UPDATE: Last night during the debate, Mitt Romney proved he doesn’t know much about science books.
“...Asked where he and Gingrich differed, Romney said, ”We could start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon. I’m not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that.”..”
ORIGINAL POST: This is why I am supporting Newt Gingrich. It also shows that Mitt Romney doesn’t know a much about science or advanced systems. No other politician we’ve ever had knows this science better than Newt.
I have been at space conferences with Newt. I’ve heard the same presentations, read the same books. He knows what he is talking about. THANK GOD!
Sorry, but these aren’t flights of fancy. They will create thousands of jobs here on earth. For ever dollar spent via NASA it multiplies as it goes back into the economy by at least $10 for every dollar spent. If a billion dollars is spent by NASA, $10 billion will go back into circulation. Look it up. I am underestimating the actual rate. Some say the average is anywhere from $18-$25. I would rather keep it on the low side.
Something like this will require a revolution in technology, creating very real, very good paying jobs. It is glamorous. Kids will want to study science again. Right now there is no reason for them to study science or seek out scientific careers. When people like Rick Santorum say that government should get out of the science business, we have no future.
Even Thomas Jefferson believed in spending very big bucks for science: Two words – Lewis & Clark. It was one of the most advanced and well-planned scientific expeditions in history. Jefferson knew what he was doing – and it sure wasn’t libertarian. We could ill afford the money for the Louisiana Purchase, let alone Lewis & Clark, but he did it anyway.
Mitt Romney ran the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. They cost the us $1.3 billion.
“...On Sept. 19, 2000, Sen. McCain, speaking in opposition to the Conference Report on the 2001 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill advised the Senate of details from the GAO’s report. As recorded in the Congressional Record, Sen. McCain stated,
“The GAO now determines that $1.3 billion–and some of those I will read: $974,000 for the Utah State Olympic Public Safety Command; $5 million for the Utah Communications Agency Network; $3 million to Olympic Regional Development Authority, upgrades at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Sports Complex; $2.5 million, Salt Lake City Olympics bus facilities; $2.5 million, Salt Lake City Olympics regional park-and-ride lots; $500,000, Salt Lake City Olympics transit bus loan, and on and on; $925,000 to allow the Utah State Olympic Public Safety Command to continue to develop and support a public safety program for the 2002 Winter Olympics; $1 million for the 2002 Winter Olympics security training; $2.2 million for the Charleston Water Conservancy District, UT, to meet sewer infrastructure needs associated with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. What the Olympic games supposedly hosted and funded by Salt Lake City, which began in corruption and bribery, has now turned into is an incredible pork-barrel project for Salt Lake City and its environs.” — Sen. John McCain in the United States Senate, Sept. 19, 2000 – [Page S8731-S8748 - Congressional Record.]…”
Who is the smartest? We don’t need to be spending money promoting the Olympics, yet this is what Mitt Romney did. Now he is making fun of Newt, because Newt believes in the future, of providing good sci tech jobs, and a vision that our greatest days are in front of us, not behind us.
“…The sun’s abundant energy, if harvested in space, could provide a cost-effective way to meet global power needs in as little as 30 years with seed money from governments, according to a study by an international scientific group.
Orbiting power plants capable of collecting solar energy and beaming it to Earth appear “technically feasible” within a decade or two based on technologies now in the lab, a study group of the Paris-headquartered International Academy of Astronautics said.
Such a project may be able to achieve economic viability in 30 years or less, it said, without laying out a road map or proposing a specific architecture.
The academy is headed by Madhavan Nair, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. The study was billed as the first broadly based international assessment of potential paths to collecting solar energy in space and delivering it to markets on Earth via wireless power transmission.
The study said government pump-priming likely would be needed to get the concept, known as space solar power, to market.
Private-sector funding is unlikely to proceed alone because of the “economic uncertainties” of the development and demonstration phases and the time lags, the study said.
The study did not estimate a potential overall price tag for completing the project….”
I hate to tell you this, but Mitt doesn’t know much about space, does he?
