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One Legged Stools

25 Sep 2013, 02:01 UTC
One Legged Stools
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"It is NOT an issue of either or, Mars, Moon, Asteroids, each is as important to the other as the legs of a three legged stool…" — Dennis Wingo, author of Moonrush.I like Wingo's 3-legged stool metaphor. Space advocates have been divided into warring camps, each fighting for their version of a 1 legged stool. And 1-legged stools are doomed to topple. Space advocacy is already a small voice and its influence is watered down even more by this division.The One Legged Stool to MarsThe chief 1-legged stool guy has been Bob Zubrin. For decades he's been saying we should go straight to Mars. Messing around with the moon and asteroids are a waste of time and money in his book.In The Case For Mars, Zubrin advocates going to Mars in Heavy Lift Vehicles (HLVs) capable of 140 tonnes to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Much like the Saturn V of the Apollo era. And, also like the Saturn V, expendable. Saturn V's low flight rate and high development costs resulted in an approximately 10 billion dollars per launch price tag.HLV apologists say a modern monster rocket would cost less since we now have decades of experience. But the recent Constellation ...

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