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RE: OT - Launches in the future



Hi Ron:

Thanks for your interesting post and calculations. I couldn't help but jump
in and add my two cents.

Don't confuse operating expenses with price that is determined in the
marketplace by supply and demand.  That is, while it may cost $5,000 per
person to go to orbit, many, many folks are willing to pay lots more for the
small providers that can provide that service. (For example, presently Lance
of Insync is trying to get the Russians to take him to the ISS for a few of
his millions.) However, with increased launch suppliers at a lower cost,
price should drop.

The current space business is very unique, innovative, and different from
other traditional markets. However, like the laws of physics, they too must
follow the law of supply and demand. A key to AMSAT's success in getting
stuff in orbit is to separate itself from other traditional satellite
customers and be willing modify and adapt designs and to take risk with it's
payloads that other's wouldn't or couldn't do (and as a result not have to
pay much for it ~ cause we don't have much bucks..hi).

73 and have a great weekend,

Russ Tillman, K5NRK


> My daughter and I just saw a Discovery channel news clip on space tourism
> and it began a fun line of thought--
>
> How much in Current Dollars will it cost for her to go to space when she
> turns 50 (2032)?
>
> Here is our logic:
>
> A.  Current airlines are probably as efficient a transport system (in the
> economic sense of efficiency) as you could reasonably expect from a well
> developed commercial launch system in the next 30 years.
>
> B.  The number of foot-pounds of energy required to orbit 120 lbs. is not
> going to change (we believe in physics).
>
> C.  A source of foot-pounds for orbital lifts that is cheaper than current
> Jet-A is not likely due to a number of factors.
>
> So here is the question -- how many miles in a 747-400 uses the
> same amount
> of energy per person as an orbital launch of that person?
>
> Our wild guess was that since a trip around the world currently
> costs about
> $5,500, that using the above concepts she should be able to get a
> space trip
> for that in 30 years.
>
> If that were true AMSAT might be able to do a reasonable 60 Kg launch for
> the same price.
>
> Ron
>
> ----
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