raptorborealis":rduozig9 said:Very true.... and there were many more development costs than just not being unsound financially. Those costs were eaten by governments.Spacehawk":rduozig9 said:Just wanted to add my 2 cents to the whole point to point transportation. It sounds exciting, and yes FEDEX can do great things with it, but let's not forget that the Concord, which offered supersonic flights, is no longer in business. One could travel from NY to London in two hours, yet it went bankrupt. I don't think there is market out there for a point to point orbitol flights, especially when they will cost more than the Concord. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of human space flight, been reading on this site for a few years, but I don't think Point to Point is going to have a market.
And no city is going to build hundreds of millions in facilities (today airporsts cost billions) to help Fedex move packages in 2 hours instead of 8...and taxpayers would never approve such facilities for 'executives' (who rarely took the Concord anyways). I suppose a company could spend hundreds of millions (or billions) in remote areas but that defeats the purpose of fast trasvel. (and what authority would 'approve' any of this if humans were routine passengers!)
The reality is that the price of a Shurtte flight, Concord flight, military jet, etc . does NOT go down over time. I heard John Glenn commenting and he said that every flight that a military jet takes is experimental whether it's the 10th flight or 1000th. He was commenting on Shuttle costs and wanting people to be realistic about what is considered 'routine''. 'Economy of scale' takes a long time to kick in and perhaps never with leading edger technology when safety is paramount.
The numbers such as $200,000 a flight...then down to $75,000 are meaningless and grabbed out of the air. The statements such as 'rich people will pay...' are likewise based on nothing. Nobody really has a clue how much any of this would cost and if there is any market. One accident (such as the Shuttle) and all numbers are tossed in the air and nobody has a clue what would happen.
You are making a very valid point. I guess we will just have to wait and see... I think we will see point to point LEO travel(or whatever you want to call it) in my lifetime though that is quite a long time frame. I'm fifteen so I might be waiting a while...