John London's report on cheap access to LEO is 10 years old and I re-read with interest his conclusions. Important points...
Make a cheap orbital booster a national goal
Streamlined management of development
Loosening of Gov't regulation compliance - best practice NOT exacting compliance
Small development budget
Pressure-fed or simple pump-fed LOX-hydrocrabon boosters - preferably RP-1 (refined kerosine)
Retire the Space Shuttle's solid boosters - simple liquid propellant boosters are safer, better and tie in to the above point
better yet... retire the Shuttle - its multi-billion budget, even without launching a Shuttle is a terrible drain. Redeploy the resources for something cheaper, better and more frequent
Build a Space Station by the end of the 1990s... oh well, almost there... so manned, on-orbit operations aren't tied to the Shuttle
Build a simple, dedicated crew transporter - perhaps based on *gasp* Soyuz
So as you can see there's a lot missed by Gov't, but taken up by Musk and his kin in the private Space Access movement. And will quasi-private efforts get a Soyuz around the Moon before Big Gov't by 2008? Imagine that...
Posted at 3:54 pm by Adam