He seems to be interested in the space elevator, #Space_Mining (public & private) ventures Helium-3, rare metals–at least on earth, & energy collection.
He made mention of New one-dimensional form of carbon may be the strongest material ever: http://www.kurzweilai.net/new-one-dimensional-form-of-carbon-may-be-the-strongest-material-ever for possible use with the space elevator.
One of the most difficult challenges for the space elevator is the production of the long cable from the surface of the earth to orbit. A space elevator would make it much easier for things to reach orbital distance; where vehicles could require much less fuel (or no fuel: solar sailing) to travel around space.
Another industry that is of interest: is the solar sail industry. Photons of light carry momentum (but it’s thought that the photons have no mass), and this momentum can be transferred to an object (such as a solar sail) to make it move. It would be interesting to see if the carbon nano-fibers will be used in this technology as it can also conduct electricity. Modern yachts use aerodynamics to sail into the wind (a vacuum is produced on the leading edge, and high pressure on the back edge to pull the yachts forward, the keel balances any side forces) but in space a solar sail will probably have to use gravity and photons to move about. There is another article that’s some place in here that describes how gravity can be used to minimize fuel costs, and solar sails could probably use the same science to make maximum use of any velocity it gets as a result of the sails interaction with the photons.
It will also be interesting to see if the solar sail industry, solar energy industry (and desalination apparently), space mining, and the space elevator industry will be able to benefit from each others activities–for example if they all use carbon nano-fiber technology, then that technology would advance faster, and become cheaper and more reliable for example.
Finally: solar energy based on sea based areas does seem to have some appeal, and this solar energy project could also provide the incentive for the development of other clean energy technologies as well: Kyocera Opens Japan’s Largest Offshore Solar Power Plant: http://inhabitat.com/kyocera-opens-japans-largest-offshore-solar-power-plant/. In turn these ground based technologies might provide the space based solar arrays a much cheaper source of construction materials and/or completed components.
Here is a discussion about solar energy collection from space that is then sent to earth based collectors:
✎ Space-Based Solar Power [ video ]: http://youtu.be/vJcev0Jq3Ig #energy
The scarcity spoken of in the videos is probably things like helium-3 and rare metals like titanium (possibly useful in fuel cells). The desire to have orbital energy also fits in with humanities expansion into the rest of our solar system, and having access to resources and additional energy sources.
Last edited in Nov 2013
Shortened link to article: Seawater Desalination via Solar Power Satellites [article]: http://wp.me/p10Tww-2Aa
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