Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
James McLane points out that the shuttle shape is not the only way to build a spaceship.
In an email to me Jim noted that he “is still trying to save NASA.” My response to him was that trying to save NASA right now is more hopeless than Don Quixote chasing a windmill. However, the engineering ideas he outlines in his essay are just the kind of innovative thinking required by the new private companies. And the more ideas the merrier!