Issue #1(19) 2019 Opinion

The inadequacies and dangers of modern rocket technology

Anatoli Yunitski Skyway Technologies, Minsk, Belarus

In this open ‘letter’ to space entrepreneurs Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, as well as to all those who intend to proceed with large-scale space commercialisation using carrier rockets, engineer Anatoli Yunitski calls for a complete reappraisal of our reliance on rocket-based technology if we are to complete the industrialisation and commercialisation of space in a way that will not destroy life on our planet.

The names of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and Blue Origin, and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, are widely known all over the world; mine much less so. We are representatives of different cultures, citizens of far-away countries and carriers of different mentalities; and we have different financial potentials for investment in space exploration.

However, we do have some things in common: just like you, I am confident that humankind has no other route to long-term development than the exploration of outer space. But at the same time, I believe it is necessary to take all ecologically dirty industry off the planet.

Like you, I have devoted many decades to the implementation of an alternative space exploration programme. During this time, as an engineer and scientist, I have achieved significant results and made several important conclusions that I consider necessary to share with you in order to warn against errors that could become critical for all of us - people of Earth.

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