[ExI] Millions of tons to space

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 19:18:13 UTC 2011


On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 5:00 AM,   Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 90, Issue 29
> Message-ID:
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> On 23 March 2011 19:28, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> 2011/3/23 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
>> > Moreover, since it would be a "just-once" project, as far as rational
>> > choices are concerned, one could reasonably compare the costs and damages
>> > expectedly arising from its employment with those of *not* doing it.
>>
>> If it's just once, how does it take less resources to develop nuclear
>> rockets - if this is the only thing they'll ever be used for - instead of
>> simply building a few more chemical rockets?
>>
>>
> "Develop"? In my understanding, the technology was already more or less
> there in the sixties. The fuel is already stocked in strategic arsenals, and
> has already been paid for. And by no means you are easily taking thousands
> of tons out of the earth gravity wells with chemical rockets...

We have already taken out thousands of tons, though I agree it wasn't easy.

A power satellite project of significant size (enough to make a
difference in world energy) requires at least a million tons per year
lifted to GEO.

And the cost has to be $100/kg or less for power satellites to make
economic sense.

That's a continuous flow of over 100 tons per hour.  A moving cable
(loop) space elevator would draw 1.5 GW

That would be 3-4 flights per hour of a vehicle derived from a Skylon
and power by 6 GW of lasers.

Even NASA is thinking about beamed energy rockets now.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/01/25/nasa-exploring-lasers-beams-zap-rockets-outer-space/

Nuclear rockets are not likely for political reasons.

Keith

> Stefano Vaj
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:53:25 +0100
> From: Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] note from a foaf in japan
> Message-ID: <4D8DEFD5.7050804 at libero.it>
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>
>
> Il 25/03/2011 10.23, Kelly Anderson ha scritto:
>> On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM, Keith Henson
>> <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 5:00 AM,   Kelly Anderson
>>> <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> It seems unlikely to me that humans are genetically diverse
>>>> enough to account for highly social behavior in the face of
>>>> disaster as a genetic issue. It seems much more likely to be a
>>>> 100% cultural issue.
>>>
>>> I would not discount the genetic angle.  I know it is not
>>> politically correct, but consider the differences between wild and
>>> tame foxes that came about in only 20 generations (with much of it
>>> in 8).  It depends on a consistent selection criteria.  If you
>>> have not read Gregory Clark's work, you should.
>>
>> I am familiar with the fox experiment in Russia (Siberia). In that
>> experiment, 1% of each generation was selected for each trait
>> (aggressive and tame) and 99% were put down.
>
> I have a big problem believing these numbers.
> Simply, I don't think they started with 10^16 foxes and then culled down
> the 99% too aggressive or not enough tame.
> Given a normal figure of 6 kitten per litter or 10 (very optimistic), it
> is difficult to believe that.
> A fox couple would need to have 100 kitten, and the female fox would
> need to give birth ten times (at least) during her life (improbable, as
> the live 1.5 years in the wild and up to twelve - very rarely - in
> captivity and I suppose their fecundity after the first two years is
> very low).
>
> Now, the article of  1992 give number a bit different from yours:
> 5% of the males and 20% of the females could breed in in the first
> generations.
> This is a severe selection, but not as severe as you wrote.
> Humans were/are selected under historically a bit less severe conditions.
>
> >From what I remember, it is common, during history, that only 40% of the
> males and 80% of the female reproduce.
> We can add to this that humans are able to move in other places, if
> local conditions are unfriendly. And they are able of assortative
> mating. These possibilities can, alone, make up for the difference in
> selective pressure.
>
>> That is a VERY heavy selection mechanism. Lots of genes go away very
>> quickly under that heavy of a culling.
>
> Again, this is against what the article say.
> After any selection, they added new foxes from commercial breed farm.
> These foxes were at the early stages of domestication (the point where
> the experiment started). So, the chance of interbreeding of recessive
> traits is very low (2-7%) for every generation.
>
>> Humans have never faced that level of culling, so getting rid of any
>> specific set of genes is very difficult.
>
> Given the wrong premises, I can not agree with the conclusions.
>
>> We know this because two humans from any part of the world are more
>> closely genetically related than two chimpanzees from 20 miles apart
>> in Africa. The bottleneck around 600,000 years ago (Tambura(sp)
>> supervolcano??) was estimated to reduce the human ancestor population
>> to around 4000 individuals. So the chances of that big of a genetic
>> drift coming in seems very slight to me.
>
> The drifts is, probably, not so big. But I would call it difference, as
> drift recall some random process. And this is all but random.
>
>> If the Japanese had put down 99% of their population on
>> socialization principles, then I would be more likely to believe
>> there was a genetic component.
>
> In China, numbers I red said that 10% of the people (usually the poor)
> didn't reproduce in normal conditions (peace time). And this is
> consistent with the rate in other places like Western Europe.
