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Old November 15 2012, 05:58 AM   #331
gturner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Come back when you have a counter-argument that isn't "It can't be done because we've never done it that way." If rocket people thought like that, there wouldn't be any rockets, because among the things said to be crazy were liquid fuel, lighweight turbopumps, swiveling engines, staging, vacuum operation, liquid hydrogen handling, and monocoque tanks, while the list of things that were thought to be essential were tail fins, launch rails, streamlined boat-tails, pointy noses, and parachutes. The 400 foot launch tower made out of pretty red trusswork: also not essential. It's a flying machine. It can fly on its own - unless your thinking is stuck in a tiny little box that dates back to the 1940's.

The Merlin 1D has a thrust to weight ratio of about 160:1. That means that if you wanted, you could have a completely seperate set of engines that are used only for 30 seconds, and you'd only pay a 1% mass penalty. It might end up lighter than adding elaborate tail-end landing legs and the fuel burn to transition from a horizontal return flight, bleed off the airspeed to zero, and gently touch down (a horizontal landing can kiss a runway at a hundred miles an hour, since it's not going to tip over).

And speaking of hover, pressure fed engines are even lighter than pump driven engines, and many months ago I thought about a demonstrator that was like a ball with thrusters aimed all around, so that it could rotate freely in the air on any axis while always having enough thrusters aimed vertically to maintain the hover. You can't do that with jet engines except by redirecting the exhaust because they don't have a thrust-to-weight ratio that allows for carrying many extras, and their throttle response is too slow. The SDI program actually had something almost similar, a missile that hovered horizontally and able to translate in any direction while remaining pointed at a fixed target. It could also, of course, pivot in any direction too, while hovering. Rockets don't have any problem doing that.
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Old November 16 2012, 03:38 AM   #332
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
And for the second time, nobody's claiming the workforce ITSELF is obsolete. The techniques they're used to working in, however, ARE, at least in the context of SpaceX and SNC,
That is totally wrong. Spacex and SNC don't do anything different or use different techiques than the existing contractors at the launch site. Technicians are interchangeable. Most if not all of Spacex's workforce came from existing contractors.
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Old November 16 2012, 03:43 AM   #333
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post

Along with re-usability, I've been wondering if horiontally oriented vertical launches would create a major cost-savings.
No. It is not feasible and a bad idea. The engines for supporting the front of the vehicle would be useless mass after rotation. The launch vehicles are not designed to loads horizontally. They can't even support themselves horizontally when loaded with propellant.
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Old November 16 2012, 03:50 AM   #334
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post
No, doing the math.

Suppose that at present the vertical launch orientation adds 2 to 5% to the launch costs, and the structural penalties and extra engines required for a horizontal launch would reduce the payload by 30 to 50%. If you made the switch now, the dollars per pound would be 2 to 3 times higher, so we don't do that. But as you start building fully resuable stages with low-cost, high reliability engines, your launch costs drop to a tenth of what they currently are. But the costs of that vertical processing are undiminished, if not increased, because once your stack becomes resuable you have to haul the empties vertically, too. If the vertical costs are undiminshed and you drop the launch costs 10 fold, then that 2 to 5% added expense becomes 20 to 50% of your launch cost. If the expenses increase further due to the empties, the vertical processing could be the majority of your cost, and will be the determining factor on your flight rate.

So you have two companies, the Vertical Corporation whose rocket delivers twice the payload of the Horizontal Company. But to do that, they have a fourth the flight rate and four times the personnel and support costs of the Horizontal Company. Per man-hour they can only launch an eighth as much as the Horizontal Company, and their investment in support equipment is about eight times higher. They go out of business and the Horizontal Company spawns spin-offs and copycats, and people used to the horizontal launch of rockets five and six hundred feet long, which are as ordinary as a Harrier or F-35 takeoff, wonder who would be insane enough to think you could stand such a thing on its end and make any money at it.

I point this out because the SLS stack is already limited by the door height of the VAB, Congress is never going to approve an even taller building, and no private company is going to try to build a rocket maintenance shed that 700 feet tall. No private company is going to order a 6 million ton crawler or build a giant launch tower because they can't afford it. Even if they did, the structures would be tied up with vertical integration and month per flight processing times while their horizontal competitors could be launching flying machines on a daily basis with a tenth the personnel.

If we had to stand airliners on their ends to get a plane in the air or land one we'd still be riding trains because an airline flight would be a very rare and expensive show. Is it any wonder that spaceflight is rare and expensive when the launch configuration can't be anything but?
Your math uses bogus assumptions. Too many to even point out.

