[extropy-chat] Space elevator numbers III

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Fri Feb 16 18:38:07 UTC 2007

At 06:21 PM 2/16/2007 +0100, Eugen wrote:

>On Fri, Feb 16, 2007 at 10:16:34AM -0500, Keith Henson wrote:
> > That's the key problem.  Nobody has any engineering experience with
> > automatic manufacturing from dirt up.  I am (or was) a working engineer
>Exactly. Expecially in microgravity.
>Which is why scaled-down teleoperated (wheeled centaur-type) robots
>on the Moon are so interesting. You don't even need an InterPlanet,
>common TCP/IP and UCP is good enough for a pingpong of 2.5 s.
>Teams distributed across time zones with laser line of sight and
>linked up via the terrestrial Internet could operate 24/7/365
>machinery at the north pole crater rim. You could just add an
>artificial FIFO lag to a terrestrial lunar simulator (an UHV
>chamber with simulated regolith and lots of xenon lights), and
>start tinkering but for gravity -- which is not that different
>for very small robots.

Ok.  You are "there" at the lunar north pole in a centaur type robot.  I 
even grant you finding water in some form.  What are you going to do?

Lunar rock is silicon, aluminum, iron (a little free state) and 
oxygen.  The silicon and aluminum are tightly bound in complex oxides.  Do 
you have any idea of the steps and chemicals needed to process such rock 
into metals and very high purity silicon?

Am I the only one on this group with industrial process experience?


>This group will shoot down ideas which don't make sense. Right now
>the project is much too expensive,

Please point out where I have put a price tag on this project.  I don't 
think I have because I don't have any idea of what it would cost to build 
or even the sub parts.

>and there's frankly no money for
>anything, unless it's a war.

Think of north sea oil.  The market is essentially the entire world energy 
market.  Last year ExxonMobile's profit was $20 billion.  If there is a 
clear case to make money, especially when it solves *major* problems such 
as global warming, it shouldn't be hard to get it to happen.


> >I don't want to live an
> > energy poor lifestyle and if you think about it, I doubt you do either.
>Look at http://www.solarbuzz.com/StatsCosts.htm
>Suburbia density is low enough to be self-reliant. At one third of
>the current price, fossil is obsolete. EU energy/household IIRC
>is half that of US, and I don't have to tell you about which life
>quality wins.

I think we live an energy poor lifestyle right now.


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