Science: 2 I Tons into Space

"The conquest of space," says Rocket Engineer Harold W. Ritchey, "depends on solid propellants." Dr. Ritchey, chief rocket man for Thiokol Chemical Corp., manufacturer of solid propellants, backs up his flat statement in Astronautics. He has no hope that liquid-fuel rocket engines ("a remarkable chemical processing plant") will ever get spaceships into space.

The trouble with liquid-fuel engines, says Ritchey, is their unreliability, which "is a matter of common knowledge to those who read newspapers." It is hard to make pump-fed engines much more powerful than they are now, and "the reliability of a single liquid-fuel engine is so low...

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