Reply to post: Some assembly required

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

Pete 2 Silver badge

Some assembly required

ISTM whichever outfit (or government) can demonstrate a LEO rocket assembly capability will make the need to launch monolithic large payloads in a single shot, obsolete.

We have been told that LEO is half way to anywhere in the Solar System simply because the energy needed to get the first 200km is the same as that needed to get the next few billion. So why not use a "stepping stone" approach? Costs go up dramatically as distance increases. NASA refuted the LEO is halfway ... argument by considering $$$$ cost, rather than energy / weight requirements. By that measure the Moon is 10 times more expensive than LEO.

But if 2 LEO shots can get a Moon mission to the (energy) halfway point, then it makes the payload goals of the SLS obsolete. All they would need is a platform in low orbit to put all the parts together.

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