I was reading this article called NASA Is Considering Fuel Deopts in the Skies, and I thought that was amazing. The article says that by installing propellant depots in the sky, missions into outer space could be refueled in orbit, allowing them possibly, to go even further distances than they can now. The proposal is meeting reluctance by financial backers, although there will be a meeting next month in Washington to discuss how they will proceed.
First of all, what exactly is a propellant depot? It appears that it is just a device floating in orbit that has fuel tanks. Is it dangerous for us to put more stuff into space? I believe that we have a ton of debris in orbit already, and adding more stuff to our orbit can’t be a good thing. On the other hand, having these propellant depots would allow us to explore further into space could be a good thing. I am all for exploring and expanding our knowledge of the world we live in. Space is so foreign to most people, and every time I go to the Air and Space Smithsonian Museum (all of two times), or the Museum of Science in Boston (at least a dozen times), what I learn about space blows my mind. It is just so incredibly big out there. It reminds me just how small we are in the grand scheme of things. It’s unknown, which makes it interesting and exciting to me. I find the fact that I am so intrigued with space interesting, because the other science I am really interested in is microbiology, which is on the complete opposite size spectrum.
Anyway, what do you guys think about installing these propellant depots in space? Is it good or bad, or not that simple to say one or the other? Is it worth such a huge investment of time and money? Are you as fascinated with space as I am?