> This rate is a mean, so it is very probable that poorer men didn't
> breed, where poorer women had a chance to reproduce with wealthier (than
> them) men.
> This would have amplified the reproductive fitness of the wealthier men
> a bit.
>
>> Obviously, I could be wrong here, but I think it would be hard to
>> prove either way. However, from a genetics standpoint, there just
>> isn't a heavy enough hand IMHO to have Occam come down on genetic vs.
>> culture in this particular case.
>
> The problem is, if culture is the culprit, it would work everywhere in
> the same way. This, in the US is not true, as North-East Asians are law
> abiding more than Europeans that are more abiding than Latino Americans
> that are more law abiding than blacks.
> They are all exposed  to the same culture (or cultures) and the outcome
> is very different. And this is consistent.
>
>> By the way, I'd love to get a hold of a mating pair of those tame
>> foxes.
>
> You only need money.
> http://www.sibfox.com/
> $6,950 (USA only) (delivery at your door in max 90 days)
>
>> Have we had a serious disaster in those populations? I can't think of
>> one off the top of my head.
>
> I don't remember big riots or revolts during the fall of the East block.
> The only violence outbreaks were when some groups in power tried to take
> the power from another group (Romania was a coup against the Chaucescu -
> Gorbachev fell because a coup by the communist party).
>
> Nothing like LA riots or LO after Katrina and likes.
>
>>> I suspect several thousand years of farming in north temperate
>>> zones worked some fairly serious changes in the genetics of the
>>> populations, changes that a few decades of cultural variations
>>> don't erase.
>
>> Only where there is a selection pressure, such as melatonin in the
>> skin leading to skin cancer... You have to spell out the
>> selection/survival vector for this to be a credible genetic theory.
>
> Change in melatonin happened for Vit D deficit, not the reverse.
>
>>>>> What are the difference in behavior between Sendai (Japan) and
>>>>> Bam (Iran) or Indonesia, Italy, Chile and China or New Orleans
>>>>> (US)?
>
>>> You might include Haiti.  Re China:
>
>> I think Haiti went to hell after the earthquake. Roaming bands of
>> rapists and such. Having been to Haiti myself, it isn't hard to
>> believe. They have a really messed up culture from decades of living
>>  off of the generosity of the first world.
>
> I don't remember they had any different culture before.
> IIRC, when Haiti gained his independence from France, they killed all
> the whites in their half of Santo Domingo (male, female and children).
> It could not be strange the Dominicans (the other half of the island) as
> black as them, but a colony from England, hate and despise them with all
> their heart and their past relations (probably even the current) were
> very violent.
>
>> Yes, I believe you are absolutely right here. I don't think that is
>> much of an argument for genetics, just an argument for the
>> persistence of underlying culture in the face of totalitarianism.
>> Just look at the comeback of Christianity in Russia...
>
> But Christianity is coming back in Russia because it was resilient or
> because the genetics of the russians make it easier to it to return.
>
>>> Clark makes a case that impulse control has been intensely
>>> selected in stable societies along with literacy and numeracy.
>
>> If you were going to pick something, that might do it. However, you
>> would pretty quickly weed out any effective warrior class, which
>> could have downsides if other societies did not pick the same.
>
> In fact, stable societies don't like warrior classes. They want soldier
> classes. Warriors' ability to wage a war don't scale where the ability
> of soldiers scale much better. And, usually, stable societies are able
> to field much more soldiers than unstable ones, for more time and with
> stable goals.
>
> In fact, modern and less modern armies usually make a point to kill
> their soldiers that don't respect orders and kill out of the
> battlefield, without orders and without a good reason.
>
> IMHO, modern armies want soldiers that have an internal "switch" they
> (soldiers) are able to turn on and off at will. The "switch" to kill and
> use violence.
>
> --
> Leggimi su Extropolitica Blog <http://extropolitca.blogspot.com/>
> Leggimi su Estropico Blog <http://estropico.blogspot.com/>
>
> *Mirco Romanato*
>
>
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 10:54:47 -0700
> From: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 90, Issue 29
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTin2o-ZbAYaRFNQ_GoMd8PBPaFNCD+P+eHxY_GZu at mail.gmail.com>
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>
> 2011/3/26 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
>> "Develop"? In my understanding, the technology was already more or less
>> there in the sixties.
>
> Proof of concept, sure.  Blueprints for a system that could be built today?
> More importantly, how much of it does any private venture - or even NASA -
> have ready access to today?  (Remember, it's been discovered that the
> Saturn rockets could not be rebuilt today, due to loss of knowledge and
> parts; you'd have to redevelop those entirely.  Same thing applies here.)
>
>> The fuel is already stocked in strategic arsenals, and
>> has already been paid for.
>
> By agencies with no intention of using them for this venture, in forms that
> are not well suited for this venture.  You'd have to buy it and reprocess it.
