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Backyard Rocketry Model, Amatuer, Experimental, and High Power Rocketry. Vehicle and Motor/Engine Design, Physics and Math, Fabrication, Flights, Testing and Evaluation. Share your rocket projects here!

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Old 01-15-2017, 09:26 AM   #16
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There are other possibilities. While space elevator is still beyond our material science, there a things like launch loops, space fountains, or plain and simple electromagnetic mass driver. While last one can't be used for achieving orbital velocity on Earth, it can be used to vastly reduce fuel needed therefore improving payload / fuel ratio.

Problem with all those solutions is massive initial cost, however they'd be economicaly viable with many launches / year.
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:59 PM   #17
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however they'd be economicaly viable with many launches / year.
I have my doubts about an earth-based massdriver being viable. The thing would have to be located at as high an altitude as possible, which makes me suspect that the initial costs won't weigh so heavily on it as the maintenance costs of the first two decades.

In the end the killer is that you'd already need demand before building any such ridiculosly expensive thing. It's way too costly to just build it and hope that "the demand will come if we offer the capability". That's economic suicide.
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