@just-jeepin Make the rocket tall enough, and you don't need to launch it.
Sadly, it turns out that building a 50-mile+ tall building is a bit of an engineering feat. Which of course why we want to dangle a very strong string from space instead. Or do more radical stuff:
Note: you might be doubting the analogy, but that's just a bad drawing, here's the one from Wikipedia:
@just-jeepin Speaking of satellites - has anyone else seen the SpaceX STARLINKs at dusk/dawn?
I had no idea this was a thing and was camping about a month ago out here in Oregon. I was sitting by the campfire at night while wife got the kid down for the night, enjoying the stars starting to come out. And hey look, a satellite. Cool.
And another. Nice. And another...wtf? And another, and another, and another all spaced right after the other, flying in the same trajectory.
Thankfully I had cell signal so I did a quick google and was able to learn what it was I was seeing -
@facw Just depends on how far SpaceX can really drive down the price. Elon says $2 million per launch (but then, Elon says a lot of things...), but we're probably still 3-5 years off an operational Starship mission, so the exact cost of a full stack is still fluid.
@grindintosecond Regarding the "who owns the moon" question, check out the book "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein. Deals with the moon breaking away from the parent governments to become its own entity.
It was written in 1966, so some of the terms are dated, but the overall concepts are sound.
@chariotoflove Indeed. I had the SR, which I do not recall surviving more than two flights. The X-15, which landed on a roof during its maiden flight but was recovered by a kindly painter some weeks later, took several more missions and is in a box somewhere, but is not in flight condition (the motor retention ring fractured). I remember painting a Der V-3 (so much red....), but not the launch, which leads me to think it didn't go well.
I recall having an uprated motor that I figured I'd put into trusty Old Blue, because I ran out of the recommended ones. Boy did it go! But I couldn't find it. It spent a couple weeks in a corn field a mile away before the owner of the property came across it. That was its last flight.
@ttyymmnn So I saw something posting this photo, said to be of everyone but Michael Collins
Also this journal entry from the far side of the moon:
I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.
Not only did they put a helicopter on Mars, they filmed it flying. I get it, test programs, and stuff, so the first flight was only up and then down. I'd be all, "Look ma, I'm flying!" and be zooming all over Mars.
They do plan to attempt more complex flights and push it to the limit. They only have 30 days to complete their mission so we will see what it can do pretty soon.
Although I do hope that it turns out to be another Curiosity and operate much longer than planned. One benefit of the rotors is that they do a good job of cleaning the dust off the solar panels.