Answers to Charles F. Bradley

Cant we convert directly sunlight into RF?( i mean is there no technology that can do this, so that need of PV array will be gone).

We want energy on Earth and we want a lot of it. To do that we need to capture energy from the sun and somehow output it ON earth, using available resources. Problems on earth are considerable, and he biggest problem on the Earth’s surface is that the more PV (of whatever kind we implement the more surface space we use, and the higher the cost of required raw materials will become. So in effect bootstrapping more (clean!) energy ON the earths surface derivative from the sun is costly and will only get more costly as time goes along. People like Ray Kurzweil disagree with this, but I am not fully swayed by his arguments. You decide.

Things in space are different. Once you establish an infrastructure to yield orbital energy collection systems, the price of mineral ore production will drop like a stone. There are a lot of asteroids out there. The moon is effectively one giant strip mine. I’d go straight for near-earth industrialization, but yes, the cost is very steep. My point is however that with robotics in a decade it will be so easy to mine ore, turn it into something that converts energy, the add a lot of those things, that no matter how inefficient they are, the investment in capital will yield so much energy output to Earth’s surface that you’d be making trillions in raw profit.

Is there any other thermal management system other than dual phase transport system?

It’s plain economics. If the system is run by ten engineers, at an investment of 100 billion, and a ground base like Guyana ESA that runs at a few billion a year, and each year interplanetary automated systems just grab ore, refine it into stupid victorian pig iron heat exchangers launched from the lunar surface with 1960s tech coilguns, and all that just keeps adding gigawatt at a rate of one a week – you’d be at a break even point very very quickly. Inefficient doesn’t mean you lose money in such an environment – there is just so much material and energy out there in space you can be wasteful for a while.

if some design of solar power satellite is to be considered for study which one is most favourable and which factors are taken into considerations while designing these satellites?

There are many studies. My personal favorites are Shimizu. I think those guys really get it.

where can i get to read about more technological concepts related to thermal and structural analysis of space solar satellites?

I forwarded this post to a few friends… they may get in touch with you🙂

You too

Simon’s Interpretation, december 2010

The Virtual Model, December 2010

The physical Model, October 2010

The Second Life Model, December 2010

Simon is clearly mesmerized by the vision of the Terasem01 Habitat and apart from my standing disagreement with him on the functionality of the solar reflective surfaces, his models are breathtaking by any standard.

Oh. My. Fragging. Goddess.

I stand. Humiliated.
I will math this and exceed this.

NASA Honeyfuggling America With Nonsense Space Dreams
Joad Cressbeckler: NASA Honeyfuggling America With Nonsense Space Dreams

Cyborgs Needed for Escape from Earth

(reprinted from here)

Scientists have warned for decades that humans are straining the Earth. The global population is increasing, economies are expanding and consumption doesn’t appear to be slowing.

While save-the-planet campaigns are asking people to save energy, conserve water, recycle and even go vegetarian, some scientists are thinking literally out of this world by suggesting that humans may eventually have to consider leaving Earth if they are to survive as a species.

In the September issue of Endeavour, senior curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Roger Launius takes a look at the historical debate surrounding human colonization of the solar system and how human biology will have to adapt to such extreme space environments.

Colonizing the Solar System

Experiments have shown that certain life forms can survive in space. Recently, British scientists found that bacteria living on rocks taken from Britain’s Beer village were able to survive 553 days in space, on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). The microbes returned to Earth alive, proving they could withstand the harsh environment.

Humans, on the other hand, are unable to survive beyond about a minute and a half in space without significant technological assistance. Other than some quick trips to the moon and the ISS, astronauts haven’t spent too much time too far away from Earth. Scientists don’t know enough yet about the dangers of long-distance space travel on human biological systems. A one-way trip to Mars, for example, would take approximately six months. That means astronauts will be in deep space for more than a year with potentially life-threatening consequences.

Historian Roger Launius, who calls himself a cyborg for using medical equipment to enhance his own life, says the difficult question is knowing where to draw the line in transforming human biological systems to adapt to space.

“If it’s about exploration, we’re doing that very effectively with robots,” Launius said. “If it’s about humans going somewhere, then I think the only purpose for it is to get off this planet and become a multi-planetary species.”

