[ExI] To Boldly Go Nowhere, for Now

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Sep 20 14:42:59 UTC 2013

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Eugen Leitl

>...However, if you want to develop the inner solar system, up to Mars, then
PV is perfectly adequate. Even for propulsion, InP on capton gives you 3
kW/kg. Half that at Mars.

The fact that space based power is now getting a lot of mention in the
mainstream press leads me to think we are at an important crossroads:


Even those of us who are hardcore space enthusiasts realize that space
flight needs to be geared toward returning rewards that are real to others
besides astronomy fans.  We space-heads have been showered with priceless
gifts from space for our entire lives.  We are now facing challenges that do
not need humans out there.  Understatement, we face challenges that would be
hindered by having to support humans out there.  

We need to design and build robots which can build space based solar power
stations, and start sending that power down forthwith.  We don't need humans
in space anymore; we haven't needed them out there for a long time.  We need
energy down here, and we have needed it for a long time.  Is not this
perfectly clear?  We have a really cool, achievable and difficult enough to
be interesting engineering challenge with perfectly obvious benefits to
humanity for the long term.  What's not to like about that?  We need robots
which build space based solar power stations, ideally out of indigenous
materials, and we need it by yesterday.


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