Beamed propulsion could achieve single stage to orbit.
It could be 6 to 100 times cheaper.
Most of the rocket becomes payload.
DARPA funded developing a heat exchanger for direct energy.
They tested a microwave beam director for a 100KW microwave source.
The Breakthrough starshot update was the cost and engineering system model. This was covered by Nextbigfuture.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.