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never landed anywhere make the jump from there to another fueling station around the Moon. Then 
LeCroix displayed a most unusual impatience.  AJ1 that doesn t mean anything now. Get on with the
story, Bob.
 Right, agreed Harriman.
 Well, this model should have done it. And, damn it, it still should do it. Harriman looked puzzled.
 But, Bob, that s the approved design, isn t it? That s what you ve got two-thirds built right out there on
the field.
 Yes. Coster looked stricken.  But it won t do it. It won t work.
 Why not?
 Because I ve had to add in too much dead weight, that s why. Mr. Harriman, you aren t an
engineer; you ve no idea how fast the performance falls off when you have to clutter up a ship with
anything but fuel and power plant. Take the landing arrangements for the fifth-stage power ring. You use
that stage for a minute and a half, then you throw it away. But you don t dare take a chance of it falling
on Wichita or Kansas City. We have to include a parachute sequence. Even then we have to plan on
tracking it by radar and cutting the shrouds by radio control when it s over empty countryside and not
too high. That means more weight, besides the parachute. By the time we are through, we don t get a net
addition of a mile a second out of that stage. It s not enough.
Harriman stirred in his chair.  Looks like we made a mistake in trying to launch it from the States.
Suppose we took off from someplace unpopulated, say the Brazil coast, and let the booster stages fall in
the Atlantic; how much would that save you?
Coster looked off in the distance, then took out a slide rule.  Might work.
 How much of a chore will it be to move the ship, at this stage?
 Well . . . it would have to be disassembled completely; nothing less would do. I can t give you a
cost estimate off hand, but it would be expensive.
 How long would it take?
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 Hmm. . .shucks, Mr. Harriman, I can t answer off hand. Two years eighteen months, with luck.
We d have to prepare a site. We d have to build shops.
Harriman thought about it, although he knew the answer in his heart. His shoe string, big as it was,
was stretched to the danger point. He couldn t keep up the promotion, on talk alone, for another two
years; he had to have a successful flight and soon or the whole jerry-built financial structure would
burst.  No good, Bob.
 I was afraid of that. Well, I tried to add still a sixth stage. He held up another sketch.  You see that
monstrosity? I reached the point of diminishing returns. The final effective velocity is actually less with this
abortion than with the five-step job.
 Does that mean you are whipped, Bob? You can t build a Moon ship?
"No, I 
LeCroix said suddenly,  Clear out Kansas.
 Eh? asked Harriman.
 Clear everybody out of Kansas and Eastern Colorado. Let the fifth and fourth sections fall
anywhere in that area. The third section falls in the Atlantic; the second section goes into a permanent
orbit and the ship itself goes on to the Moon. You could do it if you didn t have to waste weight on the
parachuting of the fifth and fourth sections. Ask Bob.
 So? How about it, Bob?
 That s what I said before. It was the parasitic penalties that whipped us. The basic design is all
 Hmmm. . . somebody hand me an Atlas. Harriman looked up Kansas and Colorado, did some
rough figuring. He stared off into space, looking surprisingly, for the moment, as Coster did when the
engineer was thinking about his own work. Finally he said,  It won t work.
 Why not?
 Money. I told you not to worry about money for the ship. But it would cost upward of six or
seven million dollars to evacuate that area even for a day. We d have to settle nuisance suits out of hand;
we couldn t wait. And there would be a few diehards who just couldn t move anyhow.
LeCroix said savagely,  If the crazy fools won t move, let them take their chances.
 I know how you feel, Les. But this project is too big to hide and too big to move. Unless we protect
the bystanders we ll be shut down by court order and force. I can t buy all the judges in two states.
Some of them wouldn t be for sale.
 It was a nice try, Les, consoled Coster.
 I thought it might be an answer for all of us, the pilot answered.
Harriman said,  You were starting to mention another solution, Bob? Coster looked embarrassed.
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 You know the plans for the ship itself a three-man job, space and supplies for three.
 Yes. What are you driving at?
 It doesn t have to be three men. Split the first step into two parts, cut the ship down to the bare
minimum for one man and jettison the remainder. That s the only way I see to make this basic design
work. He got out another sketch.  See? One man and supplies for less than a week. No airlock the
pilot stays in his pressure suit. No galley. No bunks. The bare minimum to keep one man alive for a
maximum of two hundred hours. It will work.
 It will work, repeated LeCroix, looking at Coster.
Harriman looked at the sketch with an odd, sick feeling at his stomach. Yes, no doubt it would
work and for the purposes of the promotion it did not matter whether one man or three went to the
Moon and returned. Just to do it was enough; he was dead certain that one successful flight would cause
money to roll in so that there would be capital to develop to the point of practical, passenger-carrying
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