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What will we have first?
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What will we have first?

Fusion power or a space elevator?
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Fusion power
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Space elevator.

We have the engineering capabilities, and materials science to pull it off currently. We just don't have the mass production capabilities or quality control for the materials nor the massive amount of infrastructure and and capital needed to actually do it.

Fusion power is an endless pipe dream and R&D money pit that likely will never come to fruition in a meaningful or reliable positive output way. We don't have the technical knowledge nor the materials science necessary.
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>>6661556
>We don't have the technical knowledge nor the materials science necessary.

I doubt materials of sufficient durability for reliable output are even possible with fusion power.
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I dunno but I hope it's the space elevator.

Would be such a huge fucking leap for human technology.

Space elevatorwould also probably be required to make fusion power a reality anyway, gotta mine dat moon for He3.
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>>6661556
nor do we have the place that the elevator leads to
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>>6661572
Elevator would likely be based out in the ocean.
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>>6661530
>space elevator
>decades long construction project based on highly automized techniques we don't currently have for materials that are just past theoretical.
>could easily fail catastrophically laying complete waste to what would be the single largest human endeavor in the history of anything.
>satellites and space debris exists all along it's projected length that would completely assfuck it in every way imaginable that is nearly impossible to clean up.

>fusion power
>theoretical pipe dream requiring a fuel we don't have easy access to, indestructible unobtanium containment materials that don't and likely cannot exist, the ability to completely harness and shape magnetic fields in a precise and energy expensive fashion that we don't know how to/can't do.

Kinda funny though that realistically to supply the sort of energy output to make a space elevator possible/practical, you pretty much need high output fusion power.
At the same time to make the development and fueling of fusion power practical and possible, you need a space elevator.

So basically the answer is neither.
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>>6661590
What about a space elevator requires much energy?
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>>6661590
>a fuel we don't have easy access to
The only fusion fuel we don't have in abundance is He3
> indestructible unobtanium containment materials
An airtight steel vessel in partial vacuum and magnetic bottle is unobtainable?
>the ability to completely harness and shape magnetic fields in a precise and energy expensive fashion that we don't know how to/can't do.
we can shape magntic fields well enough, unfortunately super-hot plasma is ill behaved and bleed energy through various exotic mechanisms.

We can create fusion reactions in the lab with ease, what is lacking is reaching densities where output exceeds input.
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>>6661606
Then the question is: how small can we make a star.
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>>6661610
>how small can we make a star.
A modern thermonuclear warhead is ~800kg.

A star however uses gravitational compression which is entirely unfeasible for anything less massive than a star.

It's not all that hard to achive the energies required to fuse particles, what's hard is to do so in an energy-economical manner that ensures the energy output is positive after factoring in conversion losses and the energy used to sustain the reaction itself.

In terms of hardware it's probably much easier to use a shot-based approach than some steady state plasma tokamak.
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>>6661596
Fabricating nanotubes on an extremely large scale remotely
Lifting production assembly literally into orbit
Materials handling and infrastructure for massive amount of raw materials being 'pumped' into orbit
Infrastructure of moving the base of the elevator.
All the power for actually operating the thing.

Massive amounts of power necessary, and it has to be produced nearby the base for tippytop efficiency, likely in the middle of the ocean.
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>>6661530
Fusion will happen first. The space elevator isn't going to happen, money isn't even an issue.
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>>6661606
>The only fusion fuel we don't have in abundance is He3
He3 is exactly what we would need to mine in space.

>An airtight steel vessel in partial vacuum and magnetic bottle is unobtainable?

Every successful fusion experiment to date has required complete overhaul of the containment vessel and material after even short term events.

>we can shape magntic fields well enough, unfortunately super-hot plasma is ill behaved and bleed energy through various exotic mechanisms.
We cannot shape them well enough to fully contain the reaction to the point of preventing containment damage.
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>>6661628
>The space elevator isn't going to happen, money isn't even an issue.

Elaborate?
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>>6661530
A space elevator will be possible first but that doesn't mean we will have one first.
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>>6661556

Fusion exists in nature, so we know it's possible.

Space elevators are totally artificial and we don't know if they would fail or not. There is no consensus on whether or not we could design materials strong enough.