>
>> And by no means you are easily taking thousands
>> of tons out of the earth gravity wells with chemical rockets...
>
> Irrelevant.  There's plenty of mass inside Earth's gravity well.  (BTW,
> that's "well", singular, since you're talking about one planet.)
>
> What's relevant is the cost of doing so.  You're far (far far *FAR*) more
> constrained financially than in availability of sheer mass, so between
> those two, you need to optimize for the financial angle to get best
> results.  (I.e., highest chance of getting this package into space in
> such a way that it can do what you want it to do there.)
>
> If you have $100 million, and spend $40 million of that developing a
> payload that's no more than 4,540 kg to geosynchronous transfer
> orbit (with common rockets, that's about 2,270 kg to GEO, or a bit
> more to Earth escape), the remaining $60 million can purchase a
> single Falcon 9 launch.  Building, testing, and launching a nuclear
> rocket would take more than $60 million, even if you got the payload
> down to 1 milligram (mainly, the cost to get access to enough
> nuclear fuel and the equipment to reprocess it).  Most packages of
> interest would take more than $40 million to develop anyway.
>
> There are efforts underway to drop a few 0s from the end of that -
> both in cost per kg and in minimum size.  Just assuming one order
> of magnitude on both sides - say you got your payload to under 200
> kg, it'd cost $400,000.  One example: NASA has a Centennial
> Challenge out to pay $2 million to someone who can get a 1 kg
> package into orbit twice (and that's for the entire R&D program, not
> just the two launches) - see
> http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/centennial_challenges/nano_satellite/index.html
>
> So, it simply costs more than it's worth to go nuclear if you're only
> ever going to use it once.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 13:33:45 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Universally versus 'locally' Friendly AI
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTiko7Q+ETYcALsFKZr-TN7hjZM-5QuCGt_1yzM3L at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 9:14 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> Indeed? ?We select? ?Agreed it is *important* we select, but we do not and
>> cannot select. ?Whoever is successful in figuring out how to create AGI
>> selects themselves.
>
> Here is part of my vision... I believe that there will be a movement
> to preserve human cultures as we transition to trans-human substraits.
> We will also find that while duplicating existing AGIs is easy,
> creating them from scratch will entail a great deal of work in each
> individual case. We will not want millions of identical AIs, but many
> different ones. Diversity will be valued as much in the AI world as it
> is in the human world.
>
> Much of my efforts over the last decade has been dealing with the
> negative effects of Personality Disorders. Our society has become very
> good at creating children with various personality disorders such as
> Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic PD and Antisocial PD.
> There are about twenty such disorders recognized by the DSM
> (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and they are
> in the process of coming out with a revised DSM manual.
>
> If we create a significant number of AGIs with PDs, we will find the
> future of humanity to be much more tenuous than otherwise. Hitler, for
> example, is believed to have had nine such disorders. Saddam Hussein
> is believed to have had eight. My ex wife had two (maybe three)
> personality disorders, so I have a great deal of personal experience
> with the negative effects.
>
>>>... They might even find themselves watched, like in the Truman Show, to
>> make sure they get it right.
>>
>> Indeed? ?Watched by who? ?How would the watchers know what to watch for?
>
> I believe that any AGI being trained, or raised, or whatever you want
> to call the programming by experience phase, should be supervised by
> psychologists to make sure that they are not abused (verbally,
> physically or mentally) by those doing the training. If a bad day
> comes up, I hope there will be a way to unwind to yesterday and try
> again.
>
> To preserve human diversity, we will have to have parents/trainers
> from every culture that we choose to preserve or promote to the next
> level of humanity. It would be a shame for rich cultures such as those
> of Tibet and Nepal to be lost as we transition to the future. It would
> be doubly shameful if all AGIs were western.
>
>>> ...If we screw up on the first generation of AGI, then humanity is toast,
>> IMHO. ?-Kelly
>>
>> Indeed.
>
> The important thing here is that we raise/train AGIs not just for
> intelligence, but also with some level of compassion, love, empathy,
> human-ness such that they will value butterflies, the platypus,
> dingos, and yes humans. We need both conservative and liberal AGIs. We
> need both atheist and theistic AGIs. In short, whatever diversity we
> want to preserve, we're going to have to preserve it in that first
> generation. We want AGIs that appreciate beauty, music, intelligence,
> and other things that we humans value. If we drop the appreciation of
> opera and ballet, we might survive that... ;-)
>
> I assume that the second generation AGIs will be raised/trained by the
> first generation AGIs, and that we will have very little to do with it
> from that point forward. So getting that first generation to have the
> human preserving value systems is very important to the ultimate
> survival of humanity. Making sure that we don't raise a generation of
> AGIs with personality disorders is extremely critical IMNSHO.
