Jaffe on Space Solar; 2 years later


“There have been very important changes recently that have made it a lot more compelling and urgent that we investigate this carefully.”

“It’s been recognized even as early as the sixties that this is definitely technically feasible, there’s no violation of the laws of physics-”

“-at least ten years and all told between R&D and the production/development, undoubtedly in the billions of dollars…but this is not unusual, this is similar to what we saw for development of GPS and commercial satellites in the sixties- a lot of similar technology takes a similar trajectory like this.”

“In terms of when we would see this it’s really a question of political will, right? We look back at the Apollo Moon landing and that took ten years or so, less than ten years, but the reason it happened was because there was the political will to do it-”

As I have written about several times on this blog, the politics of expanding humankind into space are inextricably connected to the Military Industrial Complex. The death of the first space age was a result of aerospace concerns realizing after the Apollo 1 fire that Human Space Flight Beyond Earth Orbit (HSF-BEO) was going to be hard money, and they went with the easy money of cold war toys. The space shuttle design was quite possibly a scam to kidnap Soviet space assets and combined with going cheap on the boosters insured failure. If true, those design features were only one of several conflicting requirements but still highlight the primary influence of the military. Any “political will” for spending billions, or hundreds of billions, is going to have come by way of the DOD.

Cold War Toys image:(Gizmodo UK)

So how do we get that 720 billion dollars in the military budget converted into a Green New Space Deal? Trump is not likely to make AOC the new SecDef anytime soon. Dr. Jaffe speaks glowingly of SpaceX while Elon is a confirmed detractor of space solar power. And not a word about using lunar resources to build space solar power satellites, which is likely the only practical way to power civilization carbon-free. At least they are going to, hopefully, demonstrate the technology. Perhaps it will catch the attention of democrats like AOC who might then understand there is the option of converting most of the Military Industrial Complex into an International Space Complex.

Scarfo Productions
image: Scarfo Productions

I would expect space solar power to follow this “trajectory”:

  1. 6 to 8 launches per year of an advanced iteration of the SLS with reusable engine module and liquid boosters and expendable core tankage.
  2.  An upper-stage double hulled “fat workshop” designed to incorporate a cosmic ray water shield and a semi-expendable robot lander designed for In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of lunar ice.
  3.  As wet workshops are filled with lunar water, the simultaneous deployment of fleets of human-crewed Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) telecom platforms and Lunar Cyclers.
  4. Once the GEO platform and Cycler fleet pipeline is flowing a third fleet of Pulse propelled 1st generation true spaceships (space boomers) using “soft” Medusa type pulse propulsion systems. As the other superpowers follow the U.S. lead and field their own deep space nuclear deterrent then work on the lunar surface will begin.
  5. Once the best lava tube sites are located the construction of the first factory sites will begin with industrial infrastructure and water transport from the poles effected. Super Heavy Launch Vehicles of several models from the different superpower coalitions will eventually be launching several times a week.
  6. Manufacture of both “hard” nuclear pulse systems and space solar power components will begin in about half a century- likely the late 2070’s or early 80’s.
  7. By the turn of the century nuclear pulse propelled alloy discs will be lifting immense masses of space solar power components off the surface of the Moon. Space Solar Power will be rapidly taking over powering the planet. Beam propelled “Spaceliners” and a second infrastructure to manufacture miles-in-diameter Bernal Spheres will be well along in development.
  8.  With the planet completely powered from space the first Spaceliners and Bernal Spheres will come into service and a long process of space colonization will begin ending with the Earth becoming mostly depopulated and returning to a near pristine state.
  9.  The space solar energy capacity will continue to grow despite demand falling to almost zero on Earth and the first Bernal Spheres converted into Starships (“slowboats”) will accelerate out of the solar system on centuries-long voyages to other systems.
  10.  The space solar energy capacity will continue to grow to allow the manufacture of small singularity engines for black hole starships (“fastboats”) perhaps at the end of the 22nd century or early in the 23rd.

I would also expect a parallel drama to play out during this process of humankind expanding into space and that would first be freezing humans without damage, then reversing aging, and also the creation of super-intelligent machines. How those advances would affect expansion is hard to predict.

Published by billgamesh

Revivable Cryopreservation Advocate

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