“...Space solar power (SSP) refers to huge satellites (PowerSats) in Earth orbit that gather sunlight, which is converted to electromagnetic waves beamed to Earth, where it is converted to electricity. This could supply very large quantities of environmentally friendly baseline electrical energy to Earth for the next few billion years. We know we can do it, most satellites are powered by solar energy today and wireless power transfer has been demonstrated with very high efficiency, but we don’t know if SSP can be economically feasible anytime soon. For example, in a recent paper Space Solar Power: An Idea Whose Time Will Never Come? Steve Fetter claims that SSP cannot possibly out-perform ground solar economically because working in space is so expensive; and for that reason SSP should receive no federal research and development (R&D) funds. At the most basic level, Fetter is misled by high space system costs driven by one-off hand-crafted systems, today’s norm. Electrical energy demand when the sun isn’t shining is extremely large. To satisfy this market would require hundreds or even thousands of PowerSats, each consisting of very large numbers of identical components and launched by nearly identical vehicles enabling economies of scale — doing the same thing over and over — which in other industries have brought prices down dramatically. Contrary to Fetter, this paper presents evidence and arguments, based on economies of scale, suggesting that a reasonable R&D program has a decent chance of bringing SSP production within reach of the private sector. If successful, such a program would have enormous positive impact on energy independence, wealth generation, greenhouse gas reduction, space development and the international balance of power….”
”...Gerard O’Neill, noting the problem of high launch costs in the early 1970s, proposed building the SPS’s in orbit with materials from the Moon. Launch costs from the Moon are potentially much lower than from Earth, due to the lower gravity. This 1970s proposal assumed the then-advertised future launch costing of NASA’s space shuttle. This approach would require substantial up front capital investment to establish mass drivers on the Moon.
Nevertheless, on 30 April 1979, the Final Report (“Lunar Resources Utilization for Space Construction”) by General Dynamics’ Convair Division, under NASA contract NAS9-15560, concluded that use of lunar resources would be cheaper than Earth-based materials for a system of as few as thirty Solar Power Satellites of 10GW capacity each.
In 1980, when it became obvious NASA’s launch cost estimates for the space shuttle were grossly optimistic, O’Neill et al. published another route to manufacturing using lunar materials with much lower startup costs. This 1980s SPS concept relied less on human presence in space and more on partially self-replicating systems on the lunar surface under remote control of workers stationed on Earth. The high Net energy gain of this proposal derives from the Moon’s much shallower gravitational well.
Having a relatively cheap per pound source of raw materials from space would lessen the concern for low mass designs and result in a different sort of SPS being built. The low cost per pound of lunar materials in O’Neill’s vision would be supported by using lunar material to manufacture more facilities in orbit than just solar power satellites.
Advanced techniques for launching from the Moon may reduce the cost of building a solar power satellite from lunar materials. Some proposed techniques include the lunar mass driver and the lunar space elevator, first described by Jerome Pearson. It would require establishing silicon mining and solar cell manufacturing facilities on the Moon….”
“...David Criswell suggests the Moon is the optimum location for solar power stations, and promotes lunar solar power. The main advantage he envisions is construction largely from locally available lunar materials, using in-situ resource utilization, with a teleoperated mobile factory, a crane to assemble the microwave reflectors, and rovers to assemble solar cells, which would significantly reduce launch costs compared to SBSP designs. Power relay satellites orbiting around earth and the Moon reflecting the microwave beam are also part of the project. Another design combined the rovers with the factory and directly paves the Moon with a thin film of solar cells. The Shimizu Corporation proposed using combination of lasers and microwave for the lunar ring concept, along with power relay satellites.
Asteroid mining has also been seriously considered. A NASA design study evaluated a 10,000 ton mining vehicle (to be assembled in orbit) that would return a 500,000 ton asteroid fragment to geostationary orbit. Only about 3,000 tons of the mining ship would be traditional aerospace-grade payload. The rest would be reaction mass for the mass-driver engine, which could be arranged to be the spent rocket stages used to launch the payload. Assuming that 100% of the returned asteroid was useful, and that the asteroid miner itself couldn’t be reused, that represents nearly a 95% reduction in launch costs. However, the true merits of such a method would depend on a thorough mineral survey of the candidate asteroids; thus far, we have only estimates of their composition….”
There are those who denounce these ideas as science fiction. They are woefully behind the times. These wonderful ideas are past the design stage. All they need is funding. Yes, it will cost a heck of a lot of money, but for less than it will cost to deport all the illegal aliens in the US, we could be well into the project. And – it would create such a technological explosion in this nation, that we will consider it the new golden ages.
For those who are woefully ignorant on the subject, there are only so many L-5 spots in orbit where these massive satellites may be placed. Germany is looking into such a project. So is China and so is India. If we do not act, we are going to be left in the dust, paying for solar power the same way we grovel for oil.
The POTUS who realizes our future is ahead of us, and makes such a decision will be considered one of the greatest leaders in history. The POTUS who lets another country get the jump on us will be considered one of the nation’s greatest losers.