>
> Perhaps we're screwed anyway, but I don't think it will hurt to try to
> preserve as much human diversity as we can into our "children", so
> that they can appreciate us to the degree necessary to preserve us.
> Alcor won't be able to extend human life if the environment ends up
> being unfriendly towards humans. There is a history of humanity wiping
> out close competitors. There are no Neanderthals or Homo Erectus
> walking around today. We will have to be careful not to fall into the
> trap we're setting for ourselves. Second generation AGIs will also
> have to have compassion for first generation AGIs... recursively... so
> we will have some self preservation empathy to help us.
>
> My ideas along these lines are not fully developed, but I do believe
> that training AGIs will have to be done with great focus and care to
> avoid disaster. I plead for us to pay attention to the psychological
> health of our non biological children. We don't want a bunch of
> Romanian orphans running the future.
>
> -Kelly
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:47:05 -0700
> From: "spike" <spike66 at att.net>
> To: "'ExI chat list'" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID: <007501cbebee$95c4fd50$c14ef7f0$@att.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"
>
> ... On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes
> Subject: Re: [ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 90, Issue 29
>
>>...  (Remember, it's been discovered that the Saturn rockets could not be
> rebuilt today, due to loss of knowledge and parts; you'd have to redevelop
> those entirely.  Same thing applies here.)
>
> ...
>
> Adrian, when that notion (we couldn't build a S5 today) was first getting a
> lot of play was in the late 80s, early 90s, when it became perfectly clear
> that the shuttle was not going to live up to expectations in so many ways.
> At that time, there was a great deal of argument, plenty of guys arguing
> that even though some documentation had been lost, we could build it again,
> etc.  But that was over 20 years ago, and we never did act on it.  Whether
> or not it was true then, I suspect few would argue with you now.
>
> Not only would they need to be redeveloped, in many ways they might be more
> expensive to redevelop now than they were 50 years ago, because of more
> rigorous standards for modern flight hardware.
>
> A lot of my old friends from my misspent youth have buried their fathers by
> now, along with most of the stories from the heady days of the 1960s in the
> rocket business.  The majority of these stories have never been recorded.  I
> have tried to collect as many as I can, but so much has been lost which can
> never be recovered.
>
> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the final
> frontier.  We now set our sights on inner space, cyber space and thought
> space.  Ultimately I think interplanetary space will be the future abode of
> our mind children, but not humans in our current form.  We take up too much
> space and have too much material hanging all over us which doesn't do much
> of anything useful.
>
> spike
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 6
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:06:44 +0100
> From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 90, Issue 29
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTi=vGwTdgYj4Q4yiY9MYJY2AqshDwfDu_yKB_BA4 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On 26 March 2011 18:54, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
>> More importantly, how much of it does any private venture - or even NASA -
>> have ready access to today? ?(Remember, it's been discovered that the
>> Saturn rockets could not be rebuilt today, due to loss of knowledge and
>> parts; you'd have to redevelop those entirely. ?Same thing applies here.)
>
> I am afraid you may have a point here. :-(
>
> Speaking of technological exponential curves... :-)
>
>>> The fuel is already stocked in strategic arsenals, and
>>> has already been paid for.
>>
>> By agencies with no intention of using them for this venture, in forms that
>> are not well suited for this venture. ?You'd have to buy it and reprocess it.
>
> Agreed. In fact, everything is just a hypothetical in the present
> circumstances. But things have the habit of changing quickly, and in
> any event no harm involved in learning that "we could, if we really
> wanted"...
>
>>> And by no means you are easily taking thousands
>>> of tons out of the earth gravity wells with chemical rockets...
>>
>> Irrelevant. ?There's plenty of mass inside Earth's gravity well. ?(BTW,
>> that's "well", singular, since you're talking about one planet.)
>
> Mistype. What I am trying to say is that you are not likely ever to be
> putting large-scale space-based solar power in place with chemical
> rockets. Could we break even, with a predetermined number of Project
> Orion propulsion launches, if somebody ever dared to do it before it
> is too late?
>
> --
> Stefano Vaj
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 7
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:14:14 -0700
> From: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTin0FwbfjT1UfVg=9hRzMfakbgCeqyHsOD+oeY50 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 12:47 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the final
>> frontier. ?We now set our sights on inner space, cyber space and thought
>> space.
>
> Because they don't see what can be done with it.  There are all kinds of
> far-out visions promoted - but they are very expensive, with little near-turn
> returns, and smaller stuff keeps getting glossed over.  Launching a single
> probe for under $1 million is not currently possible, making it very hard to
> start stuff in space.
>
> Meanwhile, $1 million can easily fund another dotcom startup that may
> actually deliver value to many, and you don't need a lot of people to get
> one going.
