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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Space Craft Rope Ladder  
  Equipment used for debarking from a space craft.  

Russell makes good use of the fact that, in traditional Fifties-style rockets, entrance to the rocket was gained far up on the side (when the rocket has landed on its tail).

After scrambling down the precipitous side of the ship on a rope ladder...
From Diabologic, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1955
Additional resources -

There is a long (!) tradition of using ladders from the side of upright rockets that have landed on their fins. For example, in the 1932 story The Radium World, Frank K. Kelly writes:

He took her arm politely, stepped out beside her on the top of the narrow steelite debarking-ladder that led down to the ground.

Here's an illustration of the idea from a 1951 Galaxy magazine:


(Ladder to ground on tail fin rocket)

Find more illustrations on Winchell Chung's Embarking page.

Here's how the problem was solved in the 2015 film The Martian. Note that the ladder extends from the center of the bottom of the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle, a small shuttle ship designed to go from the surface to orbit only).

Compare to the escaladder from Neutron Star (1966) by Larry Niven.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Diabologic
  More Ideas and Technology by Eric Frank Russell
  Tech news articles related to Diabologic
  Tech news articles related to works by Eric Frank Russell

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