[ExI] Power sats and the industrial development of space (was global waming again)
jrd1415 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 21:21:28 UTC 2009
I find much of his discussion frustrating. As an almost-engineer I
place a high value on elegant design. By elegant I mean simple,
efficient, clever or novel or both, seemingly obvious but only after
the fact, and almost always beautiful. Because (to my tastes) they
satisfy none of these criteria, the space elevator and the Orion
concept are repugnant to me.
The solar sat idea -- precursor to the Dyson sphere -- on the other
hand, I find quite thrilling. I would like to suggest -- and I'm
certain others will quickly advise me that this suggestion is both
obvious and "ancient" (I make no claim to originality here)-- that the
two challenges: escape from Earth's gravity well, and the solar sat
provision of abundant, clean, and economical energy, be decoupled. I
would like to see a cost comparison for a solar sat program where the
sats don't come from earth, but either directly from the moon, or from
the moon to a facility at one of the Lagrange points, and thence to
the operating location wherever that may finally be. Such a
calculation would necessarily have to take into account that both the
Lunar base and the Lagrange facility would have many uses beyond the
provision of solar sats, so that the overall cost need not be assigned
completely to the solar sat aspect of their operation.
If I could start the ball rolling,... In no time at all, we could put
a hundred (thousand ?) human workers on the moon and have them
diligently building the first lunar base, if the humans were remote
bot operators performing their moon work by tele-operation. I imagine
bots the size of a hamster. Accompanied by the appropriate inventory
of tools, only a bare minimum of "vitamins" (per Freitas) would need
to come from earth. The hard stuff -- autonomous operation or closure
-- would not be an issue, this not, repeat not, self-replication. And
since the bots operators would not be "locals", operator labor costs
would be low, zero, or even negative. "What?", you say. "Negative,
as in they pay for the privilege to work on this project?" Yes.
Either for the thrill of it, or for an equity stake. Simply stated:
How much would you pay for the chance to operate a moon bot AND AT THE
SAME TIME earn an equity stake in economic paradigm-altering venture?
I'm in my "happy place" now!
How bout chew?
Best, Jeff Davis
"You are what you think."
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