[ExI] Obama Transition Team Examining Space Solar Power

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Mon Dec 29 07:48:00 UTC 2008

Michael LaTorra wrote:
> Keith,
> 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.

- samantha

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