ABOUT THE BOOK - "CHASING THE DREAM"
I have the books and we are mailing autographed copies now!
"Chasing the Dream" explains with data and analyses what has happened in the US Space Program over the last fifty years. It answers questions like:
• Why did President Kennedy commit us to the Apollo Moon Program? (hint - It wasn't because we were losing the space race to the USSR)
• Are you aware that there was a nuclear-powered rocket under development in the 1960s that could have delivered 1000 tons to the lunar surface in the same time frame as Apollo?
• Did you know that if the Space Shuttle program had met its stated design goals we would have bases on the Moon and Mars by now?
• Did you know that the Challenger Disaster was totally preventable?
• Did you know that President George H. W. Bush proposed a perfectly logical plan to put bases on the Moon and Mars in July 1989? Do you know why it never happened?
• Did you know that NASA spent over 1.5 B$ on the X-33 and X-34 Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) demonstrators in the late 1990s, but never flew them? Do you know why they never flew?
• Did you know that commercial launch providers like Space-X and Blue Origin can deliver launch systems for 1/4 the cost of similar NASA developed launch systems?
• Did you know that solar system out beyond Mars is cold and dark so that nuclear power is absolutely essential for any industrial operations?
• Are you aware that several commercial companies have 10 MWe fusion power-plants in initial testing?
• Are you aware that initial work on putting astronauts in long-term biological stasis are under way?
• Are you aware that multiple approaches are available for human interstellar flight? Multiple examples are analyzed and compared.
Finally, a potential future history of humanity occupying the solar system and then moving beyond is given.
Book is currently in edit. It should be available on this site in mid-November.
"Chasing the Dream" is non-fiction and explains the US space program from its inception to today with many personal anecdotes by a guy who was in the trenches over the last fifty years. The book is semi-technical (3 equations) but should be easily understandable by anyone who reads Scientific American. This book explains the great advances in space transportation technology that have happened over the last fifty years, and how those advances have been mostly misapplied, or shelved by political intrigue, such that we still have not achieved the goal of people living and working in space even after spending hundreds of billions of equivalent 2019 dollars. However, the book also explains how numerous commercial companies are now using the best of those technologies to reduce the cost to getting into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and thereby insuring that the dream of moving into space is still alive and well. Finally, this book shows where space travel is heading in both the near and distant futures as humankind immigrates into the solar system and beyond. The book is 320 pages long with 278 illustrations and 158 references.
Fifty Years ago, we were told that average citizens would be traveling to space and visiting the moon by now.
It could have happened, but it didn't. This book explains how close we came, what destroyed the dream, and who was responsible (just organizations, no names). This book also describes how the dream is coming back and what the future holds.
Would you like to take a four-day cruise to the moon in Ocean Cruise-Ship type Accommodations?
The example shows what is possible with existing and near-term technologies provided we can achieve low-cost access to Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO). The US government has spent tens of Billions of Dollars developing systems to achieve low-cost-access to LEO but has never delivered that capability. This book describes and explains several different systems that accomplish that feat, have been developed using government monies, but never put into production.
We were never behind in the Space Race!
The "fact" that the US was losing the Space Race in 1961 is often given as the reason for all the money spent on the Apollo Program. This book shows that we were never "behind" and in fact had better technology, but it had been developed by the USAF in classified programs and the politicians had decided that space development was going to be a civilian program.
X-20 Dyna-Soar showing heat radiated during reentry
The best example of this is the X-20 Dyna-Soar piloted orbiter whose reentry art is shown on the right. The X-20 contract was signed in April 1959, the Critical Design Reviews were completed in late 1962, and the vehicle delivery was scheduled for October 1964. Unfortunately, Robert McNamara canceled the Dyna-Soar program which was within a month of final assembly and transferred the remaining funds to the civilian Gemini spacecraft and the military Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) in December 1963. MOL was cancelled in 1969 after running up expenses of $1.5 B (1969$). MOL was cancelled because our robot spy satellites could produce superior results, for less cost.
This theme was repeated time after time. A successful Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program will be cancelled for political reasons before flight hardware is delivered.
Low $/lb to LEO is the Key to Living and Working in Space
This book explains launch systems development costs, operating costs, and return on investments. As shown on the figure on the right, the LEO launch market is highly elastic once the cost per pound to orbit gets below $800 (dark blue line).
It was derived from interviews with hundreds of prospective space users during the 1993-94 Commercial Space Transportation Study. First, it shows that current launch providers would reduce their yearly revenue (pink line) with any reductions in launch price which is why launch costs have been stagnant for forty years. To raise revenue above current levels, the launch provider must join forces with the on-orbit businesses they are enabling (yellow line). Recent studies summarized in the book show that then both business types can make lucrative profits.
The labels across the top show roughly the $/lb to LEO expected with existing and in-development launch systems. The author expects both the New Glenn (Blue Origin) and BFR (now Starship from Space-X) to operate with $/lb well within the elastic market range, and therefore to enable living and working in space for the average citizen.
The book shows how close we are getting to having humans working and living in space.