>
> This is why I came up with that asteroid mining plan.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 8
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:20:20 -0700
> From: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 90, Issue 29
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTikNUi53b3CUMDYxJwy=-21E-B0jaH3MnXTB0LJk at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 2:06 PM, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> What I am trying to say is that you are not likely ever to be
>> putting large-scale space-based solar power in place with chemical
>> rockets. Could we break even, with a predetermined number of Project
>> Orion propulsion launches, if somebody ever dared to do it before it
>> is too late?
>
> I suspect that large scale space-based solar power is likely to require
> manufacturing on and launching from the moon (or some other non-Earth
> source, but the moon seems simplest), in part because of this issue.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 9
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:24:49 +0100
> From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Universally versus 'locally' Friendly AI
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTikh06frw3-SrRWsJ0cAKq2k_R3X4spvmNy=b=r9 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On 26 March 2011 20:33, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Here is part of my vision... I believe that there will be a movement
>> to preserve human cultures as we transition to trans-human substraits.
>
> My own view is that preservation, and re-creation, of diverse human
> cultures is our best bet for (a) posthuman change(s) and against the
> threat of a normalised, static, universal Brave New World...
>
> Of course, posthuman cultures are very likely to be composed of, or at
> least to include, AGIs, some emulating actual individuals having run
> on carbon one time or another, some being purely artificial.
>
> --
> Stefano Vaj
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 10
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 21:36:40 +0000
> From: Jeremy Webb <jedwebb at hotmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP1893A146464788C69064D36B6B80 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>
> This is funny,
>
>>> ...  (Remember, it's been discovered that the Saturn rockets could not be
>> rebuilt today, due to loss of knowledge and parts; you'd have to redevelop
>> those entirely.  Same thing applies here.)
>
> Your example team of people doesn't know aeronautics, get someone that does.
> What's so hard to understand about cryo based rocketry anyway? It's just a
> bunch of math ...
>
>> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the final
>> frontier.
>
> A guess, I know astronautics is very popular with young people from my
> research. I think the nihilsm that you are picking up means you are reading
> up on the subject from people who don't know how to do it. If someone
> managed this is the 60s then therefore it *must* be possible and anyone who
> tells you that it is not possible may not be a suitable science and
> engineering contractor for this job.
>
> Anyway thanks for making me laugh out loud for once!
>
> J. Webb
>
> Jeremy Webb Heathen Vitki
> e-Mail: jedwebb at hotmail.com
> http://jeremywebb301.tripod.com/vikssite/index.html
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 11
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:56:41 +0100
> From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTinxyBhZjwdhhg_foG8WOT1eafbFC_M0SjyHdnTj at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On 26 March 2011 20:47, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the final
>> frontier. ?We now set our sights on inner space, cyber space and thought
>> space. ?Ultimately I think interplanetary space will be the future abode of
>> our mind children, but not humans in our current form. ?We take up too much
>> space and have too much material hanging all over us which doesn't do much
>> of anything useful.
>
> Cultural decadence and slowing of change not having any part at all in
> such POV? And yet falling back on "inner space" and complaining about
> the technical hardship and/or pointlessness of previous goals is
> hardly a new phenomenon in human history...
>
> --
> Stefano Vaj
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 12
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:02:08 -0700
> From: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTi=Bz+V5wExRvVUSb0_0s3tK1zij3w1v35nrCZm8 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 2:36 PM, Jeremy Webb <jedwebb at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Your example team of people doesn't know aeronautics, get someone that does.
>> What's so hard to understand about cryo based rocketry anyway? It's just a
>> bunch of math ...
>
> Hopefully, you are joking.  Unfortunately, a lot of people seriously believe
> exactly that.
>
> Bending metal is not just a bunch of math.  Ask anyone who works in a
> machine shop of any sort.  (Auto garage mechanics are a classic example.)
> Math is part of the job, but far from all or even most of it
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 13
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:34:07 -0700
> From: "spike" <spike66 at att.net>
> To: "'ExI chat list'" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID: <00be01cbec05$eb9bf7d0$c2d3e770$@att.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"
>
>
>>... On Behalf Of Stefano Vaj
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
>
> On 26 March 2011 20:47, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>>> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the
> final frontier...
>
>>...Cultural decadence and slowing of change not having any part at all in
> such POV? And yet falling back on "inner space" and complaining about the
> technical hardship and/or pointlessness of previous goals is hardly a new
> phenomenon in human history...-- Stefano Vaj
>
>
> Cultural decadence has *everything* to do with it.
>
> I am not arguing that the task is too difficult technically.  Clearly it
> isn't.  I would argue that the chances are now remote of getting enough
> money charging in the same direction.
>
> Most governments will not be able to get that done.  The US government is
> waaaay out of the running for that, and should be out of it anyway: they
> accomplished it fifty years ago.  Now it must pay up.  China, maybe.  Before
> we can do much with this however, we need to balance the energy budget.
