Nuclear fusion rockets and spaceplanes would enable
1. Lower cost travel into space
2. Easy around the solar system in dramatically reduced trip times
The stronger superconducting magnets would greatly advance several approaches to nuclear fusion.
Automated air taxi and air mini-buses are technically borderline feasible now and new enabling planes, navigation and automation systems will be developed by 2016.
Suburban Air Vehicles (SAVs) that get well over 200 mpg, cruise at over 120 mph (193 kph), emit less than 60 dBA from 125 feet (38 meters), and have the ability to take off in a distance of under 100 feet (30.5 meters).
Bay Area rapid transit has up to 360,000 riders each day. 180,000 people going to work and then returning from work. An hourly passenger capacity of 15,000 people. There are 43 stations. It cost about $15 billion in todays dollars to build and $580 million in annual expenses.
A 2 acre pocket airport can have 120 flights each hour with 1-4 people in each robotic air vehicle. Assuming an average of 2 people per vehicle and 100 vehicles in an hour. Matching the hourly capacity of BART would require 75 pocket airports and 10,000 vehicles. If the vehicles cost $40,000 then it would cost $400 million for the vehicles. The pocket airports are only 2 acres in size and might cost $8 million each or about $600 million total. Spending $15 billion would be about 1125 pocket airports and 150,000 vehicles. Commuters would be able to 120 mph and not have traffic jams.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.