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Thread: Elevator to outter space

  1. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]It just strikes me as lacking a little in foresight... there are a bunch of big problems on the horizon; the last thing we need is some crazy multi-billion dollar project that might help us make some more bucks off of totally nonessential industries
    I though the pharmaceutical industry was benefitial...

    A big problem that we'll face very soon is the complete depletion of fossil fuels in 10-20 years. This will address that problem by providing a new energy source. Medical research and climatology will continue progressing. This won't make aids research "go away".
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

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    I went to a presentation by half of the two-man team that is the driving force behind this two years ago, and was very excited about it. There are a lot of challenges, but i agree with the assessment he gave: the biggest challenges are political and social. People are always paranoid about things they don't understand, especially really, really large things, that reach into space.

    That's not to say that the engineering challenges are insignificant. Carbon nanotubes are very expensive and we are nowhere near able to produce them in macroscopic lengths as would be required for the space elevator. On the other hand, a lot of research is currently being done on CNTs, and any research Liftpoint does is going to provide them with intellectual property that will help fund the project.

    Most of the questions being asked here are answered in the FAQ. As for whether this is a good use of financial resources, well, it's a private company. As with any other private company, they're responsible for coming up with those resources and once they are able to, using them as they see fit. This is not a government program.

    If it is completed, it will be a boon to technology, science, industry, and international relations. If. The possibilities are endless.

    P.S. Amateur expert... you might want to check your sources on the "complete depletion of fossil fuels" in 10-20 years. "Business as usual" will certainly not be the rule in 20 years at our present consumption, but there are huge reserves of fossil fuels presently untapped because of cost or technological barriers. It's better to say that our present view and use of fossil fuels will probably be different in 10-20 years.
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    I remembered the 2015-2025 Year estimate from a Time Magazine i read a while back. I don't doubt it's changed since then.
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

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    http://solutions.synearth.net/stories/storyReader$8


    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Richard Duncan has recently revised his predictions of the coming fossil fuel energy crisis to an even more urgent status. His most recent calculations using data on both crude oil and natural gas paints an even darker picture. No pun intended. He says the rolling blackouts that started in California this past month (February 2001) are only the beginning. His latest calculations published March 6, 2001 show:

    "My previous study put the 'cliff event' in year 2012. However, it now appears that 2012 was TOO OPTIMISTIC.

    "The newest study indicates that the 'cliff event' will occur about 5 years earlier than 2012 due an epidemic of 'rolling blackouts' that have already begun in the US. This 'electrical epidemic' spreads nationwide, then worldwide, and by ca. 2007 most of the blackouts are permanent. The 'modern way of life' is history by ca. 2025."
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

  5. #13

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    I meant something like a peer-reviewed scientific publication. I reviewed the links there, and there's not much in it that has been tainted with the marks of science.

    The problem with Hubbart curves (which is what the theory that cartoon illustrates is based on) is that they don't really consider technological advancement; which is also why they have to keep revising the projections. The projections are constantly being pushed back, which is why so many of my father's generation no longer pay heed to the alarmists: according to their original predictions, we should already be out of petroleum. So while there's no doubt that things are being depleted that are probably not being renewed, the deadline is constantly being revised.

    The great thing about technological advance is it enables greater efficiency and greater utilization of resources. Thus, the GNP of the US has continued to increase, in spite of the fact that the energy consumption didn't increase at a similar rate. There was an article in (i believe) the Wall Street Journal recently pointing out the importance of R&D by citing the fact that the US economy has been able to continue forward in spite of increasing energy costs because of improvements in efficiency.

