I’ve read several books by David Brin and enjoyed them all. This is the first time, however, I’ve seen a David Brin video (albeit a YouTube version).
He talks about future technologies, Space Shuttle fuel tanks representing a lost opportunity, tethers, solar sails and, briefly, Space Elevators. He’s a skeptic of the idea of an Earth-based Space Elevator (calling it a ‘far out what if’) but is more positive about putting one on Mars.
Some small nits;
- In his discussion of solar sails, he says that no one has tried to do this. However, the Planetary Society has tried once – and failed – and is getting ready to try again.
- He gives the impression that the taper on a space elevator has to continue increasing from the ground all the way out to the counterweight. If my understanding is correct, it only has to grow to GEO – from there the tether width can remain constant or even decrease.