[ExI] Power sats and the industrial development of space (was global waming again)

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 03:31:48 UTC 2009

On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 7:56 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 9:40 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 2:21 PM, Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 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.
>> You are advocating Gerry O'Neill's space colony program.  It didn't
>> get support back in the 70s and I don't see where things have changed.
> Not true. Shame on you- didn't you live through that period?
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O'Neill_habitat

I was one of the founders of the L5 Society.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L5_Society  And knew Dr. O'Neill very

> "In 1977 O'Neill saw the peak of interest in space colonization, along
> with the publication of his first book, The High Frontier.[36] He and
> his wife were flying between meetings, interviews, and hearings.[5] On
> October 9, the CBS program 60 Minutes ran a segment about space
> colonies. Later they aired responses from the viewers, which included
> one from Senator William Proxmire, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee
> responsible for NASA's budget. His response was, "it's the best
> argument yet for chopping NASA's funding to the bone .... I say not a
> penny for this nutty fantasy".[51] He successfully eliminated spending
> on space colonization research from the budget.[52] In 1978, Paul
> Werbos wrote for the L-5 newsletter, "no one expects Congress to
> commit us to O'Neill's concept of large-scale space habitats; people
> in NASA are almost paranoid about the public relations aspects of the
> idea".[53] When it became clear that a government funded colonization
> effort was politically impossible, popular support for O'Neill's ideas
> started to evaporate.[36]"
> Also see the TOC:
> 3.1 Origin of the idea (1969)
> 3.2 First paper (1970–1974)
> 3.3 NASA studies (1975–1977)
> 3.4 Private funding (1977–1978)
> 3.5 Opposition (1977–1985)
> i.e.,
> "Although NASA was supporting his work with grants of up to $500,000
> per year, O'Neill became frustrated by the bureaucracy and politics
> inherent in government funded research.[3][21] He thought that small
> privately funded groups could develop space technology faster than
> government agencies.[2] In 1977 O'Neill and his wife Tasha founded the
> Space Studies Institute, a non-profit organization, at Princeton
> University.[6][43] SSI received initial funding of almost $100,000
> from private donors, and in early 1978 began to support basic research
> into technologies needed for space manufacturing and settlement.[44]"

Nothing you have said indicates the idea got support in the 79s, at
least not in relation to the support required to do anything with it.

> btw, for anyone with more knowledge on this, why the hell did he start
> off looking into a mass driver? wtf? priorities?

It was very reasonable if you grok the physics involved.


> - Bryan
> http://heybryan.org/
> 1 512 203 0507
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list