Help Me Understand

TopSpacer at says the following: “I have no idea if the K-1 is a great or even a good design for a RLV. My point has always been that it is simply a proof of the principle that fully reusable vehicles are practical now. ” I fail to understand the logic here. The quality of the K-1 design is unknown to TopSpacer, but it constitutes proof that fully reusable vehicles are practical right now? Assume it is a poor design. Then, it is not an existence proof of anything other than a poor design. Assume it is a good design. It may prove the existence of an RLV, but its practicality is unknown without demonstration proofs. The K-1 is reportedly 75% built. It has yet to fly at all. Help me understand how this proves the practicality of fully reusable launch vehicles. This seems like radiation shielding for manned interplanetary flight redux.

4 thoughts on “Help Me Understand

  1. Old Space Cadet, let me shine the light on your tired and aging brain. First, face East, next, click your heels together three times, or is it four, well, for spacers, it does not really matter. Just click the heels together several times. Now, the next step in helping you understand is that you need to be wearing your garlic necklace. This is important as it will ward off all fact and truth sayers on the subject, leaving you with the clear ability to understand. Now, with all this in place, say three times very loudly, still facing East (you know why, don’t you) your wish and belief list. As soon as you have done this, you will understand exactly why this is proof of the existence of the RLV, ready to go. All the haze and clouds will be removed from your brain and you will see clearly for the first time. You will see as TopSpacer and others like him see. Your life will be changed, you will understand the seductive powers of and you too will become a believer. This process should work for you. Its worked for thousands of others and its working for hundreds more on a daily basis. It works so well, I understand that it may soon replace high school science class. Old Space Cade, does this help you to understand?

  2. There’s also the separate issue of economics – as always. Even if a “practical” RLV could be demonstrated, as you guys said in your paper last year, there’s still the issue of whether the builder can get enough flight rate going at a competitive price to pay for the R&D. What if a fully reusable TSTO can be built? How much space will there be in the payload bay – 5% of total lift mass? Less? What then is the real cost per pound? those pesky questions…

  3. All true, but as long as the alt.spacers continue to use (and think in) the present tense for future possibilities nothing will happen because it already has in their Kool-Aid befogged minds.

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