At the Space Elevator Reference, Dr. Brad Edwards writes about a proposal he is going to present to the Rutgers Symposium on Lunar Settlements, to be held in New Brunswick, NJ, on June 3-8 (of this year!). Dr. Edwards will be presenting a proposal on how NASA can build and supply a lunar base for about half the cost, and with much greater capacity, than the current NASA program.
The backbone of this proposal will be the development of two, earth-based Space Elevators.
This really and truly rocks. And, reading between the lines here, I’ve got to think that someone, somewhere must be close to announcing a breakthrough in the development of carbon nanotubes of the quality and quantity which are needed. Either that, or else Dr. Edwards believes he can convince NASA that a big check can solve the problem quickly.
Of course, if this happens, and NASA is the lead developer, then it would prove my prediction of a private US consortium (or a joint venture between Dubai and India) as being the first developers of a Space Elevator as being wrong. Gee, I’d sure hate that 🙂
I’d love to go to this symposium, but don’t think I can. From the symposium program, it appears that Dr. Edwards is scheduled to speak from 8:30-9:15am on Thursday, June 7th. Let’s hope Dr. Edwards will make the details of this proposal available soon to all of us. This is the kind of project which the entire space community can and should get behind. Not only would it be beneficial for Lunar colonization, but for Martian colonization as well. And once a Space Elevator (or two) is in place, it changes the entire ballgame regarding space exploration.
I say again, this rocks, this well and truly rocks…
(Lunar base drawing courtesy of Ana Benaroya. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version)