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Orbital vs. CATS

Andy, Mike Herr, and others,

I am quite aware of the different abilities needed for sub-orbital vs.
orbital flight. But you must think this is a bunch of hyped-up model
rockets. There has been much progress in amateur rocketry from the Estes kit
at the hobby store. One of the teams I work with manufactures sounding
rockets. The other has been involved in the Black Brant and other Canadian
rocket programs.

The only thing keeping several of these teams from launching is government
regs and requirements. Amateur rocketry is not a rich sport. With the FAA
and NASA requiring multi-million dollar insurance, that is nigh unto
impossible to obtain, one cannot launch from any government facilities. You
can't launch from your own property, even.

You would be quite surprised at what is possible. I tell you what: You go
off and try to get Kistler, Sea Launch (recently delayed due to security
leaks) and other vaporware to launch your projects. When they fold up, or
pull an ArianeSpace/ESA on you, please feel free to come and help us with
our third or fourth launch.

Ken Shock, AB7UP

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