Comparing travelling to space in a rocket much like crossing the Atlantic using a catapult, The Conversation's Leon Vanstone opines that in order for humanity to explore the universe, it needs to find a better way to get into space, fast. One option may be the SKYLON spaceplane, a reusable vehicle capable of taking off and landing like a regular airplane, but sporting engines capable of taking it into orbit.
Being so inefficient means that the only way to get all your cargo to the height and speed you need via rocket is to jettison the empty fuel tanks as soon as they run dry. For this very reason, rockets are staged; that is, split into sections. When one section runs out of fuel, you can drop the weight of its empty container.
Very little of the rocket actually makes it to orbit, with most of the parts either crashed, burnt, or floating aimlessly in space. You can’t reuse it because you can barely get it there, let alone get it back.
|"Their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke."|
|"SEP systems, in other words, could become the cargo ship of deep-space missions."|
|"Your average asteroid is a loosely held ball of gravel."|
|Going to Mars the Fiscally Responsible Way|
|Zeppelins and Cloud Cities to Colonize Venus|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing|
|“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”|
|“The algorithm chose; Max attended.”|