It is one thing to think of a small horizontally launched vehicle. It is completely asinine to think of one the size of the Saturn V.
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Old November 16 2012, 04:01 AM   #335
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post
.

We got to this point because the early small rockets are trivially easy to raise, and when the space race started in earnest we just threw money at the problem. The Russians didn't build and transport their Soyuz vertically because they couldn't afford to, whereas we could afford to do almost anything. SpaceX took a page from the Russians and became the only US launch provider that doesn't build their rockets vertically, just standing them up prior to launch, and not coincidentally is by far the lowest cost provider.

If they were extremely confident in their engine start, they could lift the nose up with just 30 SuperDracos, and they're already going to use eight of those in the Dragon capsule just as abort engines. They don't need to do that because their rocket is small enough to raise vertically right at the launch pad, but as rockets get bigger that operation becomes much more difficult and expensive, and eventually impractical.

So, a question: How many Orion capsule abort motors would it take to raise the entire SLS to vertical while its fully fueled? About six. If you use twelve you could lift the entire rocket, including the SRBs, and flip it vertically in the air. The abort motor is the tiny little thing on top of the stack. Lifting and fipping are infinitely easier than getting such a vehicle to go supersonic, and then getting it all the way to outer space.
Wrong on all accounts. When is comes to impractical, it is your idea.
a. OSC and Delta IV are horizontally integrated vehicles.
b. Wrong on the Dracos. To lift the whole vehicle requires nearly the same thrust as the main engines. For example, using a Falcon 9, the thrust of all nine engines would need to be directed down. And to maintain control, some of the Merlin engines would need to mounted near the nose. Not puny Dracos.
c. Lifting and flipping is not easier than vertical assembly building.
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Old November 16 2012, 04:09 AM   #336
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post


Doing something like that on the Falcon 9 would only take two Orion abort motors (which have 500,000 lbs thrust each and a 5.5 second burn). It's pointless on the Falcon, but they're not blowing a billion dollars on facilities. Air-starting the first stage shouldn't be shocking because we've been air-starting second and third stages, in flight, since the 1940's.
Wrong, the structure can not take the propellants much less thrust of the abort motors. And solids would be unworkable since they can not be controlled.

Also, booster engines are not the same as upperstage engines and many are not air startable.

All your examples of horizontally integrated vehicles, not one of them are fueled until vertical.

This idea is just plain stupid.
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Old November 16 2012, 04:10 AM   #337
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post

Why would NASA be interested in an idea that would throw most of them out of work and render much of their support structure obsolete, or can't you see that obvious consequence?
Another assinine post
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Old November 16 2012, 04:34 AM   #338
Byeman
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
but in those cases the
1. KSC workers are in competition with people who have direct experience with aviation processes and that's a tough market even outside of a recession.

2. Aerospace manufacturers use different types of CNC machines and manufacturing equipment to manipulate workpieces, structural components and electronics systems and have different standards for how they need to be used. The end products may be similar -- which is good news for some of them -- but the equipment used to assemble and manipulate it can be VERY different.

3. Right. And aerospace companies aren't exactly scrambling to hire people from railroads and shipyards either, for the same reason.

4. but SpaceX is the first to use it in America as far as I know. There's also the different assembly processes for vehicles themselves;

5. SNC is spending a lot of time and effort to develop the Dreamchaser and is borrowing a lot from experimental aircraft paradigms to get through the prototype phase.

6. There isn't a huge number of KSC workers who would thrive in that environment.

7. Correction: they DIDN'T have specialized skills when they started working for NASA. For those who have been there for several years, that is no longer the case.

8.That's like saying space ships and satellites aren't new technology because rockets have been around for 1000 years.

9. Neither does running a cash register or mopping the floor at Walmart. Why can't the KSC workers do that?

10. Spoken like someone who has never operated a CNC machine before.

11. Considering how shallow your objections are, I find this VERY hard to believe.
1. Wrong, there are no "people who have direct experience with aviation processes" in the Carolinas and the KSC people are getting jobs.

2. Huh? KSC is an aerospace facility. There is little difference in the work that happens there vs what happens in other aerospace facilities including aircraft factories across the country. Actually machining is a small amount of the work and workforce in manufacturing. Aerospace companies assemble hardware, they mostly out source machining. You basically don't know how the aerospace industry works

3. Huh? The point was these few jobs were the only "specialized" ones at the space center and they are related to outside jobs, meaning they could be hired more easily, which did occur. You are not following the argument.

