Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Big dumb booster
Big Dumb Boosters (BDB) are a general class of launch vehicle built around the idea that it is cheaper to build and operate a large, strong, heavy rocket of simple design than it is to build a smaller, lighter, more cleverly-designed one. Even though the large booster is less efficient, its total cost of operation is cheaper because it is easier to build, operate and maintain.
In general, Russian rockets are closer to the BDB concept than their US counterparts. US rockets tend to be built of the most modern, lightest materials available and to extremely tight tolerances. Many of them require very careful handling to avoid being damaged while on the ground. Russian rockets, on the other hand, tend to be built more heavily. They are built with larger margins of strength and to looser tolerances.
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