Thursday, March 27, 2008

Space Access 2008 - Gerry Nordley, Brief Updates on Tethers Unlimited and the CONTACT Conference

Gerry Nordley leads a double life. When working on technical issues he goes by Gerry D. Nordley. He also writes Science Fiction as G. David Nordley.

Gerry helped Tethers Unlimited. Cash was tight for awhile and Gerry has become a part owner.

Gerry explained some of the advantages of tethers. A tether can add velocity to a rocket without using fuel. Or at least the rocket doesn't need fuel. Throwing a rocket ship takes energy out of the tether system. One way to push the tether higher is to run an electrical wire down towards the earth, use energy from solar collectors and push against the Earth's magnetic field.

Gerry had a video showing how a tether might be deployed. He also had a simulation of a pick up and toss by a tether.

Gerry admitted there were a few failures with tethers, but reminded us that rockets also had a number of failures in the early years.

Gerry also gave a report on the Contact Conference. This organization looks at what it might be like for humans as we expand into space, and what a contact with an alien race might be like.

The full agenda

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