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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Review of the new NASA 

We're snowbound here today - actually it was less than a foot, and wasn't too bad to clear away.
Meanwhile (see the link) I've been reviewing reports on Bush's new space program. It sounds like it may really make a difference!
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Thursday, January 22, 2004

NSS letters 

Some letters from NSS members on space exploration - in response to the complaints about the Bush plan. [Edited Feb 1 with the corrected URL!]
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

New Apollo Project 

Fun with renewable energy - from the Apollo Alliance for energy independence.
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Dean vs. the media 

Some thoughts from me on how the press likes to pull things to 50/50; truth and even ideology likely having little to do with it.


And more comments over at sciscoop.


Bush will be making the big announcement to day - everybody stay tuned!
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Saturday, January 10, 2004

Some sciscoop links 

Some thoughts from the NSS chapter meeting tonight...

My past sciscoop stories are all there too.
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Thursday, January 08, 2004

Back to the Moon, on to Mars! 

Frank Sietzen seems to have the space scoop of the week!
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Energy discussion continues 

over at the Dean Issues Forum. Is space solar power workable, or not? Do we need more studies, or just to get down to working on the technology? I know what I want!
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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Dean Meetup tonight 

Hmm, will I go? Ben's karate ends at 6:30 or so - might be late, if I can get there at all.
And then there's the Moon Society board meeting at 9 pm. Wednesday's are meeting days...
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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Baby talk 

NY Times on teaching babies sign language :-)
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The debate with Steve Fetter 

See the attachments on the FPS board list for our more formal discussion papers...

Here are the main economic and technical challenges for space solar power, as I see them (a regulatory challenge not listed is the spectrum allocation/standardization problem):

4 technology research challenges for space power:
(1) The ratio of space to terrestrial solar module costs needs to be at most a value of 3 (space three times more expensive) - otherwise terrestrial power is always going to win out.
(2) The efficiency for wireless power transmission - a NASA goal was 40%, but higher efficiencies have been seen over short distances - can they be achieved over tens of thousands of km?
(3) Mass per peak kW is too high: 1 kg/kW has been argued by others to be achievable. Is it?
(4) Launch costs. $1000/kg, combined with the other technology targets, may allow space power to be cost competitive. Can we get to orbit for that, or less?

The energy transition problem is one that will cost 5-10 trillion dollars or more over the next 50 years; a few billions spent on investigating all the physically plausible alternatives seems like money well spent.
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