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Arguably, it's the other way around; to quote Neal Stephenson (Lock-In, 2011):
"Biz Dev guy: we could make a preposterous amount of money from communications satellites.
Engineer: It will be expensive to build those, but even so, nothing compared to the cost of building the machines needed to launch them into orbit.
Biz Dev guy: Funny you should mention that. It so happens that our government has already put $4 trillion into building the rockets and supporting technology we need. There's only one catch.
Engineer: Okay, I'll bite. What's the catch?
Biz Dev guy: Your communications satellite has to be the size, shape and weight of a hydrogen bomb."
LinuxCon: Dragons and penguins in space
Posted Sep 22, 2012 19:03 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
LOL. ICMBs and space expeditions are intrinsically linked, but this story is more convoluted.
USSR won [the early] space race because government paid for it's development because it started development. Of course it was under impression that it pays for ICMBs development, but they started before they even knew how much hydrogen bomb will weight! First hydrogen bomb had weight in excess of 7 metric tons and it was clear that such a large mass can not be hauled to space or between continents (with the use of technology possible back then). Korolev decided to build rocket specifically to send human to the orbit - and then hope that guys who develop the hydrogen bomb will be able to shrink it enough. The ploy worked beautifully: descendants of that some rockets are still the most most frequently used launch vehicle in the world!
So yes, we have only reached space because government gave money to develop the ICBMs, but it does not mean that ICMBs were designed to deliver the hydrogen bomb.
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