Dec 10, 01 / Dec 12, 17 05:18 UTC
It seems that the biggest challenge (and ultimately will be our final hurdle in developing a viable plan to build a station) is the cost of fuel to get materials into space. Certainly there have been some ideas such as a higher platform so that getting to altitude isn't needed, but ultimately it is the acceleration to breakout speeds that are the truly expensive part. This raises the need to find a cheaper option to propel a space craft to escape velocity. Could an electicly powered propulsion system ever be truly viable at these speeds? For that matter is it even theoretically possible to store or generate the kind of electrical energy needed for that? Is there another fuel that might be cheaper or more effective? Are there changes fo the space craft or launch sequence that might make it more efficient when it comes to accelerating at extremely high speeds? Is there a cheap, drawn out method that would only accelerate at a very low rate (1m/s^2), but would do so cheaply. I would much prefer it take a full day to get into space but not cost that much than a quick launch that is unrealisticly expensive. Are there any experimental or even theoretical technologies that might help provide the cost efficient propulsion we need?