« A Few Points - 23 September 2014 | Main | War without end. »

24 September 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Not Kevlar? Extruding a miles-long carbon-nano-fiber cable seems still to be the stuff of science fiction in 2014? But it would make a great doable near-term development target to shoot for, and it would help issue in the Diamond Age. When we can suck CO2 out of the air and use it to build carbon nano-structures on a macro scale, as redwoods do, all of a sudden the excess CO2 problem goes away.


In other news, Israel has briefly come out of the closet, taking delivery of its fourth nuke-capable sub.
FAS low-balls their nukes estimate at "80-200" while admitting that the 200 capabilities mark could have been reached around 1986, that some sources estimate 400, and that the CIA has consistently been caught flat-footed with its estimates.
Israeli Jericho III ICBMs can hit not only Tehran but Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo with one-ton payloads. It is curious what they hope to accomplish with this. And what various factions in the US hope to accomplish with the situation. I believe Israel, and the world, will be safer when Israel comes completely out of the closet and joins the NPT.

João Carlos

Well, the chinese will build it, sooner or later...

USA will have no time for it, because the perpetual war.

Jim Brooks

Col. Lang,

I just love this space stuff and always have. I guess it is because of the time in which I was born. I'm 60 now, and when I was a kid space flight was a really big deal. I was very fortunate to be young in the 1960s. And, our space missions never gets old for me. Just this past Monday Space-X broke ground on their new commercial launch site literally on the tip of Texas. I've always wanted to see a rocket lift off and now I may be able to with a two hour car ride down south. After that, I probably will be wishing to see a laser launch. Happily, this stuff never ends. The announced Space-X plan is, for now, to use the Florida and California launch sites for government funded projects and to launch their commercial projects (with some flights being just trip packages for paying customers) from South Texas. Last, but not least, there is a movie that is title Moon. It sorta goes along with the topic. If you watch it I hope you enjoy it. Sometimes I get Bar B-Q for my film recommendations.



Charles Dekle

Col Lang,
Thank you. I had read the Arthur C Clarke novels back in the 70s and was excited by the prospect. Dr Edwards closing statements in the video gave me hope with the caveat that if we (the USA) had the will it was certainly doable. However, our will seems to be bombing and dominating so my hope faded fast. To bad as an old engineer I would love to live long enough to at least take a ride on it. Sigh...

dilbert dogbert

It only needs some unobtainium and noweightium to be a success. Joking aside, where on earth would be the payloads be launched from? The poles?


there's an underappreciated variation.

for starters, it would work better on the moon. no weather. no electrical problems (lightning/static electricity, planetary magnetic field, solar flares). no seagulls crapping on your nanotube webbing. no crazy people toilet-papering your delicate creation.

but the best part is the moon has no air resistance, so you could detach it from the ground, build it out in both directions from orbit. orbit it with backspin. like a wheel with 2 spokes. so that when a "spoke" is pointing down, its end is motionless relative to the ground, and when pointing up, it would have 2x orbital speed. the whole thing could be smaller if you do it that way too, and it could be used to "catch" and "throw" objects from orbits with ~2x the orbital speed of the spinning space-elevator-wheel-thing, and pick them up on the ground or deposit them back down with almost zero relative motion at the moment you "get on" or "get off" at the bottom.

if you ask me, the earth version is harder. (leaving aside the minor detail of getting to the moon in the first place)


I say we do it. Heck, we were spending $10b a month in Afghanistan alone for years.

The laser beam's intensity is 10 times that of the sun, but birds can fly through it?! That fact alone sold me on the project.

My only concern is how to get me on board a trip. Old public health geezer in space? There's got to be an angle, and I'm going to find it.


Mr. Edwards has suggested the eastern Pacific near the Galapagos Islands since that is an area with the fewest amount of storms and regular aircraft traffic.

Charles Dekle

I am applying for the old engineer geezer in space slot.

dilbert dogbert

It seems centuries ago that we in NASA's Advanced Missions and Systems Division worked on beaming power down to earth from orbit. Lasers and microwaves were studied. Lots of interesting effects when those beams interact with water vapor. Tough luck birds and aircraft. Those effects are why laser anti-balistic missile weapons have to be anchored in space or at high altitude. Fun times.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Blog powered by Typepad