5 Ways Reusable Rockets Will Carry Us to the Stars

5 Ways Reusable Rockets Will Carry Us to the Stars

Launching people and payloads into space is incredibly expensive, but reusable rockets may quickly beginning cutting down those costs. How will low-cost space launches change our world?

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If you've already got enough nuclear Intercontinental ballistic missiles to turn every city in the Soviet Union or the United States into a molten lake many times over, putting your nuclear weapons on an orbiting satellite so they can reach their targets a few minutes faster is sort of pointless. Moscow isn't going to demand a refund if you fail to incinerate it in 30 minutes or less.

Actually it did matter. If you can kill the people with the launch codes before they can react, you disable the a counter attack for long enough to destroy the vast majority of forces before they could launch. A 4 minute flight time does not leave a big enough time window for detection, verification and launch decision to take place. A 40 minute does which means an orbital nuke could have made a nuclear war winnable. The increasing number of warheads in submarines and the increasing accuracy of those warheads, guarantees a second strike with a counter force capability surviving long enough to make an orbital attack not a winning option.

It certainly isn't price keeping weapons out of orbit. Instead, it's that you can't defend against them. Because there's no reasonable defense, the only real option is to shoot as soon it's launched, rather than waiting until the weapon actually fires. Putting weapons in space is thus tantamount to an act of war.

Nuclear weapons at least give enough time for everyone to think long and hard before they detonate, and keep us at arm's length from initiating a world war.

Just to nitpick..

"it costs over two thousand dollars per pound to launch cargo into orbit. Anything that's been put into space is literally worth its weight in gold, and then some."

A pound of gold is worth like, 15k. So not 'and then some'. Rather a fair bit less.

Unless we're also including the value of the cargo itself, in which I have no idea. I suppose some equipment could be pretty pricey and lightweight.

Jadak:
Just to nitpick..

"it costs over two thousand dollars per pound to launch cargo into orbit. Anything that's been put into space is literally worth its weight in gold, and then some."

A pound of gold is worth like, 15k. So not 'and then some'. Rather a fair bit less.

Unless we're also including the value of the cargo itself, in which I have no idea. I suppose some equipment could be pretty pricey and lightweight.

Bloody hell, I mixed up the price per ounce and per pound! Thanks for catching that.

 

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