Architects have a system is referred to as the Universal Orbital Support System (UOSS). It calls for placing a large asteroid into orbit over earth, a high strength cable can be lowered towards the surface of earth from which a super tall tower can be suspended.
1. There are future plans to move a small asteroid (a few tons and may 2 to 3 meters across -but even moving a small asteroid has not been done
2. Moving a big asteroid would be theoretically possible but would need to have a 100% foolproof methodology because mistakes could cause a giant asteroid to collide with the earth. Ask the dinosaurs how much of a problem that is. Also, even if they get the big asteroid into the right orbit, terrorists could put a rocket on it to accelerate it and de-orbit it.
3. This design is basically 99.99% of a space elevator. The problem of a high strength cable is it has be perfect carbon nanotubes or graphene and about a million tons of it that is 40,000+ miles long.
4. Making the space elevator cable for any payload weight is an issue and the architects have placed a giant skyscraper at the end of it.
They state that the new tower typology is suspended in the air, it can be constructed anywhere in the world and transported to its final location.
This misses the point of the main problems with the concept. It is like choosing the paint color of your faster than light spaceship.
Another designer Bombardier tosses out hypersonic plane designs while leaving propulsion and materials to worked out by others
The Solar Express would first accelerate with rocket boosters.
No non-nuclear rockets have been designed to accelerate anything but superthin solar sails to 1% of light speed.
Chemical rockets are 100 times too slow.
Instead of a sail he has a heavy train.
The speed of the Solar Express could be set at 1% of the speed of light, or about 3 000km/s.
Huge solar arrays located along the train’s path could be used to capture solar energy and transfer it by laser to supercapacitors. Water harvested from comets or small moons would be used for humans living on the train and transported to other stations. The harvested water could also be used to create hydrogen and propellant, but the main propulsion system should take the form of an ion thrusters.
So the rocket boosters would not work.
Ion thrusters would need to be billions of times more powerful than what we have and solar energy would not provide enough power.
I can also make stuff up. If I could store massive amounts of solar power in my bodies cells then I would change my name to Kal-el and call myself superman.
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.
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