Propellant Depots and Thought Bubbles

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

If you’ve been following space news recently, propellant depots are in the news again.  (If you’re not familiar with “propellant depots,” consider them as a “gas stations” in space – either in low Earth orbit or in other easily accessible locations in space.)  The latest news concerns the claim that NASA internal studies show that propellant depots provide a cheaper alternative to deep space exploration than that provided by the heavy lift options under consideration during the previous summer. I’m not going to address whether the reporting is accurate, or not (and I’m sure that comes to the disappointment of the propellant depot enthusiasts out there).  Instead, I’m going to use propellant depots to address something more fundamental that I hope has benefits beyond this particular arena – examination of my “thought bubbles.”

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Propellant Depots and Thought Bubbles