4. Wrong, Delta IV and Antares are. Thor did it 50 years ago. Also, the assembly "process" is the same. The vehicles are aligned and then bolted together

5. No different than Atlas and Delta. Atlas III and Delta III tested systems for Atlas V and Delta IV.

6. Unsubstantiated.

7. Wrong, they are not that "special" and the workers still have their basic aerospace skills

8. No, not even close. The point is that there is no new technology in a Falcon 9 or Dragon or newer than Delta IV or Atlas V. Ethernet doesn't count since there issue with it.

9. They are, They are taking jobs that usually done by teenagers to make ends meet. The area doesn't have enough jobs to absorb the lost of the KSC jobs.

10. Your response shows you know less. Most machinists I know say they can operate any machine with a little OJT. And the ones at the Delta and Atlas plants are actually doing that.

11. Shallow? That would be yours. Your posts show a complete lack of knowledge about aerospace business and launch operations.

Last edited by Byeman; November 16 2012 at 04:53 AM.
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Old November 16 2012, 04:57 AM   #339
gturner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Byeman wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post

Along with re-usability, I've been wondering if horiontally oriented vertical launches would create a major cost-savings.
No. It is not feasible and a bad idea. The engines for supporting the front of the vehicle would be useless mass after rotation. The launch vehicles are not designed to loads horizontally. They can't even support themselves horizontally when loaded with propellant.
Then how are they going to load a Falcon 4 or Falcon 5 into the Stratolaunch? As Elon Musk said, the extra structure to let them do that is pretty trivial. It's a fuel tank. Almost all cylindrical fuel tanks that have to take heavy pounding are horizontal. You can certainly thin one so that it can't, and the original Atlas couldn't even support itself vertically without the pressure of the fuel.

Also, booster engines are not the same as upperstage engines and many are not air startable.
And most booster engines are not air-startable because it wasn't a design requirement. That's a pretty easy thing to do. You just add ignitors, as they did to make an air-startable Merlin. Often when they take an upper-stage engine to use as a first-stage booster engine, they remove that capability because it's not needed.

b. Wrong on the Dracos. To lift the whole vehicle requires nearly the same thrust as the main engines. For example, using a Falcon 9, the thrust of all nine engines would need to be directed down.
No, that would create a disaster because the nine engines would be at one end of the rocket, accelerating it at about 3 G's. You want to use half the lift-off thrust on one end, and half up toward the other end. The easiest place to put the engines is the interstage, which is otherwise mostly empty space.

It is one thing to think of a small horizontally launched vehicle. It is completely asinine to think of one the size of the Saturn V.
I bet you used to run around shouting "A 747 is too big to fly!!!"
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Old November 16 2012, 05:05 AM   #340
sojourner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

You really need to stop conflating aircraft with rockets. It's embarrassing.
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Old November 16 2012, 06:59 AM   #341
gturner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

You mean the Me-163, He-176, X-1, X-1A, X-2, X-4, and X-15 weren't rockets, they were jets? Someone call the Air Force!

The X-1 had a horizontal rocket-fuel tank stressed for 20 G's. The Air Force has hung iiquid fueled intercept missiles on aircraft, where they experience severe sideward G-loads as a part of normal operations. Apparently, although obviously nobody in rocketry today has the knowledge of how to do it, at one time engineers knew how to design a horizontal fuel cylinder to a set of design specifications. (Some engineers in fields like conventional aviation, rail and truck transport, and the energy industries have hidden away these design secrets). Elon Musk must've recruited on of these engineers to check the Falcon 4 for Stratolaunch operations, probably using some old, yellowed, classified document on metal ribs and stringers captured from Peenemunde and kept in a locked vault next to the Arc of the Covenant.

There's dense, and then there's black-hole dense. If an Air Force general got a bee in his bonnet and decided his new ballistic missile should be stored horizontally for easier mobile deployment, leap in the air horizontally, and then transition to vertical flight to cut several minutes off the response time, the aerospace contractors would just ask "How high before it pivots?" It's not a difficult problem, and you can do it just fine with solids (which, after all, allow for precision or we wouldn't be using them for ICBM's or the Space Shuttle), especially considering that the only requirement is to finish the mauenver pointing up, with an allowable error meaured in tens of degrees, just like an SLBM before main stage ignition. To the military, this kind of thing is trivial. To NASA types it's apparently more baffling than a warp drive and they think it simply can't be done.
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Old November 16 2012, 07:24 AM   #342
sojourner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

You don't have a straw man. You've got a straw army going there.

