Address: J.E.D.CLINE1                Date: 880924

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A combination of little-known Earth-basedspace transportation conceptsis combined with a Solar Power Satelliteto provide a means of providing SPS solarpower to earth without a microwave beamand provides means of transportingimmense amounts of payload to GEO atvery low cost, and supplies its ownpower for transportation betweenEarth and space.

Keywords: Starbridge, Launchloop,transportation,electricity,SPS



By J. E. D. Cline

There are several little-known space transportation systemconcepts in the literature, that are currently not receivingnearly enough attention here in the US.  It is important tothe near-future space program to give a serious look atthese concepts...or a derivative of them...which have thepotential for greatly accellerating the progress of aspacefaring society.  And there is a potential for combiningtheir unique power-handling abilities with an SPS so as tohave an additional benifit of providing salable electricalpower delivered to the Earth's surface without use of theobjectionable microwave power beam.

Since our frontier is only 90 miles away, up, (on a highwayit would be only a couple of hours' drive) it would be wiseto investigate such alternate Earth-to-space transportation concepts, like the vertical dynamically-supported Earthtower "STARBRIDGE", proposed by Ron Hyde, and the "LAUNCHLOOP" concept proposed by Keith Lofstrom.  Their source ofpower would be electrical, and once such a megaproject isbuilt, it would enable powering itself by a dedicated SolarPower Satellite, thus taking the burden off the Earth forthe energy to transfer payloads between Earth and space.  Inprinciple it takes only a few cents' worth of electricity,about 16 KWHr, to lift a kilogram to geosynchronous orbitfrom the Earth's contrast to the thousands ofdollars it costs using conventional transportation meanssuch as the space shuttle.  Indeed, electrical energy isinherently stored in such systems in immense amounts, andmight be a way to actually supply power to Earth from SolarPower Satellites without using controversial microwavebeams.

Electrical power from fossil fuels is used to lift and power-up the structure of such a transport system, thenmaterial for a prefab Solar Power Satellite is sent up onthe system for installation at its geosynchronous orbitterminal; thereafter solar energy is used to support and runthe transportation system and also to suppy electricalpower to Earth's surface, put into the conventional powergrid at the bottom end of the structure. Power istransferred along the transportation structure in the formof the kinetic energy of a stream of extremely fast movingobjects.  Power is put into, and taken out of, the system byelectrically accellerating or decellerating the stream ofobjects.  The stream flows in an airless tube which isitself supported by electrical drag on the stream ofultrafast objects.  Although still conceptual in nature,their potential for moving absultely enormous amounts ofmaterial and people from Earth into space in a short time atvery low cost using somewhat elevator-like means, couldtotally change the way things are built in space.

These concepts suggest that a "highway" to space may befeasable using near-contemporary technology, supplyingelectrical power to Earth as a byproduct, and they need ourserious attention SOON.

           J. E. D. Cline  (GEnie J.E.D.Cline1)

           5632 Van Nuys Blvd. #110

           Van Nuys, CA 91401