    Anyway, getting back to the space elevator: it's a long-time favorite of science fiction. The Liftpoint conception is radically different in a way that decreases the necessary tensile strength to something achievable by real matter. It also has a lot of other improvements. But to get an idea of the possibilities, check out any of the creative uses that sci-fi has made.
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    What if the weight on the space end of the tether causes the earth to wobble on its axis and the violent shaking causes earthquakes and tsunamis. Furthemore, my CPs would slide off the bench and my drink would fall off the table.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    someone would blow it up. you know it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]Yeah, I can see it, but I have my doubts. I'm not at all comfortable with beaming solar power back down to Earth with microwaves (we can't even tell aid facilities from military installations in our bombing runs - do you really want somebody pointing tens of megawatts of microwave energy at a reciever just outside your city?)
    You're comparing apples to oranges. You would have a geosynchronous satellite beaming to a fixed point on the ground. Extensive testing would be done before microwaves are beamed, and the system would include some failsafe, so that if the beam wanders off-target, some sort of dead-man's switch would trip, shutting down the beam. And I am guessing power would be collected in remote areas, deserts, in the middle of the ocean, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]And this won't just open up upper-atmosphere industry - it's a perfect platform for space-based weapons as well. We've got a lot of other things to worry about, like infectious disease, civil unrest, and the climate.
    With the dangers already posed by what we already have, space-based weapons is only an incremental threat. At any rate, the problem is a matter of politics at this point, not engineering. The threat of space-based weapons is ALREADY there. If you would object to this because of that, you should object to the entire space program.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]The space elevator will do us no good if the population is wiped out by something like ebola or a more virulent HIV. It may aid pharmecutical production, but I have my doubt that it will revolutionize development.
    A lot of scientific discovery is through serendipity, and that mainly comes from just doing something, and then seeing what becomes of it.

    I think it WILL revolutionise some industries.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]The US won't have the infrastructure to do anything with a space elevator if the climate goes wonky and we have to annex Canada just for farming space. (No offense Canadians, but you can't tell me you don't see the possibility.)
    Why would we have to annex Canada for agricultural space? It would be far cheaper to buy the produce from them, than to wage a war, and put in place an occupying garrison. If that became a major source of export revenue for them, they would be more than happy to oblige us.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]It just strikes me as lacking a little in foresight... there are a bunch of big problems on the horizon; the last thing we need is some crazy multi-billion dollar project that might help us make some more bucks off of totally nonessential industries.
    This group is seeking sponsorship from private individuals, and unless you wish to dictate to individuals how they spend/invest their own money, it's not your concern. It's very likely that as the project becomes more and more a certainty, governments will eventually also invest money. But they may not even want government money; it comes with too many strings. Think about the Ansari X Prise, and ShaceShipOne. Space exploration is slowly being privatised, and private industry will be far more efficient at spending dollars and maximising return on investment than the government will.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]I think it's a cool idea and all, don't get me wrong, but it's still more of a big toy than a necessity - it's just not a good time for this kind of thing. Maybe if we had the technology for, say, agricultural and residential satellites, then it would be an important step... but we're really putting the cart before the horse, if you ask me.
    Sometimes, it makes sense to build a cart, and then wait for a horse to come by. Who knows what technological developments are blocked now because of the hideously expensive entry cost into orbit? Just like the movie, if you build it, they will come.

    And the website commented that you could get enough velocity off the end of the elevator to make it to Mars in a matter of weeks. Hello, Martian exploration and colonisation!

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]And besides, how many people are really going to be crazy and healthy enough to work up there? I mean, I'm crazy enough but I'm in terrible shape and falling apart from arthritis, asthma and ulcers at 20. How many people will want to move to space and give up a nice comfy life on the surface?
    I think, at least initially, a LOT of people would gladly go up there.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]This strikes me as something that the proliteriate will suffer for. No CEOs or governors will be moving to mansions in the sky any time soon. It's going to be the lower class laborers who're the guinea pigs in this science project.
    So, why are the untra-wealthy now paying tens of millions of dollars to spend a few days on a cramped space station? If they start building apartments in space, only the ultra-wealthy will be able to afford to live there. And the workers who support the whole thing.

    But working in space is a totally different deal from working on the ground. You can't just hire illiterate illegal immigrants to weld your station together. You need educated labor, at least at a level of an intensive technical school. These people will be highly in demand, and they will be well-paid and well-compensated. Plus, labor issues were taken on by the US government 100 years ago. You're not going to have Pullman towns in space. Between labor law and the litigious nature of modern society, these laborers will be well-treated, and well-compensated.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ July 11 2005,5:19)]Between this and those supreme court property law rulings, I can definitely see government mandated relocations of low-cost housing to satellites.
    ~Joe
    It'll ALWAYS be more expensive to build housing in space.

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