Operational Considerations

Given the characteristics of the OMVs, the question is how to make these spacecraft an operational infrastructure and what is required, in addition to the OMVs, to build an operational infrastructure. The next five subsections will attempt to put the needs for an operational infrastructure into perspective. In fact, one of the most critical issues, if not the most critical, is the orbital propellant resources required to sustain an operational infrastructure. The availability of infrastructure hardware and configuration is important, but without propellant all grinds to a standstill. The infrastructure will probably be configured in some type of constellation so that resources are available over the infrastructure shell around the Earth. Resources are scarce, so the operators of the infrastructure must be a frugal group, not wasting any reusable resource or hardware. And, finally, with the infrastructure populated with human beings that are not pilots, but workers with identified tasks and tourists hoping to see and experience space, a viable and readily available rescue and return capability is necessary.

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