[ExI] Obama Transition Team Examining Space Solar Power
sjatkins at mac.com
Mon Dec 29 07:48:00 UTC 2008
Michael LaTorra wrote:
> Estimates of cost per kwh for fusion range from 10 cents US to 1/10th
> cent US. This compares favorably with other sources, at the least, and
> blows away all others at best. (see
> http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2006/11/easy-low-cost-no-radiation-fusion.html )
> You say that if China, Russia and others have solar power sats, then
> they are unlikely to be threatening ours (or one another's). Based on
> history, I doubt that claim. Rather, it would seem more likely that each
> will seek to protect its own sats while developing plausible means to
> threaten the sats of others. This practically guarantees the
> militarization of space.
Then you have a MAD situation where any attack on your neighbors power
sat loses your own.
> And that's without considering non-state actors, AKA terrorists,
> especially al-Qaida and its ilk, who would like nothing better than to
> bring down the power sats of all the aforementioned nations.
Uh huh. How exactly is a weakly funded (compared to a state)
organization going to get the means to reach and knock down a
geosynchronous power sat? That would require advanced space capability.
This a pretty unreasonable bit of FUD.
> Most form of fusoin do produce neutrons, and this is a
> potential concern. But when you've got lemons, you can make lemonade:
> Bussard proposed using high energy neutrons from DT fusion to burn up
> nuclear waste, generating energy and reducing remaining radioactive half
> lives from 4,000 and 5,000 years to 40 to 90 years. (see
> http://www.askmar.com/ConferenceNotes/Should%20Google%20Go%20Nuclear.pdf )
> You said that a power sat can't hit anything that's not under it. Do you
> mean that it is impossible to create a directable beam? Surely such a
> thing is possible. From geostationary orbit, a substantial portion of
> the globe is potentially targetable, as is a large volume of low earth
> orbital space.
The beam density from a power sat is not designed or (unless on purpose)
tunable to a concentration usable as a weapon.
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