5 thoughts on “Advice From Across The Pond”

  1. Just curious Rand, what would you consider to be the payload capacity of an economically “optimal” launch vehicle?

  2. In the near term, probably 5-10 tons, tops (assuming that it’s not expendable). If the market expands sufficiently, you could justify developing a larger one.

  3. Cecil,
    To add to what Rand said, a lot also depends on what other services (like tugs and depots) are available. My personal guess is that the first profitable orbital RLV is going to have a payload under 2 tons, possibly as little as half a ton. So long as it’s big enough to cram at least two seats into the thing (pilot plus passenger), you can probably find a market for it.

    One advantage small RLVs will have early on is that you can get a lot more flight rate out of the same amount of demand…I was theoretically writing a series about this on Selenian Boondocks, but my bandwidth this past month or so has been particularly lousy.


  4. Rand,

    Rob Coppinger responded to your depot comment by claiming that it would require the use of “unobtainium”. You may want to see my response to this argument on his blog.

Comments are closed.