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The Future Of Spaceflight.

Rockets suck. This is a thing that we have established here; they’re terrifically awful ways of getting into space that are only used because nobody has really come up with anything better. There’s all sorts of ideas for wacky drive systems once your spacecraft is actually in space – ion drives, solar sails, Bussard ramjets – but these all sidestep the real problem facing future space travel, which is that you have to get out of the Earth’s gravity well first. This is not easy; even though the Earth is pretty small for a planet it’s still the heaviest of the four terrestrials and has what is to us a very hefty gravitational pull.

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