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I'm playing at GM for the team I usually run with, and I have some ideas about what I want to have them do.

How do people and materials typically get into space in the Sixth World? I imagine you can take a shuttle from SeaTac, but I was wondering if any of the technolgies to get non-living payloads into orbit that are theoretical now have become Sixth World canon. Railgun-style mass drivers, ram accelerators, that kind of thing.
well, a while back i think they were trying to build a railgun to space on a mountain (kilimanjaro? spelled horribly wrong perhaps? nyahnyah.gif )

of course, the spirits of that region were kinda screwing that plan over royally, last i read about it, so they may have changed their minds about that.
Crusher Bob
There's also the levitate to the edge of the manashpere (~100 miles up) and then set of the booster rocket you have strapped to your back.
You most definately cannot take a shuttle from SeaTac!

To get into space, you have to use the old fashion way. There are several launch points scattered around the world. The corps were indeed building a railgun, and had trouble with spirits. I vaguely recall something about them taking drastic measures and kicking spirit ass so they could complete the project. Not too sure how it turned out.
Crusher Bob
In general, space launch points are as close to the equator as international borders allow. Mt. Kilimanjaro is popular as a launching point because it is a mountain close to the equator. From Seattle, expect to take a plane to the launch point somewhere south. Then, get on the shuttle.
Big D
Interesting RL sidenote... I asked some rocket guys a while back what the base fuel costs were for a launch. Turns out, fuel only costs $5-$10 per pound of payload delivered to orbit. The rest is hardware and (mostly) people.

So *if* you can build a reusable shuttle that requires little maintenance and flies all the time to amortize out the salaries, it's dirt cheap to get to orbit.
QUOTE (Jaid)
of course, the spirits of that region were kinda screwing that plan over royally, last i read about it, so they may have changed their minds about that.

Although it is not spelled out in any great manner, I believe that canon has it that the Corps dealt with this little problem in some manner or other.
Um ... The fuel may not cost all that much but that is only a small part of the cost. It costs about $10,000/pound right now. Space tourism is trying to get it down so that they can charge a more reasonable $50,000 per person! Maybe eventually down to $20,000.

It is hideously expensive to push that much material up there. For every pound of fuel you add you have another pound to push up there. What you need is cheaper alternative fuels like the system on White Knight and Space Ship One. You also need to abandon the shuttle system. The Apollo system was better in a lot of ways.

A rail gun system would work alot better if you used the laser and ice system from the Millenial Project. That way you could get people up there without killing them. Then just use it at full power for nonacceleration fragile cargo.
IIRC the old Neo-Anarchist's Guide to Real Life book for SR2 mentioned that a standard method to get people into orbit was to outfit a sub-orbital passenger-plane with additional boosters to effectively make it an orbital passenger-plane able to dock at a LEO space station.
I remember that. We once sneaked into one of those. Nearly. biggrin.gif
Those of you looking for information on the launch sites scattered around should consider reading/re-reading Year of the Comet. In the sections about each corp's space race workup are details on where they launch from.
Kyoto Kid
...The old Soviets had it down. They used very basic and simple boosters to get payloads into space (namely the Vostok & Proton). Most of their missions to the ISS are still using the old tech Soyuz (for personnel) and Progress (for supplies) which have proven pretty reliable over the years.

Back in the 1980s a group here in the US was proposing development of a system along similar lines nicknamed the BDBP (Big Dumb Booster Project). Unfortunately with the private competition here in the US from corps like American Rocket & Thiokol (both heavily involved in the Shuttle STS) they were basically put out of business, sometimes at the threat of death. If we had the BDB, most likely the ISS would pretty much be finished by now and we may have even made a return to the lunar surface.

With the STS due for decommissioning in a few years, we will have no viable system for launches of payloads and personnel. We will have to rely on the Russians and their old fashioned "stove bolt" (as it is affectionately referred to) technology to get us there.

Funny how things change.

As to making orbit in the SR world, (at least one of in my campaigns) there is a dedicated space plane as well as the augmented Suborbitals and of course, lots of BDBs. I also have a launch site in the Pacific and space plane facilities in the Kingdom of Hawai'i.
Big D
Yes, the reason it costs $10K+/lb to orbit is because of the costs of building a new rocket each time and doing all the work to check it out, and the costs of having people on staff year-round with all those paychecks going out the window.

As an example, the STS costs over $5 billion a year--including years where we have not flown anything because of accidents. Actual costs from flying the shuttle are hard to figure out, because most of the expenses are fixed annual salaries, and have nothing to do with the flight rate.

BTW, the SS1 fuel is *not* cheaper, it's simpler and therefore somewhat safer and easier to use. Its lower performance means that you have to carry a heck of a lot more of it to get to orbit. But if SS3 can do that and then turn around with a refueling and cheap maintenance and do it again soon after with a small staff of people... the higher fuel cost will disappear in the numbers. The same thing goes for SpaceX, Kistler, and the other crop of aspirants.

So, for 2070, it should be pretty easy (for a corp, not an individual) to get things in space, even without using magic to assist.
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