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Optically focusing sunlight does not work when you are deep inside the clouds, collecting your raw material. Inside the cloud, the light will be diffuse and seemingly coming from all directions, even reflecting up from below your ship. If you are able to alternate flying altitude, you could use the lower altitude for cloud mining, then rise higher to get ...


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Launch vehicles don't stage to get the earlier stages out of the way, they stage to get rid of excess mass so they can actually reach orbit with a useful payload. The Shuttle ET was a bit of an exception due to various compromises in its design, and a poor design in that it hauled 27 metric tons of mass up to just short of a circular orbit that could ...


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