Remind me again your experience designing these things? Apparently NASA could really use you since you seem to think this is all so easy and they don't.

While you're at it, how do we solve world hunger and end war?

Does the "g" in gturner stand for genius?
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Old November 16 2012, 07:39 AM   #343
sojourner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post
You mean the Me-163, He-176, X-1, X-1A, X-2, X-4, and X-15 weren't rockets, they were jets? Someone call the Air Force!
Nope, they're not rockets. They're rocket powered aircraft and none of them were capable of attaining orbit, let alone with a useable payload.

The X-1 had a horizontal rocket-fuel tank stressed for 20 G's. The Air Force has hung iiquid fueled intercept missiles on aircraft, where they experience severe sideward G-loads as a part of normal operations. Apparently, although obviously nobody in rocketry today has the knowledge of how to do it, at one time engineers knew how to design a horizontal fuel cylinder to a set of design specifications. (Some engineers in fields like conventional aviation, rail and truck transport, and the energy industries have hidden away these design secrets).
none of those vehicles/tanks were trying to achieve orbit either.
Elon Musk must've recruited on of these engineers to check the Falcon 4 for Stratolaunch operations,
ah, ah, you're moving goalposts again. You claim to be able to ground launch a vehicle the size of a Saturn 5

There's dense, and then there's black-hole dense.
Please, don't be so hard on yourself. (get it? hard- dense?)
If an Air Force general got a bee in his bonnet and decided his new ballistic missile should be stored horizontally for easier mobile deployment, leap in the air horizontally, and then transition to vertical flight to cut several minutes off the response time, the aerospace contractors would just ask "How high before it pivots?" It's not a difficult problem,
until you need it to achieve orbit and with a payload as large as an Apollo mission instead of some relatively small warheads
and you can do it just fine with solids
no, you can't
(which, after all, allow for precision or we wouldn't be using them for ICBM's or the Space Shuttle)
solids aren't precise. They are powerfully brutish with no throttle control. Which is why they are used in early stage of flight on STS and ICBMs to allow for plenty of time to course correct after they burn out.
To the military, this kind of thing is trivial. To NASA types it's apparently more baffling than a warp drive and they think it simply can't be done.
Neither here nor there. If the military were trying to build a vehicle to get to orbit they would have the same exact problems. It's only trivial because you don't know what you're talking about.
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Old November 16 2012, 08:12 AM   #344
gturner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

sojourner wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
You mean the Me-163, He-176, X-1, X-1A, X-2, X-4, and X-15 weren't rockets, they were jets? Someone call the Air Force!
Nope, they're not rockets. They're rocket powered aircraft and none of them were capable of attaining orbit, let alone with a useable payload.
And none of the missiles of the period were capable of attaining orbit either, X-15 contemporaries excepted, and I can't recall the last time an RPG went orbital due to it's lack of wings, even when aimed at the sky over Mogadishu. None of the reasons the X planes didn't achieve orbit have anything to do with the the orientation of the fuel container. Smart people know that. Dumb people don't. There are rocket equations that tell you these things.

The X-1 had a horizontal rocket-fuel tank stressed for 20 G's. The Air Force has hung iiquid fueled intercept missiles on aircraft, where they experience severe sideward G-loads as a part of normal operations. Apparently, although obviously nobody in rocketry today has the knowledge of how to do it, at one time engineers knew how to design a horizontal fuel cylinder to a set of design specifications. (Some engineers in fields like conventional aviation, rail and truck transport, and the energy industries have hidden away these design secrets).
none of those vehicles/tanks were trying to achieve orbit either.ah, ah, you're moving goalposts again. You claim to be able to ground launch a vehicle the size of a Saturn 5Please, don't be so hard on yourself. (get it? hard- dense?)until you need it to achieve orbit with a payload as large as an Apollo mission instead of some relativily small warheadsno, you can't
You can lift anything with a rocket. The Saturn V is an example of lifting something big with a rocket, and it was lifted from the ground. So yes, I think it was possible to lift something as large as a Saturn V using rockets. You obviously do not. We'll just have to disagree on the reality of the moon landings.

(which, after all, allow for precision or we wouldn't be using them for ICBM's or the Space Shuttle)
solids aren't precise. They are powerfully brutish with no throttle control. Which is why they are used in early stage of flight on STS and ICBMs to allow for plenty of time to course correct after they burn out.
Solids are very precise, because they're used in a control loop with feedback. Liquids are somewhat more precise, but only somewhat. You can gimbal the thrust of both, and you can measure the thrust of both, and you can terminate the thrust of both. You only need the throttle control if you can't predetermine how much thrust you'll need, which is not the case during a launch, otherwise we'd have never launched a single Space Shuttle mission.

