[ExI] global warming again.

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 14:45:11 UTC 2009

2009/3/20 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
> On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 1:16 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> If we don't do something peak energy may kill that many.  Global
>> warming probably happens well after.
> In that case, most of the billions would probably accept a very marginal
> increase in their chances to get cancer, or whatever other adverse effect
> temporary Project Orion vehicles launches might generate...
>> But I did take a look at the wiki article.  If half of the largest one
>> is payload, then one launch puts up 4 million kg.  The throughput of
>> the suborbital rocket and laser system puts up about this much in 4
>> years.  So the two transport systems are not that far apart.  A 4 GW
>> laser is one ton of TNT per second.
> Possibly. Let's say however that Project Orion vehicles were already
> feasible, in principle, with the technology of the sixties,

They may not be the case today.  There are neither the designers nor
the production facilities to make these highly specialized bombs now.

>while I do not
> exactly know in which dept store I can get 4GW lasers, or if my power
> company is in a position to provide the juice to operate them to residential
> users... :-)

I would not be all that surprised if some department store does sell
welding lasers.  You just need to buy a lot of them.  Jordin Kare, who
knows far more than I do, says $10/watt is a good number.  As to
power, they would need about 8GW input.  Three Gorges Dam puts out 22
GW.  If the US built them (unlikely, I know) the best place to put
them would be in south Texas with the first stage flying from the
mouth of the Amazon.

I suppose I should mention Orion in power sat transportation talks.
It would take launching a mid sized Orion--using over 1000
bombs--every day to transport the materials needed for power sat
production.  Big lasers look safe and sane in that context.


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