Miscellaneous updates – 2

Here is some more Space Elevator miscellany, gleaned from the web over the past several weeks…

The website Next Big Future always has interesting posts and I subscribed to it long ago.  This is a posting from this site from last January, talking about Alan Windle’s carbon nanotube ribbons.  According to the article, he has created something which has been measured at 9GPa.  If true, I sure hope he brings it to this year’s Strong Tether competition (being held at the Space Elevator Conference) – he would be a favorite to win.

This is an article, in French, about the Space Elevator Games and Space elevators, in general.  If you parlez the Francais (sorry for my slaughtered translation), enjoy…

And then we have another article about a Space Elevator, this time in Vietnamese…

One of my favorite sites, io9, has a posting about a new book with a Space Elevator as a backdrop, The Third Claw of God.  This is the second in the series of Andrea Cort novels and  io9’s review of the book says its a winner.  I suppose you can find it at your local bookstore, and it’s available in paperback from Amazon for $7.99.  It’s also available for Kindle and, as I’m lucky to have one, I’ve just downloaded it – I’ll start it on the plane-ride out to California next week.  When I’ve finished reading it, I’ll post a review.


In a recent speech to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute class of 2009, Futurist Peter Schwartz spoke of “…ten areas to make a Global Impact, find success” to help create a peaceful, prosperous world by the year 2050.  “The final item on Schwartz’s list is discovering new ways to radically lower the cost and environmental impact of space flight, and developing new ways, such as a space elevator, to get into space.”  I can only say “Amen” to that…

James Coughtrey has created an alternative world scenario entitled “Vast Worlds“.  It’s driven by humans acquiring technology from a derelict alien starship.  In this scenario;

The Chinese space elevator was the only one that was actually on the equator. Both the Commonwealth and AMA have theirs off centre for economic reasons. New Inca’s is placed further south to avoid American airspace, America doesn’t cross the equator and Russia doesn’t actually have a space elevator but an assisted floater rocket system.

I haven’t had a chance to review all of this, but it looks quite interesting…

Dave Barry recently opined on the Space Elevator here – most of his jokes about the elevator are a bit dated.

This is an interesting blog post concerning Space Based Solar Power.  A constituent attended a congressional briefing by Mark Kirk (he represents the district next to mine) and asked him about his views on SBSP.  Congressman Kirk identified one of the issues preventing the widespread use of it; i.e. the cost to orbit.  The writer states that we should look at this issue in light of; “…the mass required to produce a kilowatt of electricity (kg/kw) and the total system cost to produce a kilowatt of electricity (cost/kw)“.  I think this is correct, but alas, the writer didn’t supply his opinion of what this number should be.  I’ve written before about my skepticism about the practicality of SBSP and gave my numbers here.

A related article about Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) purchasing electricity created by SBSP is here.  Two companies are mentioned, Solaren and Space Energy.  As I’ve said before, I’m skeptical if this idea can work – it’s a lot easier to make a website than it is to generate SBSP cost-effectively.  I have no issues with the technology – I have serious doubts if we can generate enough electricity (we use so much of it) via SBSP to every make it worthwhile.  But if you believe that the idea of SBSP is a good one, I think you absolutely have to support the idea of a Space Elevator – no other technology gives you a chance to get enought stuff into orbit, cost-effectively enough, to perhaps make this idea work.

No, I still haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie, but I’m very interested in seeing the Vulcan Space Elevator made of “…of metallic chunks the size of refrigerators.”  Maybe after the Space Elevator Conference is over…

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you dropped balls (or other heavy weights) from a Space Elevator, here’s a discussion thread on the question.

Enough for now – time to get ready to head out to NASA-Dryden for Round 2 of testing for the upcoming Space Elevator Games

(Picture thumbnail of Galileo and his balls from here – click on it for a larger version).

2 thoughts on “Miscellaneous updates – 2

  1. CindyRae

    I am very excited about the upcoming games and wanted to give you “kudos” for all the workyou have put into this site and the fact that you have not missed a beat. Thank you from a mutual space case.

  2. Ted Semon Post author

    Well, thank you very much for the complement. I just arrived in Mojave about a half-hour ago. We’ll be at the base tomorrow to start Round 2 of testing. Stay tuned to this blog or the official site of the Games http://www.spaceelevatorgames.org) or follow us on Twiter (www.twitter.com/segames).

    Thanks for reading!

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