[ExI] Savings and wealth (spike)

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun May 31 04:53:44 UTC 2009

On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 4:07 PM,  spike wrote:


>Bringing India and China up
> to western standards will have a lot of consequences, such as making Keith's
> power sat notions suddenly look very attractive.  If that gets done, I
> wouldn't be surprised if China does it.

I am at the ISDC.  Today gave the talk on reducing the cost of a power
sat project to the point it's only about twice what China spent on 3
Gorges Dam.  The technical experts here have not found anything amiss
in the details so far.

The general consensus is that regulation and fear of looking bad makes
power sats something that the US cannot do. For example, a US effort
could not afford to let a single worker (of the thousand or so needed
at GEO) be killed.  If the Chinese had 6,000 die in space every year
it would be less than what they admit are killed in coal mines.

There is also the military aspect of a 4 GW propulsion laser.  The
output is equal to a ton of TNT/second.  Political pressure would
prevent the US from building one even with safeguards to prevent if
from being used as a weapon.  But if India or China decided to solve
their energy problems this way, they could do it.

The military guys here hold the same dark view of the situation.


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