[ExI] Obama Transition Team Examining Space Solar Power

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 04:11:42 UTC 2008

On Sun, Dec 28, 2008 at 5:27 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> ...On Behalf Of Keith Henso
>> Frankly I don't think there is time for humans to go into
>> space before the singularity comes crashing down on us.
>> Best wishes, Keith
> Keith I quietly came to the same conclusion over the past year since you and
> I have been discussing heavy-lift to GEO.  I have a pretty good feel for the
> pace of this kind of stuff, and estimated it would take fifty years if we
> really managed to get the ball rolling.

The lift project and the power sat production have to be done by about
2015 if they are going to be of any use in replacing fossil fuels.
Considering the length of time, the consequences of not doing the job,
and the fact we have done harder things in shorter times, I see no
reason that we could not set up to make a GW/day of power sat in 6 or
7 years.  Of course it could not be done in business as usual mode.
Nor do I think the the US would even be the lead country in the

> I expect the singularity to happen
> sooner than we can get either space based power generation or significant
> benefit from global warming.

I feel that the singularity will probably be here before a 30 year
power sat production run is done.  But I can't tell you exactly how
long it will take.  The problem is that running out of energy is a bad
enough disaster that even the US could see famines--kids starving.
Power sats might not be the answer, but we have to find *some*
solution to fill the gap.  The next best I know of right now is
building some ten to twenty thousand nuclear reactors.  That's a less
than ideal solution for other reasons.

Power sats have the additional advantages that (if they make sense at
all) they offer the possibility of an energy abundant future where
synthetic liquid fuels could be made for under a dollar a gallon.  Of
course a lot of people think that's a worse idea than famines.


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