[ExI] Power satellites

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 15:44:32 UTC 2009

On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 7:10 AM, John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> <painlord2k at libero.it>
>> Brad Edwards report to NIAC put development costs to 2 billions in 10
>> years. Building costs 10-20 billions in 3-4 years. Depend on the legal
>> framework, mainly.
> And you believe that moonshine?!

Have you *looked* at how he proposes to do it?  If you have not, you
have no right to call it "moonshine."

Like all elevator proposals it suffers from the problem that we don't
have the nanotube cable yet, but if we did his estimate isn't out of
bounds.  It stars with lifting ~20 t of cable to GEO with rockets.
The rest of the elevator is bootstrapped up from the first thread.

My main problem with what Edwards proposes is the size, it's capacity
is way to small for power sat construction.  I also think he
underestimates the space junk problem, but perhaps not, that has to be
solve in any case and there are multiple ways to do it.

>I think that could be the very worst
> financial estimate in the entire long history of bad financial estimates.
> The International Space Station ended up over budget, of course, it ended up
> costing about 100 billion dollars; and it was tiny, in low earth orbit, and
> people have been making similar things for decades. A Power Satellite would
> be HUGE, it would be in a far more difficult and expensive orbit to reach,
> and nobody has the slightest bit of experience in building anything even
> remotely similar to it.
> And this man thinks he can build it for 10 to 20% of the cost of the Space
> Station. I'd like to contact this Mr. Brad Edwards and sell him some swamp
> land, or a half interest on a perpetual motion machine.

Brad Edwards <brad_edwards at yahoo.com>

I encourage reasoned objections, and there are good reasons to object
to space elevators using climbers.  But folks, at least read the
wikipedia articles on a subject before ripping into it.


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