Launius isn’t the only person who envisions humans leaving Earth. Acclaimed British physicist Stephen Hawking recently discussed his own thoughts on how the human race would survive.

“I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space,” Hawking told the Big Think website in August. “It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet.”

If humans are to colonize other planets, Launius said it could well require the “next state of human evolution” to create a separate human presence where families will live and die on that planet. In other words, it wouldn’t really be Homo sapien sapiens that would be living in the colonies, it could be cyborgs—a living organism with a mixture of organic and electromechanical parts—or in simpler terms, part human, part machine.

To Be a Cyborg

By definition, cyborgs are not a thing of the future, but very much a thing of the present. Launius classifies himself as a cyborg because he relies on medical technology to sustain and enhance his life.

“There are cyborgs walking about us,” Launius said. “There are individuals who have been technologically enhanced with things such as pacemakers and cochlea ear implants that allow those people to have fuller lives. I would not be alive without technological advances.”

The image shows an artist’s rendition of a future base on Mars. A manned-Mars mission would take require astronauts being in space for more than a year. Currently, there isn’t enough research to know what long-term deep space travel would do to astronaut health.

The possibility of using cyborgs for space travel has been the subject of research for at least half a century. An influential article published in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline titled “Cyborgs and Space” changed the debate. According to them, there was a better alternative to recreating the Earth’s environment in space, the predominant thinking during that time. The two scientists compared that approach to “a fish taking a small quantity of water along with him to live on land.” They felt that humans should be willing to partially adapt to the environment to which they would be traveling.

“Altering man’s bodily functions to meet the requirements of extraterrestrial environments would be more logical than providing an earthly environment for him in space,” Clynes and Kline wrote.

Even though it may be both logically and technologically possible, the ethical question is whether it should be done.

“It does raise profound ethical, moral and perhaps even religious questions that haven’t been seriously addressed,” Launius said. “We have a ways to go before that happens.”

Grant Gillett, a professor of medical ethics at the Otago Bioethics Center of the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand said addressing the ethical issue is really about justifying the need for such an approach, the need for altering humans so significantly that they end up not entirely human in the end.

“(Whether we) should do it largely depends on if it’s important enough for humanity in general,” Gillett said. “To some extent, that’s the justification.”

The greater concern, according to Gillett, is that the cyborgs will likely only have a simulation of human behavior. What is important, he said, is not what the cyborgs are made up of but what types of moral sensibilities and intuitions are built in. And there is really no way of knowing for sure or even of making reasonable guesses without doing a lot more work on the moral nature of humans.

“I think the danger is that we might end up producing a psychopath because we don’t quite understand the nature of cyborgs,” Gillett said.

The Future of Cyborgs

NASA has used robotics effectively in space exploration. Medical ethicist Grant Gillett says the need to colonize space would require a greater justification. Credit: NASA Ames Research Center

At first, as Launius points out in his article, NASA did support this field of research, but that interest lasted for less than a decade. By the late 1960s, the agency had distanced itself from the topic. For one, the technology was not available at that time. However, some scientists think the problem was more about public image. Would the American public of that decade—one that was arguably obsessed with the space program and idolized astronauts—have accepted the “cyborgization of (the) astronaut corps”?

NASA still isn’t focusing much research on how to improve human biological systems for space exploration. Instead, its Human Research Program is focused on risk reduction: risks of fatigue, inadequate nutrition, health problems and radiation.

While financial and ethical concerns may have held back cyborg research, Launius believes that society may have to engage in the cyborg debate again when space programs get closer to launching long-term deep space exploration missions.

“If our objective is to become space-faring people, it’s probably going to force you to reconsider how to reengineer humans,’ Launius said.

German Army : FIFTEEN YEARS till every market-oriented national economy would collapse

German Military Braces for Scarcity After ‘Peak Oil’

September 11, 2010 by Editor
A study by the Future Analysis department of the Bundeswehr Transformation Center (a German military think tank) leaked to the Internet warns of the potential for a dire global economic crisis in as little as 15 years as a result of a peak and an irreversible decline in world oil supplies. The study states that there is “some probability that peak oil will occur around the year 2010 and that the impact on security is expected to be felt 15 to 30 years later….“In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse.”


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