Friday, April 12, 2013

Al Globus, San Jose State University at NASA Ames - Paths To Space Settlement

Al Globus, San Jose State University at NASA Ames - Paths To Space Settlement

How do we get from where we are today to the first couple settlements.  For Al an important part of a having a space settlement is are people raising children there.  Al wants to raise children with one gravity so they can return to earth, to visit.  He likes rotating settlements, he suggests something with a radius of about 250 meters, about 350 meters wide.  Trillions of people could live in free space.

What do we need?  We need a much better Earth to Orbit transportation system.  Need to build really bit things in orbit.  We'll need air, water and food.  And we'll need to pay for it.

Al reviewed the Space Shuttle.  It could do some good things, but it was way more expensive in transporting stuff into space.  A big part of the high cost is the low volume.  If we were transporting at a higher volume the cost would go down.

Space Tourism may provide a path of bootstrapping ourselves into space.  Al said we need government to support space tourism.

Low-g Retirement could be a great market.  They won't need wheelchairs.  They won't have bed sores; they'll not have to worry about falling and breaking a hip.  And grandchildren will want to visit!

Another path is Space Solar Power (SSP).  High risk, huge payoff investment.  It has essentially unlimited quantities of electricity, 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Today's market is about 8 Terawatts.

The last path into space is Planetary Defense.  Al doesn't think this will be a big market in the near future.

What can we do to help?

Enter kids into the Annual NASA Ames / NSS Student Space Settlement Design contest
Buy a ticket and go to space
Support Commercial Space

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

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