CateCATS1 - Our Design

We now explore one possible set of design choices for a space tourism system. The reader is cautioned that while the authors think that this design is possible they have no delusions that it is optimal. It is presented to give the reader a benchmark design showing that it is possible to do at least this well. Before spending hundreds of millions of dollars, much more work would go into optimizing the design.

We have tried to make conservative assumptions. We expect a team with more information and making less assumptions, would have a design that worked even better than ours.

Reusable Single Stage To Tether (SSTT)

Our design calls for a rocket that can deliver 4,000 Kg to 5 km/sec and 100 km high where the payload will grab a LEO tether. This SSTT rocket will weight about 6,000 Kg empty and carry 40,000 Kg of fuel.


The SSTT will rendezvous with a tether in LEO at about 100 km altitude. This tether has a tip speed of 2.5 km/sec and a length of 500 km.

We use an EDT to reboost momentum on the LEO-Tether.

GEO-Tether with Duel Hotels

In geosyncronous orbit there will be 2 hotels attached by a 20 km tether. The pair will be spinning such that there is 1/6 G acceleration inside each hotel. The hotels will have tethers on winches that they can extend to catch or toss payloads (to the LEO tether - for example).

We use a number of small solar sails attached by long lines to the center of mass to reboost momentum for the GEO-Tether.

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