Alongside with the growing interest to the rocket cosmonautics due to the success of SpaceX and other aerospace corporations, the issue of the ecological “footprint” after frequent space flights is also actualized in society. Major western portals focusing on science and technology are increasingly paying attention not only to the danger of the “rocket trend”, but also to alternative concepts, including Anatoli Yunitski’s idea ― the General Planetary Vehicle, which was recently highlighted at the Futurism portal.
Nature-safe ways of exploring the outer space will provide for mankind not only the “global Internet” and an accurate positioning system, but will also make it possible to take the industry out into the near-earth orbit, as Anatoli Yunitski suggests to do.
The actual relevance of the subject of non-rocket space exploration was also emphasized at the Technology.org portal, where an open letter by Anatoli Yunitski to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos was recently posted:
Different kinds of transportation technologies are currently experiencing a huge boost in popularity, especially considering the latest trends of global warming, a phenomenon which now seems almost irreversible. With this in mind, lowering emissions and the overall carbon footprint is important as never before.
The global market slowly responds to this new reality. For example, humanity is slowly but steadily transitioning towards green consumer vehicles, there are plans to heavily innovate our trucking and marine shipping industry, and there are also some noticeable innovations in civil aviation.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars upward after lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT, on April 2, 2018, carrying the SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray, Tim Powers, Tim Terry
Situation in the space exploration sector is a little bit different. Of course, there are plenty of innovations being introduced each year, and if we calculate just the carbon dioxide and water vapor emissions they are quite tiny compared to other industrial sources. But still, there are some solid opinions stating that the current rocket-based space launch technology is literally obsolete and essentially needs to be replaced by revolutionary new approaches.
This problematic issue was recently highlighted by a president and leading engineer of SkyWay company, which specializes in new types of public transportation. In his open letter published on the company’s website, Anatoli Yunitski criticizes some underlying aspects of modern space launch technologies, pointing out some overlooked negative long-term effects and emphasizing the need not just to innovate, but also to find radically new ways to minimize our use of rocket engines by replacing them with more efficient and environmentally-friendlier solutions.
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