Keep in mind that you're arguing that small solids are useless for a 20 second imprecise launch application while advocating that we build entire launch systems to rely on them for precision performance, such as the Shuttle, SLS, and Delta IV.

To the military, this kind of thing is trivial. To NASA types it's apparently more baffling than a warp drive and they think it simply can't be done.
Neither here nor there. If the military were trying to build a vehicle to get to orbit they would have the same exact problems. It's only trivial because you don't know what you're talking about.
So, the Air Force has never eyed orbit. It's just completely beyond their radar. They've also never flown the X-1, X-1A, X-2, or X-15, and they never had programs called Dyna Soar, Blue Gemini, and a host of others, the latest being the X-37B, which never went into orbit, despite all the lies perpetuated by the same media that claimed the moon landings were real, even though it's impossible to launch a Saturn V from the ground.

Ironically, the director of that program is working with Stratolaunch, apparently consulting with the engineer privy to the secret Peenemunde documents on horizontal fuel tanks.
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Old November 16 2012, 08:47 AM   #345
sojourner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post

And none of the missiles of the period were capable of attaining orbit either, X-15 contemporaries excepted, and I can't recall the last time an RPG went orbital due to it's lack of wings, even when aimed at the sky over Mogadishu.
And? none of the cars of the period or the boats or the hand grenades were capable of orbit as well. They weren't designed to. neither were those tanks you mentioned. So, not sure how that makes your point that it can be done.
None of the reasons the X planes didn't achieve orbit have anything to do with the the orientation of the fuel container.
but it has everything to do with the size of the fuel container. Not enough fuel, no orbit. Try to build a tank big enough and strong enough to ly on it's side fully loaded AND deal with the stress of a vertical liftoff and you have 2 outcomes. a vehicle that splits in half or a vehicle that doesn't have the mass fraction to achieve orbit. Because>>>>
There are rocket equations that tell you these things.



You can lift anything with a rocket. The Saturn V is an example of lifting something big with a rocket, and it was lifted from the ground.
not while on it's side
So yes, I think it was possible to lift something as large as a Saturn V using rockets.
on it's side?
You obviously do not.
not while on it's side and especially not if it's to complete it's designed purpose
We'll just have to disagree on the reality of the moon landings.
Does that mean you think they were hoaxed?


Solids are very precise, because they're used in a control loop with feedback. Liquids are somewhat more precise, but only somewhat. You can gimbal the thrust of both
ah, a moment of truth
, and you can measure the thrust of both, and you can terminate the thrust of both.
seriously? I'd like to see you terminate the thrust of a solid before it runs out
You only need the throttle control if you can't predetermine how much thrust you'll need, which is not the case during a launch, otherwise we'd have never launched a single Space Shuttle mission.

Keep in mind that you're arguing that small solids are useless for a 20 second imprecise launch application while advocating that we build entire launch systems to rely on them for precision performance, such as the Shuttle, SLS, and Delta IV.
I said no such thing. I said solids were brutishly powerful and used early when they could be corrected for. IIR you advocated liquid engines for the first 20 seconds of flight, not solids. watch those goal posts

So, the Air Force has never eyed orbit. It's just completely beyond their radar. They've also never flown the X-1, X-1A, X-2, or X-15, and they never had programs called Dyna Soar, Blue Gemini, and a host of others, the latest being the X-37B, which never went into orbit,
remind me which one of those successfully took off vertically while in a horizontal position?
despite all the lies perpetuated by the same media that claimed the moon landings were real, even though it's impossible to launch a Saturn V from the ground.

Ironically, the director of that program is working with Stratolaunch, apparently consulting with the engineer privy to the secret Peenemunde documents on horizontal fuel tanks.
Ah, hey conspiracy whack jobbery always entertaining for a few laughs.

Hmmm, I was gonna comment on your "came up with an idea that improved a conjectural LEM design", but you seem to have retracted it. Oh wait, here it is:
So yes, compared to you, I am certainly a genius, which is probably why the re-configurations of a lunar lander I did yesterday got picked up on some blogs as shaving weight, mass, and complexity, boosting redundancy, reducing weight, decreasing the complexity, lowering the center of mass, adding partial re-usability, all in a few simple changes on how they should exit, leading to a cascade of benefits.
POST PROOF OR RETRACT. Oh, that's right, you already did. nevermind.

And on that note, good night.
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