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Space topics from Dr. Plata

10 Jul 2014, 16:27 UTC
Space topics from Dr. Plata
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Doug Plata recently suggested some possible space exploration topics. All of them are very interesting.Dr. Plata has good ideas and invests a great deal of time and effort looking at them. He's involved in two excellent websites: LunarCOTS.com and CisLunarOne.com .July and August is a slow period for the Ajo Copper News, the weekly newspaper my sister and I publish. Most people with money and good sense leave Ajo, Arizona for the summer months. Hopefully I will have time to examine some of Plata's topics in my blog over the next few months.Here they are:Partial vs full reusabilityFalcon 9 has nine engines on the first stage and one engine on the second stage. So, if only the first stage is reused, it would seem to me that 9/10 engines would be recovered. That's got to be a huge reduction in launch cost right there, yes? Just how much? Certainly achieving even partial reusability would make SpaceX even more competitive that it already is. If the Falcon Heavy were to be partially reusable, reusing the lateral boosters would mean only 18 out of 28 engines would be recovered unless the central core could be reused as well.Propulsion service optionsFor a cis-lunar ...

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