Re: Direct Launch Proposal

On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 16:55:46 GMT, in a place far, far away, "T C
MCKEAN" <panther436@xxxxxxxxxxx> made the phosphor on my monitor glow
in such a way as to indicate that:

Why do they just find a way to enhance a horizontal lift craft which takes
off like a normal plane? I find these verticle lift off vehicles appear to
be more problems and inheretly dangerous than a posible horizontal lift off
vehicle would be.
I am totally clueless in airodynamics and the physics of breaking through
the atmospheric boundary and know it takes quite a bit of calculations to do
so, but a horizontal take off vehicle should be able to manuveur into the
right trajectory to break the boundary. It seems to me the shuttle type
launch as it now exists does nothing to further the commercial use of
attaining an orbit or allowing possible futher entry into a non orbital
trajectory such as the moon or beond.

Horizontal takeoff has problems, because the vehicle is far too heavy
for any conventional runway, and the weight of the landing gear and
structure and wings necessary to support all of the propellant makes
it prohibitive. Rocketplane and KST had some interesting approaches,
considering aerial refueling and towing respectively, but haven't
found funding.

Is the current rocket approach the only possible feasable way of getting
into orbit?

No, there are many feasible approaches. We won't know the best one
until we start to develop a number of parallel attempts privately, and
let the market sort it out. But it's certainly a waste of money to
let NASA spend billions on new rockets for their own needs.