Friday, January 19, 2007
What could be cooler than space elevators?
One of the Brickmuppets crack team of science babes points us to Buckethead, who is doing an actual interview with an actual space elevator expert!
Very long and informative article. Go read the whole thing.
A few quibbles.
Rockets can, in all likelyhood, be made safe, their fuel is not much more volatile than jet fuel and we're pretty good about handling cryogenics now.
Space elevators, unless there are many of them, put a very effective choke point on space travel. Whatever govt. runs the elevator determines who gets into space.
This is, of course, a problem with the sort of limited rocketry we have now and a govt. run space program. But at least with ships the transport network can (in theory) be somewhat decentralized, whereas a space elevator is a crucial node.
And yes it is a transcendentally cool node. :)
Update: I'm not knocking space elevators, which if they are built will be the easiest, most efficient way to get off planet. I just think that rockets can be a nice complement and hedge.