>
> spike
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 14
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 18:48:14 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: [ExI] Moving big things in Utah tonight
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTi=wUuqrALdROy4SrByfhEA2LL8eVaeso4Yfy-95 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> Tonight, the Utah Transportation Authority will break the western
> hemisphere record for moving a bridge constructed at the side of the
> road. It is 80' x 354', roughly the size of a football field.
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORtXe3trR_o
>
> Is that cool or what? If it weren't going to be snowing at the time,
> I'd go watch, even though it is in the middle of the night.
>
> Apparently 60% of ALL bridges built in this way have been built in
> Utah. Why wouldn't they do this in California and other places? It
> takes the disruption of traffic down from several months to one night
> and makes things safer for workers too.
>
> -Kelly
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 15
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 18:58:45 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTi=otbEf37Zz1c9wwkAqwyCw+YR_MX80FNgMoi8Z at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>>> I think the future in offline storage MAY lie in compressed air. Large
>>
>> No, only for very large scale. The thermodynamics of it doesn't allow
>> small scale.
>
> Tell it to Tata motors.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_car
> If I could score some parts from a Tata Nano, I think I could make a
> nice storage system... I don't understand what you mean by the
> thermodynamics of the situation in detail, I do understand that
> compressed air can get very hot and needs to be cooled... but it would
> SEEM that Tata has resolved these issues to some extent.
>
>>> building sized batteries also have some interesting potential. An
>>
>> The car industry will bring you pretty powerful batteries within
>> the next 10 years.
>
> I hope so. Battery power stored per kilogram follows a Law of
> Accelerating Returns curve, does it not?
>
>> Yes, but one of the most inefficient things you can do with PV
>> panels you rely on to sit under snow. Climbing up the roof to
>> clean them off is not a particular sane way of dealing with the
>> situation.
>
> I think it is the only sane way to deal with it... putting in a
> heating system is just not practical. If I had it to do over again, I
> would not have put the PV on the roof.
>
>> If I knew I had to do that, I'd have a roof which is trivial
>> to access and safe to be on, or built electric heating, starting
>> with small segments below so that the PV panels assist with self-dethaw,
>> or install combination solar thermal/photovoltaics (I presume you
>> have Si panels, these would profit from liquid cooling) and dethaw
>> them by running a warm liquid until snow slides off.
>
> How would you keep the tubes of warm liquid from freezing? Run it all the time?
>
>>> likely not pay back for a week or more, by which time it would have
>>> snowed again.
>>
>> Again, you can do things very hard for you, if you want to.
>
> The question is whether it can be profitably done cheaply.
>
>>> I have no alternative. If I could easily hook up a little coal power
>>> plant, you bet I would... :-)
>>
>> You already have gasoline generators, why are you not running these to
>> defrost the panels? If you have gasoline generator backup, why do you
>> have batteries? I don't know the details of your installation, of course.
>
> The reason for batteries is to run off of the solar at night, when the
> sun has shone all day. Ideally, the generator would only come on once
> a week or so, say on a night after a cloudy day.
>
> -Kelly
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 16
> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:40:56 -0700
> From: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Moving big things in Utah tonight
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTi=KQ-RMfPTLHQmrN7mm=d=bA6VEN83q3s_Xkyot at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 5:48 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Tonight, the Utah Transportation Authority will break the western
>> hemisphere record for moving a bridge constructed at the side of the
>> road. It is 80' x 354', roughly the size of a football field.
>>
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORtXe3trR_o
>>
>> Is that cool or what? If it weren't going to be snowing at the time,
>> I'd go watch, even though it is in the middle of the night.
>>
>> Apparently 60% of ALL bridges built in this way have been built in
>> Utah. Why wouldn't they do this in California and other places? It
>> takes the disruption of traffic down from several months to one night
>> and makes things safer for workers too.
>
> 1) Not Invented Here
>
> 2) Because it is not well understood by contractors out here, and/or
> not well adapted to particular details of the local geography, the
> projected costs would be way up for doing it out here.  Note, for
> example, that this bridge is being moved into place over completely
> dry ground - freeway, in fact - that can take the load and allow workers
> to access the bottom without special equipment.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 17
> Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 11:22:25 +0200
> From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> Message-ID: <20110327092225.GL23560 at leitl.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 12:47:05PM -0700, spike wrote:
>
>> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the final
>> frontier.  We now set our sights on inner space, cyber space and thought
>> space.  Ultimately I think interplanetary space will be the future abode of
>> our mind children, but not humans in our current form.  We take up too much
>> space and have too much material hanging all over us which doesn't do much
>> of anything useful.
>
> I still think we'll see the beginning of it in first teleoperated
> and then autonomous lunar mining. We'll be getting space tourism
> allright -- as rentable microscale telepresence moon buggies.
>
> --
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
> ______________________________________________________________
> ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
> 8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 18
> Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 13:38:06 +0200
> From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?
