[ExI] EP and Peak oil.

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 14:20:03 UTC 2008

On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 7:51 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday 03 April 2008, Brent Neal wrote:
>  > On 3 Apr, 2008, at 0:26, John K Clark wrote:
>  > > The trouble with power satellites is it could take a couple of
>  > > trillion dollars just to build a prototype and then you could learn
>  > > for sure that the idea just isn't going to work
>  >
>  > Citations, please? :P
>  I second this motion. Last month I visited UT Austin, they have a lab
>  with kids my age launching rockets and mini satellites on the cehap
>  (and they are dead broke); adding in power-sat stuff seems more like a
>  matter of knowledge than 'trillions of dollars'.

It's not a small project, my guess is on a par with going to the moon
the first time.  That puts it in the high hundreds of billions due to
the order of magnitude inflation since those days.

I don't even know which of the three currently proposed transport
methods will work out.  The space elevator has the best return on
energy, but it takes a massive orbital cleanup project plus developing
strong enough nanotube fibers and ways to recover from a cut cable.
Since the output is very low cost energy that can be fed back into the
launch mechanism, requiring a lot of launch energy only delays the
point at which the project starts paying for itself by a few months.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list