This is an unusual very large project for a far more nurturing
and overall-responsible people than we are proving to be now.
But, anyway you can enjoy in imagination what we could have done
instead: KESTS to GEO, civilization connecting with the vast 24-hour-a-day
solar energy and materials processing resources of nearby space
via extraordinary electro-kinetically supported transporting bridges
between ground and high earth orbit, using technology in different
ways than being used at present. Providing cheap continuous huge
volume transportation to/from space, thus enabling abundant solar-derived
electrical power worldwide, enabling toxic materials total recycling,
enabling huge rotating space settlements, and enabling very high
spaceports, all could have been well underway within 20 years,
if we had been different.
Judge for yourself the technological potentials. Enjoy what could
have been, if fascination with aggressive worldwide competitive
abuse had been replaced with fascination for aggressive nurturning's
Building KESTS to solar energy rich GEO !
Kinetic Energy Supported Transportation Structures to Geostationary
Exploring the "FOR and AGAINST" issues regarding a KESTS to GEO project in the very near future.
Initial purpose: to effciently lift enough Solar Power Satellites to GEO to provide
abundant clean electrical power for the world, and to power the
transportation system itself thereafter.
Orbital Access Technique: Payload-carrying vehicles are lifted from ground to high earth
orbit, and back, by electrodynamically braking against upward-bound
high velocity mass streams. Those mass streams are track-constrained
to an orbital transfer trajectory path between ground and GEO,
yet the stream's velocity is much higher than orbital transfer
velocity, such that the resultant excess outward centrifugal force
nearly balances the force of gravity on the mass of the associated
track and hard vacuum environment tubing forming the transportation
Longer Term Goals: Abundant clean electric power for the whole world, before petrochemical
are all burned up; solar-powered total recycling of even the worst
of civilization's toxic waste materials; efficiently high spaceports
from which conventional rockets can easily reach out to the rest
of the solar system; and a place to build passively shielded large
scale space habitats such as those designed in the mid-1970's
for use at L-5 but now with easy rail commute to ground... a ring
of such space habitats, built of lunar and asteroidal materials
and infilling GEO, could support 3 times the entire present-day
population of our planet, with a comfortable sustainable lifestyle
for all... potentially.
Think of a truly adequate space access system, one that we can start creating now, that could possibly enable
more clean energy than the petrochemicals did, and enable civilization
to continue great expansion since it provides huge access to the
vast resources of our solar system.
- Consider that the energy added to a payload, by lifting it from
the ground up to GEO is a mere 7.15 KWh per pound, only 72 cents
worth of electricity per pound. Compare this with the immense
energy consumption appearant in today's earth-shaking fiery blast
of the powerful rockets now required to put payload in GEO using
today's conventional launch technology.
- Electrodynamic railroad lift systems from ground to GEO could
be supported by stored energy within the structure, energy which
is tapped to lift payload to space too.
- Could be used to economically lift all the Solar Satellite Power
Stations to GEO needed to allow worldwide civilization to thrive.
- Could economically lift toxic wastes up to GEO environment to
be totally recycled in solar powered mass separation plants built
- The first of large scale passively shielded permanent space habitasts
could be soon built, not on the Moon or Mars, but in GEO, with
easy commute to the ground and back. A much safer situation for
developmental R&D on such complex combinations of living systems
and machine systems, prior to building large quantities of them.
- GEO could then provide a high waystation for reaching out to the
solar system's resources, already 91% up out of the Earth's gravitational
well. Much easier access to the Moon to create a resource acquisition
infrastructure there, for example.
- A great change in civilization's relationship with the vast resources
of the solar system could result, with immense opportunity for
mankind on into the future, including relief of pressure upon
earth's ecosystem thus potentially enabling restoration of balance,
hopefully still possible by then. The work must be started now,
while a high level of technology and energy resources still remain.
The energy consumption of our civilization has been like a shark
in a feeding frenzy, rapidly devouring the ancient irreplacable
petrochemical energy reserves of our planet so as to power our
myriad mechanical slaves, and pouring unrecycled toxic wastes
resultant from technology's materials into the world environment.
Wind farms and similar new energy resources may enable sustainance
of an acceptable reduced agrarian level of civilization for the
relatively near future, once cars and other power-hungry machines
come to a halt starved for adequate energy in a few decades. Yet,
in the pages of this kestsgeo website, you can find a reasonably
cohesive technological design enabling a relatively near future
that is not just sustainable but also of a vastly expandable civilization,
adding a powerful whole new way for mankind's thriving, if properly
and wisely applied. Unfortunately, almost certainly this option
will continue to be suppressed, the all-powerful business establishment
preferring the conventional, the more easily controlled well-known
of the immediate present day. Yet, lets consider here in detail
how much more interesting it could be, achieved while there remains
enough petrochemical energy for that necessary first big upward
push connecting the earth surface with GEO and back .
Photo: the author after presenting the concept in detail at the
American Society of Civil Engineers' "Space 2002 Robotics 2002"
conference. His 2nd published paper on the subject, "Kinetically
Supported Bridge Vehicle Lift to GEO" is published in the conference
A Work In Progress by James E. D. Cline, updated 2003 05 23
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Copyright © 2003 by James E. D. Cline