> Message-ID: <20110327113806.GM23560 at leitl.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
>
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 06:58:45PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>> >> I think the future in offline storage MAY lie in compressed air. Large
>> >
>> > No, only for very large scale. The thermodynamics of it doesn't allow
>> > small scale.
>>
>> Tell it to Tata motors.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_car
>
> Disadvantages
>
> The principal disadvantage is the indirect use of energy. Energy is used to compress air, which - in turn - provides the energy to run the motor. Any conversion of energy between forms results in loss. For conventional combustion motor cars, the energy is lost when chemical energy in fossil fuels is converted to heat energy, most of which goes to waste. For compressed-air cars, energy is lost when chemical energy is converted to electrical energy, and then when electrical energy is converted to compressed air.
> When air expands in the engine it cools dramatically (Charles's law) and must be heated to ambient temperature using a heat exchanger. The heating is necessary in order to obtain a significant fraction of the theoretical energy output. The heat exchanger can be problematic: while it performs a similar task to an intercooler for an internal combustion engine, the temperature difference between the incoming air and the working gas is smaller. In heating the stored air, the device gets very cold and may ice up in cool, moist climates.
> Conversely, when air is compressed to fill the tank it heats up: as the stored air cools, its pressure decreases and available energy decreases. It is difficult to cool the tank efficiently while charging and thus it would either take a long time to fill the tank, or less energy is stored.
> Refueling the compressed air container using a home or low-end conventional air compressor may take as long as 4 hours, though specialized equipment at service stations may fill the tanks in only 3 minutes.[3] To store 14.3 kWh @300 bar in 300 l (90 m3 @ 1 bar) reservoirs, you need at least 93 kWh on the compressor side (with an optimum single stage compressor working on the ideal adiabatic limit), or rather less with a multistage unit. That means, a compressor power of over 1 Megawatt (1000 kW) is needed to fill the reservoirs in 5 minutes from a single stage unit, or several hundred horsepower for a multistage one.[6][citation needed]
> The overall efficiency of a vehicle using compressed air energy storage, using the above refueling figures, cannot exceed 14%, even with a 100% efficient engine?and practical engines are closer to 10-20%.[7] For comparison, well to wheel efficiency using a modern internal-combustion drivetrain is about 20%,[8] Therefore, if powered by air compressed using a compressor driven by an engine using fossil fuels technology, a compressed air car would have a larger carbon footprint than a car powered directly by an engine using fossil fuels technology.
> Early tests have demonstrated the limited storage capacity of the tanks; the only published test of a vehicle running on compressed air alone was limited to a range of 7.22 km.[9]
> A 2005 study demonstrated that cars running on lithium-ion batteries out-perform both compressed air and fuel cell vehicles more than threefold at the same speeds.[10] MDI has recently claimed that an air car will be able to travel 140 km in urban driving, and have a range of 80 km with a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph) on highways,[11] when operating on compressed air alone, but in as late as mid 2009, MDI has still not produced any proof to that effect.
> A 2009 University of Berkeley Research Letter found that "Even under highly optimistic assumptions the compressed-air car is significantly less efficient than a battery electric vehicle and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional gas-powered car with a coal intensive power mix." however they also suggested, "a pneumatic?combustion hybrid is technologically feasible, inexpensive and could eventually compete with hybrid electric vehicles."[12]
>
>
>> If I could score some parts from a Tata Nano, I think I could make a
>> nice storage system... I don't understand what you mean by the
>> thermodynamics of the situation in detail, I do understand that
>
> Just ideal gas law.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_energy_storage
>
> Compression of air generates a lot of heat. The air is warmer after compression. Decompression requires heat. If no extra heat is added, the air will be much colder after decompression. If the heat generated during compression can be stored and used again during decomression, the efficiency of the storage improves considerably.
> There are three ways in which a CAES system can deal with the heat. Air storage can be adiabatic, diabatic, or isothermic:
> Adiabatic storage retains the heat produced by compression and returns it to the air when the air is expanded to generate power. This is a subject of ongoing study, with no utility scale plants as of 2010. Its theoretical efficiency approaches 100% for large and/or rapidly cycled devices and/or perfect thermal insulation, but in practice round trip efficiency is expected to be 70%.[3] Heat can be stored in a solid such as concrete or stone, or more likely in a fluid such as hot oil (up to 300 ?C) or molten salt solutions (600 ?C).
