December 08, 2003

Like God and Robert Heinlein Intended

Lots of good stuff percolating in the blogosphere about "reusable" launch vehicles these days.

Rocket Man starts out with a 1500+ word essay asking after the whereabouts of RLVs. Read the whole thing and follow his links. It may be rocket science, but he is optimistic (like I) that a healthy suborbital RLV industry will lead to a healthy orbital RLV industry, incrementally instead of in one great leap. While he touches on the X-15 and Shuttle, He surprisingly doesn't touch on the US's aborted attempt to build a true rocketship, the Delta Clipper, as an RLV format. But others are filling the gaps, with Clark Lindsay at Hobbyspace covering the Japanese attempt to continue the concept with their RVT program (which I briefly wrote about back on October 24) If that link doesn't work, please scroll down in the archives.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Jerry Pournelle has a running commentary, including much debate about SSTOs here. He is the one from whom I cribbed the title of this post (in regards to rocketships that take off and land on their tails).

Posted by JohnL at December 8, 2003 10:21 PM

Glad to see my term, "...the way God and Robert Heinlein intended..." still in use, even in paraphrase.

I coined the phrase for its instant imagery for my 1993 article, "Single Stage to Infinity!" in Analog, and used it to thunderous applause at the 1993 WorldCon, ConFrancisco, where I showed videos of the first DC-X hop.

Did the same a year later in Winnipeg, with later footage, including some I had witnessed at White Sands as a correspondent for The New Scientist, the U.K. magazine.

I see this blog entry above is dated 2003, but that's still 10 years after the first use.

Good things can hang around a bit.

Ad astra!

-Arlan Andrews, Sr.

Posted by: Arlan at April 17, 2005 09:43 PM
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