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From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: heavylift launchers (was Re: Lifting Shuttle External Fuel Tank...)
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 18:02:04 GMT

In article <> writes:
>>>.  The basic problem is:  what are the payloads?
>The Clarke belt is getting awfully crowded.  Since we can't put MORE 
>satellites in GEO, how about putting bigger ones?  Say nobody's 
>designing them? Well, that's because if they did, there's nothing to 
>lift them :-).

Mass limits, while a nuisance, are actually not that big an issue.  People
are already putting multiple comsats in one orbital location (with some
care to keep them from hitting each other!).  This gives much the same
effect as heavier satellites, less efficiently but without putting all the
eggs in one basket.

The real crowding problem is spectrum space, and heavier satellites are
not going to help that very much.

Also, unless you're proposing to put a whole bunch of comsats on a single
launch -- which will create problems, not the least of them being the
impossibility of getting insurance for such a valuable launch -- most any
heavylift booster will be grossly oversized for even superheavy comsats.
The heaviest comsats of today -- the extreme top end of the market, far
larger than *most* comsats -- fit comfortably on existing large launchers.
Even the smaller heavylift designs have several times the payload of those
launchers.  It's too big a step.
Americans proved to be more bureaucratic           |       Henry Spencer
than I ever thought.  --Valery Ryumin, RKK Energia |

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