Sunday, May 1, 2011

My 73 Part Conquest of the Solar System

I have been threatening to do this for 20-some years, and it's time. I'll plot out the whole damn campaign arc here, with plot hooks for games I could run, or stories I could write, but the point of the exercise is that I still have faith in the possibility that people will one day be living and working in space, and that the power and resources of the solar system will provide enough wealth for the entire species. That's all very blue-sky of me, but this is the last gasp of my space enthusiast idealism, so, please, humor me...

The first part is to rob a big piggy bank, of course! 8-P

In the past, space enthusiasts have expected, somehow, that NASA would do all of this, or maybe big corporate America will fund it (in one of the mass-driver scenarios, the Lofstrom Launch Loop, the author has a bit of narrative where a fictional space-worker is going up to be part of U.S. Steels' exploratory mission to the asteroids). Not going to happen, at least not soon. Find a way to fund your dream, or it will never happen.

Space Tourism might be a short-term answer, but I don't necessarily believe in it. I'm going to borrow some bits and pieces from other places, including SpaceTram and high altitude aerostats, and put them together in a different way...

An aerostat is basically a hot air balloon, designed to get lift from passive solar energy. I did some silly BOTE calculations, and I think a 100 meter could be put together for a few hundred thousand dollars, and about 10 MW of solar energy falls across it's cross-section during daylight hours. If we had a solar wind-turbine running off hot air venting at the top, and got 1% efficiency, that's 100 KW, a small demo Solar Power Bubble. Scale it up to 1KM, and it produces 10 MW of power, and is self-ferrying. It also would have some additional uses, Cell and Comm tower, surveillance, etc. Hell, advertising!

That's a lot of portable power, suitable for the next part of the operation to follow in part two of my prospectus...


  1. Solar power developed into thermal energy is extremely helpful for water heating, space cooling and heating. It’s also used to distill water. Solar skylights are utilized to provide natural sun light to any dark areas either in homes or offices.

  2. I'm so glad I found you through the A to Z challenge. I look forward to visiting again.