1: Seven Billionaires and One Big Problem
A group of wealthy investors decide to tackle the challenge of
drastically lowering the cost of access to space. The question
of why launch costs remain so high is discussed.
2: Big Telescopes, Hot Rodders, and Librarians
The group puts together an engineering team. The skills
and experience necessary for such a team are discussed. Extensive
research into prior work is a key part of starting the project.
3: Gateses, Jobses, and the Laureates' Lemma
What lessons can be learned from technological revolutions
such as with the personal computer that can help to open the space
4: Build Big, Build Many, or Use It Again
Comparison of lowering launch costs with a big
dumb booster, with mass production of ELVs as done
with Russian boosters, and with a fully reusable vehicle.
Vehicles should be designed for minimum operating cost rather
than minimum launch weight. Building RLVs and selling them to
others is offered as the primary market, following the model of
the airline industry.
5: Small Market, Small Payload, but not a Toy
They decide on the goals for the total vehicle price
tag, payload size, and the operating cost per pound to LEO for
their piloted vehicle.
6: Myths, Mistrust, and Trust
A review of engineering for large projects. Systems
engineering, in particular, is found often to have caused
more problems than it solved.
7: The Pitch
A detailed overview of the challenges of getting to
orbit is given. The implications of the rocket equation, mass
ratios, ISP, GLOW, and staging are presented. They decide to go
with a two-stage rather than a single stage to orbit design. The
first stage is powered with liquid methane/LOX and the second
stage with LH2/LOX. The first stage will use powered landing while
the orbital stage will use a parawing.
8: Mazes, Stops Cords, and Skunk Workers
Project management issues as the project transitions
from design to construction.
9: Fuel Tanks, Heat Shields, and Fire Walls
Extensive discussion of thermal protection issues and how
they effect the design of the vehicle structures.
Balloon Tanks, Fracture Mechanics, and Friction Stir Welding
Why fuel tanks don't need to use composites, how
to avoid cracks, and building a rocket tank like a balloon.
11: Enthusiasm Bubbles, Ejections, and Topping Cycles
Regulatory challenges, ejection seat systems for both stages,
reentry protection for ejection from the orbital stage, engine
selection (review of LH2/LOX engine designs), and overflight risk
12: Gasoline, Alchol, Kerosene, or Liquid Methane
13: Design Reviews, Prototypes, and Parawings
The review process, prototyping and landing system designs.
14: Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Flying the simulator and the intricacies of GNC.
15: Webb Suit, Hard Suit, Space Suit
Space suit choices, air supply, and toilets.
16: Markets, Philosophy, Techniques, and Approaches
The challenges of making money in the aerospace industry.
17: Rockets, Jets, and Soft Landings
The tradeoffs between rocket vs. jet powered landings for the
18: Pilots, Payloads, and Passengers
Building a mockup, designing the crew cabin, and launching satellites..
19: Mooncars, Monks, and Monasteries
With $200/lb costs to LEO, private lunar missions of all kinds
20: Aliens, Cheetahs. and Archea
A discussion of SETI, the motivations of rocketeers, and the perpetual
uncertainties in life and the universe.
21: Halfway to Everywhere
"If launch costs to low Earth orbit came down to $200 per
pound, payload on Mars would cost $1200 per pound."
+ Part 2 - asteroid mining,
selling water in the LEO market, and other space schemes made
feasible by low cost access to LEO.
22: First Stage, First Flight
The manned first stage flies for the first time after two years
23: Stop the Production Line!
Part 1: Problems arise with the thermal protection
and landing gear for the orbital stage
Part 2: Solutions to the TPS
and landing systems; vehicle sales projections and a symphonic
24: Earth Below Us
The first orbital flight and the subsequent test flight program.
25: Money, Manufacturing, and Marketing
The factory and production lines get going on the two stages and
the list price determined. Enhanced versions of the vehicle are
26: Always Room for Improvement
Evan as the first models role off the assembly line, planning
for upgrades to raise the payload mass reaching orbit get underway.
1: Space is Finally a Place
Ten years later, a lot has happened with the DH-1 and space development.
2: Mars for the Many
With the success of the DH-1 and AM&M, the founder now focuses
on the goal of low cost transport to Mars of large numbers of
people for permanent settlement.