I think we're all THAT GUY about something.
Aha! Here is where I bring out some other space nerd stuff.In this configuration it can't really be staged in any way, so the three tips make zero sense.
The solid rocket boosters on the space shuttle are a terrible design. The problem is that they are manufactured in a location that can only get the boosters out to launch facilities via train, and that train has to go through a tunnel, and that tunnel has a curve.
So the boosters not only cannot be too wide for a train to drive through the tunnel, they cannot be too long for the train to navigate the curve inside the tunnel.
They're manufactured in that location because of Federal acquisition regulations, which are designed to ensure that political favouritism doesn't give all the best contracts to the people who are best buddies with politicians. The idea was that if you let that happen, all the contractors in the heartland wouldn't get the big juicy federal contracts. So we have a supposedly fair system to make sure they get a fair shake, and the people who won the contract had this ridiculous limitation.
I always assume the design of any rocket is bounded by a series of stupid, pointless logistical restrictions imposed by things you can't control. Like in this case, the rocket is a half-arsed juryrig contraption based in the engineering principle of "push hard till it moves."