Throwaway rocketry

Hubble, probes to the planets etc

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brian livesey
Posts: 5366
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

Throwaway rocketry

Post by brian livesey »

Imagine that we took a BA flight from London to New York to discover that on arrival the airliner was towed away and destroyed. And not only our airliner, but all the others coming into land, and that none of them were even recycled as scrap.
We'd think it madness, but this occurs with rockets all the time: from modest satellite launchers like the Pegasus to manned craft like the Soyuz and America's upcoming Orion rocket.
There's no denying that the Space Shuttle was a lethal stack ( we don't all agree with manned spaceflight anyway ), but surely there's the technology these days to manufacture fully-reusable craft for satellite launches, etc. The Space Shuttle's boosters were recovered and refurbished, but the huge fuel tank was thrown away.
Has anyone else any thoughts on this wasteful situation that wouldn't be tolerated in other fields?

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