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Vehicles & Launch Systems
Today, 95% of the engineering needed to build the stations and Space-planes seen in "2001" has already been developed by NASA as part of their space shuttle program.
Many of the film's technical advisors were NASA engineers who, in the 1960s, also designed the actual, wheel-shaped stations and space shuttles - which NASA, soon hoped to build. Budget cuts after the moon landings forced NASA to only develop the space shuttles. The development of space stations was dropped for more than 15 years.
But NASA's best kept secret is that many of those early shuttle designers believed the shuttle program could achieve both goals. Many of those visionary designers now working with the Space Island Group are going to finally achieve this goal. We are developing a new generation of launch vehicles that will replace the current space shuttle and develop the first real manned commercial presence in space.
New Vehicle Design
The new Space Island Dual Launch vehicle will provide several benefits to making our commercial entry into space. First and most importantly most of the components in our new launch vehicle are already in production and have been in operation for the last 20 years. Several of the new components have already been fully design and most already started initial testing.
Their early Space Stations designs centered on the shuttle's hollow, orange external fuel tank, known in the industry as the ET. We'll use a upgraded version of this tank retrofitted in space (after the fuels are removed) as modules to build our stations. Other configurations of these tanks will be built on Earth for immediate habitation upon reaching space or as extremely large cargo containers (which also will be retrofitted for habitation once it reaches orbit).
The 2 solid fuel white rocket boosters attached to the External Fuel Tank drop off 2 minutes after launch and parachute into the sea, the 70,000 pound, aluminum ET stays attached to the shuttle, feeding its liquid fuel to the shuttle's engines during the rest of its 8-1/2 minute flight to orbit.
Few people realize that these airtight cylinders External Tanks are carried to orbit on each shuttle flight, then destroyed when force back down in the atmosphere when its odorless fuel is gone. We will keep them attached all the way into orbit and use these tanks for our station building blocks.
Commercial Space Development
As a government agency, NASA is prohibited from operating a commercial enterprise. Their mandate is to develop the hardware, then let private industry take over. But the firms that built the shuttles and ETs for NASA, the space divisions of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, only work on government-funded projects. They have no contact with commercial companies who could buy or lease these shuttles and stations. Their design, construction and purchasing procedures, geared to complex government requirements and very small production runs, can't mass-produce the dozens of shuttles and thousands of ETs this project will need. Our management structure will have far more in common with the auto and computer industries than with the defense industry.
We can and will work closely with the current aerospace firms who'll help to develop our commercial space ship and launch components. Many other relationships will be developed with major commercial companies who will lease these stations as research facilities, space hotels, hospitals, factories or entertainment centers to let them profit from their involvement long before our first station is operational.
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