> Diabatic storage dissipates the extra heat with intercoolers (thus approaching isothermal compression) into the atmosphere as waste. Upon removal from storage, the air must be re-heated prior to expansion in the turbine to power a generator which can be accomplished with a natural gas fired burner for utility grade storage or with a heated metal mass. The lost heat degrades efficiency, but this approach is simpler and is thus far the only system which has been implemented commercially. The McIntosh, Alabama CAES plant requires 2.5 MJ of electricity and 1.2 MJ lower heating value (LHV) of gas for each megajoule of energy output.[4] A General Electric 7FA 2x1 combined cycle plant, one of the most efficient natural gas plants in operation, uses 6.6 MJ (LHV) of gas per kW?h generated,[5] a 54% thermal efficiency comparable to the McIntosh 6.8 MJ, at 53% thermal efficiency.
> Isothermal compression and expansion approaches attempt to maintain operating temperature by constant heat exchange to the environment. They are only practical for low power levels, without very effective heat exchangers. The theoretical efficiency of isothermal energy storage approaches 100% for small and/or slowly cycled devices and/or perfect heat transfer to the environment. In practice neither of these perfect thermodynamic cycles are obtainable, as some heat losses are unavoidable.
> A different, highly efficient arrangement, which fits neatly into none of the above categories, uses high, medium and low pressure pistons in series, with each stage followed by an airblast venturi that draws ambient air over an air-to-air (or air-to-seawater) heat exchanger between each expansion stage. Early compressed air torpedo designs used a similar approach, substituting seawater for air. The venturi warms the exhaust of the preceding stage and admits this preheated air to the following stage. This approach was widely adopted in various compressed air vehicles such as H. K. Porter, Inc's mining locomotives[6] and trams.[7] Here the heat of compression is effectively stored in the atmosphere (or sea) and returned later on.
> Compression can be done with electrically powered turbo-compressors and expansion with turbo 'expanders'[8] or air engines driving electrical generators to produce electricity.
> The storage vessel is often an underground cavern created by solution mining (salt is dissolved in water for extraction)[9] or by utilizing an abandoned mine. Plants operate on a daily cycle, charging at night and discharging during the day.
> Compressed air energy storage can also be employed on a smaller scale such as exploited by air cars and air-driven locomotives, and also by the use of high-strength carbon-fiber air storage tanks.
>
>> compressed air can get very hot and needs to be cooled... but it would
>> SEEM that Tata has resolved these issues to some extent.
>
> Tata can't magically route around thermodynamics.
>
>> >> building sized batteries also have some interesting potential. An
>> >
>> > The car industry will bring you pretty powerful batteries within
>> > the next 10 years.
>>
>> I hope so. Battery power stored per kilogram follows a Law of
>> Accelerating Returns curve, does it not?
>
> Not at all, progress is linear, and will be sublinear as
> it asymptotically approaches the ceiling of the storage
> technology:
>
> e.g. http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/07/was_moores_law.php
>
> http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/Battery%20Energy%20Density.jpg
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density
>
> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Energy_density.svg
>
>> > Yes, but one of the most inefficient things you can do with PV
>> > panels you rely on to sit under snow. Climbing up the roof to
>> > clean them off is not a particular sane way of dealing with the
>> > situation.
>>
>> I think it is the only sane way to deal with it... putting in a
>> heating system is just not practical. If I had it to do over again, I
>
> It is not that difficult to add adhesive resistive heating pads to the
> back of the panels even after the fact. (More adventurous natures
> could attempt to bypass the panel diodes, and use the panel
> itself for heating, e.g. this is a problem with monocrystalline
> cells parts of which are shaded off, but I wouldn't do that).
>
>> would not have put the PV on the roof.
>>
>> > If I knew I had to do that, I'd have a roof which is trivial
>> > to access and safe to be on, or built electric heating, starting
>> > with small segments below so that the PV panels assist with self-dethaw,
>> > or install combination solar thermal/photovoltaics (I presume you
>> > have Si panels, these would profit from liquid cooling) and dethaw
>> > them by running a warm liquid until snow slides off.
>>
>> How would you keep the tubes of warm liquid from freezing? Run it all the time?
>
> Just use ethylene glycol or another antifreeze mix, picking a mix that
> will survive your worst case without freezing.
>
>> >> likely not pay back for a week or more, by which time it would have
>> >> snowed again.
>> >
>> > Again, you can do things very hard for you, if you want to.
>>
>> The question is whether it can be profitably done cheaply.
>>
>> >> I have no alternative. If I could easily hook up a little coal power
>> >> plant, you bet I would... :-)
>> >
>> > You already have gasoline generators, why are you not running these to
>> > defrost the panels? If you have gasoline generator backup, why do you
>> > have batteries? I don't know the details of your installation, of course.
>>
>> The reason for batteries is to run off of the solar at night, when the
>> sun has shone all day. Ideally, the generator would only come on once
>> a week or so, say on a night after a cloudy day.
>
> What is your battery capacity, in Wh? What exactly are you running
> at night? Is your diesel on-demand or has to be switched on manually?
>
> --
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
> ______________________________________________________________
> ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
> 8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
>
>
> End of extropy-chat Digest, Vol 90, Issue 45
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