A guest post by Joseph Friedlander
- Line of sight and sheer height (for individuals)
- People will pay for the view
- People will pay to get married/eat/impress people and clients in an exclusive place
- People will pay to get official astronaut certification
- Sports/bungee jumping/glide jumping/rappeling/space parachuting
- Line of sight and sheer height (applications)
- Drop tower for near zero gravity processing
- Drop tower for movie studio (the movie Apollo 13 used a zero gravity trajectory plane for filming and 30 seconds for a take was sufficient)
- Pressure work (surface lab, tall standpipe, think Pascal’s Barrel)
- Observation, sensors, scanning radar, surveillance, placement of microwave antennas
- Cheaper replacement for satellites with most of the coverage, stronger signal strength (closer to user)
- Above a good fraction of the atmosphere
- Vaccum processing much easier with lower outside ambient before pumpdown– huge vacuum chambers possible if you have the lift capacity
- Astronomical observatories –academic and personal (rent space for your remote controlled scope on top)–Imagine the Keck Observatory above the atmosphere–
- Massive solar power payback possible if you pay attention to conflict between incoming winds and furling thin reflectors– Above the clouds (certain rare high clouds excepted) nearly 40 percent of a day may give productive power as opposed to typically 10 percent on the ground.
- Laser frequencies usable without much attenuation for massive data transfer without optical fibers between two high towers
- Laser/particle beam/mass driver/ rotary tether/ other methods of direct space launch to orbit or escape (height required varies by method)– 100 times cheaper space possible.
- Possibility of catching incoming orbital or lunar payloads deborbiting and using the energy as a power source in near vacuum. Literally 1% of the Moon’s mass incoming could power civilization for geological eras of time with very little increase in gravity.
- Possibility of intercity travel far faster than we have now. I wrote about that here —https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2011/02/heinlein-style-spaceflight-with.html Note that
- Possibility of effective missile defense by laser without attentuation (But see last point in entry below)– the cheapest means of anti-anti missile defense is to target your tower!
- Enemies of Towers
- Government permission required (active or passive– they say no, it’s over before it starts)
- NIMBY– This is the flip side of long line of sight– I don’t want to see your tower from 300 km away in my pristine wilderness…
- Earthquakes –You think they are tough on the ground? Try it in a space tower
- Wind– Say after me, class– statics is not dynamics. First they teach statics, then they teach dynamics. There is a reason.
- Resonance– Rotary space launch tethers need to be precisely balanced and other resonance sources kept well under control
- People with weapons who want to target your tower– Governments, terrorists, criminals, kids with a new rifle just looking for a target. It is hard enough keeping a tower standing against nature. You don’t want people gunning for you too.
In Bolonkin’s Arxiv paper on a space tower of 100 km height he gave a mass ratio for steel of 135 times tower weight to payload weight.
Joseph Friedlander is a thinker in the pattern of Herman Kahn or David South, who takes a theoretical construct and reduces it to detailed scenarios for action, with an emphasis on the immediately achievable and the practical that can be settled for in the very near term as a foundation for greater achievements later on.
Joseph has a degree in business, certificates in computer aided design, tool and die work, information science, and other technical areas and wide background familiarity with astrophysics and chemistry.
His reading is wide-ranging (some would say encyclopedic). Among his favorite authors are those who concentrate on the links between industry, government and military, society and prosperity, in particular Jane Jacobs, Seymour Melman, Herman Kahn, and Kevin A. Carson.
Joseph is an inventor and consultant who writes and speaks often on space industrialization and settlement as well as future industrial possibilities on Earth and the ways these things could change our lives. He is a member of the World Economics Association.
He authored In Praise of Large Payloads for Space, Joseph Friedlander’s Thoughts Inspired By Alexander Bolonkin’s Writings On How To Catalyze Innovation And Technical Progress, Hyperwealth and Alternative Futures, Tyler Cowen’s “Great Stagnation” — Joseph Friedlander Perspective and Thoughts on Related Subjects, What was the best way to use the Saturn V to reach the Moon — in retrospect?, A summary of Dr. Bruce Cordell’s 21stCenturyWaves.com Maslow Window Model, and The Friedlander Cold Crown — A Cold Trap For The Lunar Poles — Solid Oxygen For Lunar Capture And Export.
Read his LinkedIn profile.