something smaller (that can never make orbit, or even scare it much, but can teach us a lot about engines and control). DC/X used hydrogen. One of the things we learned from DC/X is you really don't want hydrogen rockets; they are an operational nightmare. Max Hunter always thought we'd end up using propane. (There are those who like methane, but rocket fuel grade methane is hard to obtain and has operations difficulties. Propane is easy to come by and we know a lot about handling it.) The conclusion is obvious, at least to me: build the best propane LOX ship using at least 8 engines that we can build with present technology. Make it somewhere between 100,000 and 600,000 pounds GLOW. Build it, take it to Edwards, and fly it. Build three tail numbers. Fly the first one closer and closer to the envelope and learn all we can. If it prangs -- sometimes X ships do -- you've got the second tail number to fly until the tests are over. With luck the third one is a hangar queen that eventually goes to the Smithsonian.

We don't need a conference, we need to fly some rocket ships.

He ought to know. RTWT.
Tags: tech stuff
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