IMHO, the space shuttle program demonstrated conclusively that rocket and/or aircraft launchers are not the way to go. The energy required to launch payloads into low Earth orbit means big rockets and big aircraft. They are inherently very dangerous. The U.S. has 14 dead astronauts to prove it. Rail guns, gas guns, big dumb boosters, space elevators, launch towers that reach into the stratosphere, we need to re-think all the launch options.
Regards, John M.
I'm not a hardnosed mainstreamer; I just like the observations, theories, predictions, and results to match.
"Mainstream isn’t a faith system. It is a verified body of work that must be taken into account if you wish to add to that body of work, or if you want to change the conclusions of that body of work." - korjik