#1126: LaunchAid

Today’s invention is a way to help launch rockets.

Instead of ‘reusable’ solid rocket boosters, why not attach an array of fighter jets to the outside of any space-born vehicle? These would provide many of the benefits of normal boosters, avoid any o-ring-related difficulties and operate using proven technology.

You would need about 30 conventional planes to match the Shuttle boosters’ thrust, so they would have to be arrayed carefully on an external frame and coordinated electronically.

At a determined speed (still within Earth’s atmosphere), the jets would decouple themselves and fly back to base. These machines could be remotely piloted, but more likely be flown by astronauts-in-training who would provide extra data about launch related physiology.

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