Bob Kaplow wrote:
Bob (and Ted),
You don't seem to get it -- it's a simple matter of economics. And by
economics, I mean the resources of my life.
I'm not rich. I'm not even sure I'm well off. And I have more of a
tendency to 'do-it-yourself' than 99% of the people I know. I'm an
electronics engineer, and over my lifetime most of my equipment has been
built, not bought (for example). I've rebuilt my own car transmissions
by hand, in my driveway (including an automatic) -- not because I
couldn't afford otherwise, but because I wanted to learn. I rebuilt my
engine in my first car before I'd done my first tune-up on it (but
that's another story <G>). I'm one of those who wire-wrapped an S100
computer, etc. (and I know that some of the very few people who've done
similar things are probably in this group).
That having been said, it is MY CHOICE to have someone else build a
launch pad for me. I have built many launch pads over the years,
controllers, etc., but at the present time I need a sturdy, rail-capable
pad, and I have neither the tools, time, nor experience, to make the
kind of robust pad that I would like. I do my share (more than my
share, frankly) in giving back to the community and to helping teach the
next generation about rocketry, space, aviation, etc., so I don't feel
'obligated' to try and give a local school a 'project' to work on -- and
it given the level of bureaucracy these days, I'd probably be able to
build one by hand (learning welding and everything else) faster than I
could get something like that 'approved' by the local school system.
I CHOOSE which fields of endeavor that interest me, and where I'd like
to spend 'additional time'. Building a launch pad is not one of them.
Yes, learning to weld would be 'positive' and 'interesting', but the
reality is that is true of MANY things in live. I have other interests
outside of rocketry, let alone working at a job and trying to raise a
family. So, it is my CHOICE to follow this.
And, by the way, your argument falls apart unless you go out and mine
the ore, smelt the iron, design your welding/cutting equipment, etc.
You CHOOSE to get those things through the work of others, because it's
more ECONOMICAL (in terms of time, money, and other resources) for you
to do so. Where, exactly, is the difference here?