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Correct_Inspection25 t1_j6asw5t wrote

HLS depends on LSS and a number of other starship tests beyond LEO, without at least LEO, I am curious how SpaceX will show NASA the HLS starship and in orbit refueling will be ready. You should definitely read the 1970 SLS NASA detailed proposal, it was close to that. It used the MULE/NERVA with 500-1000s ISP that had been tested on the ground and ready for the TLI dedicated lunar presence. There was a shuttle for LEO transfer (sadly dropped to the side of the tank and landable boosters were cut in the abandonment of the space race in 1972), situated on the top of a heavy lift booster, both of which reusable. Sadly it was cut due to the fact the Nixon administration considered the space race won, and the research and development money was better spent on Vietnam.

I don’t really care who wins, just that cost plus contracting is abandoned, and we keep the speed up now we have a Cold War like space race motivating politicians, and the western funding of human presence in deep space flowing to as diverse a basket of opportunities as possible.