My money is on fusion.
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>>6661631
>He3 is exactly what we would need to mine in space.
It's only benefit is that its aneutronic.
>Every successful fusion experiment to date has required complete overhaul of the containment vessel and material after even short term events.
That's because they are fusion experiments and overhauls are part of the optimization and experimental procedure. If you mean "due to damage": citation needed
>We cannot shape them well enough to fully contain the reaction to the point of preventing containment damage.
We can, it's easy, containment damage is a constant risk in fusion projects but it's by no means considered a dealbreaker.
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>>6661578
pls read
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so how big is the chance that someone comes up with a new propulsion tech and the space elevator won't be even necessary?
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Hi would anyone be so kind to enrich Li-7 so we can make LiF salts for MSRs? Li-6 for the production of tritium is all yours.
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>>6661530
what is fusion power? 3:
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>>6662373
pretty much putting nuclear bombs into a blender with magnets and stuff.
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>creating a trillion dollar structure for terrorists to crash in to

lol good luck with that
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>>6662493
>implying it wouldn't be a private structure on international waters flying no flag
>implying it wouldn't instantly shoot down anything entering it's airspace.
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>>6662500
>weaponizing a private structure in international waters

no concerns there
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>>6662501
>being afraid of the future.
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A fusion between elevator and space
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>>6661728
We know carbon nanotubes could do it. We just haven't been able to create long enough yet. We know it is possible in the same way we know fusion power is possible. Fusion is a lot more complex a problem though. That's why so much funding is going into it.
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>>6661556
>materials science to pull it off currently.
No we don't.
Carbon fibers aren't tough enough to endure the weight of such an edifice.
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>>6661530
Fusion... with fusion you can use lasers and steam rockets to get cheaply into space...elevator is not needed
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>>6661570
>implying rail guns aren't vastly superior for this task
>>
Neither because of muslims and
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>>6662628
Space elevators will never be a reality. It's a very stupid idea. By the time we have the technoglocial capability to build it there will much better solutions to the same exact problem. Fusion, on the other hand, is incredibly useful and there are actual, serious efforts to make it real.
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>>6662612
A space elevator would not support it's own weight, the structure would be under constant tension with a counterweight out beyond 35,786km to pull the structure taut.

Under this tension carbon nanotubes would be sufficient for the task and the majority of the structure would be self supported by it's own orbital velocity.
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>>6662652
Also the structure would be self stabilizing under tension as well.

There would be no "falling over" as its own velocity and centrifugal forces would pull it straight and stable.
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>>6661570
> gotta mine dat moon for He3.
Just no.

Firstly, He3 really isn't very useful. We're still quite some way from being able to practically exploit D-T fusion, and He3-He3 fusion is much, much harder.

Secondly, it's only marginally more abundant on the moon than it is on earth.

Finally, it can be manufactured using a number of fusion reactions (some of which are themselves aneutronic), which is likely to be a far more practical source than mining should we ever have a need for large quantities of the stuff.

In short, the only practical application of He3 is as a plot device for science fiction stories. As is typically the case, this can appear to be realistic, but only if you aren't particularly familiar with the science.
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>>6661636
The only feasible place that this can be taken is in the equator and the ocean and even then it's probably a lot more complicated than that. Then you have the damn muslim terrorists who want to prove a point. Especially because this is reminiscent of the tower of Baal, there's no way the terrorists are going to leave this behind. And on that note you need to deal with climate and various shit that's orbiting earth and could knock out the elevator's weight thing out of geosynchronous orbit. There's probably a lot more than this as well.
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>During a full D-T experimental campaign in 1997 JET achieved a world record peak fusion power of 16 MW which equates to a measured gain Q, of approximately 0.7. Q is the ratio of fusion power produced to input heating power. In order to achieve break-even, a Q value greater than 1 is required. A self-sustaining burning plasma requires at least Q=5 (since the alpha particles carry one fifth the fusion energy) and a power plant requires at least Q=10.[7] As of 1998, a higher Q of 1.25 is claimed for the JT-60 tokamak; however, this was not achieved under real D-T conditions but extrapolated from experiments performed with a pure deuterium (D-D) plasma. Similar extrapolations have not been made for JET, but it is likely that increases in Q over the 1997 measurements could now be achieved if permission to run another full D-T campaign was granted. Work has now begun on ITER to further develop fusion power.

Daily reminder that JET can already produce net power and ITER will verify that a commercial fusion power plant is possible.Magnetic confinement fusion works perfectly fine and has advanced over the last 30 years into something that might actually work and probably will.
there's absolutely nothig pipe-dreamy about it whatsoever.
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>>6662657
The ocean is the obvious choice for it's base.

The only thing that would be limiting it's travel through orbit is things zipping around in or near LEO. Satellites and debris would need to be moved/removed if they posed a collision risk.

The entire area around the elevator would obviously need to be heavily regulated and fortified. With military flotilla (merika) and no-fly zone for several hundred miles.

Meteorological effects would be mitigated with sufficient size counterweight/tension. The counterweight itself would be easily adjusted/repositioned because of the relatively small orbital velocity past geosynchrous orbit and the resulting small amount of dV necessary to make corrections.

>>6662660
We are no where near able to create self sustaining fusion reactions yet and doing so IS a pipe dream. Such a thing is perpetually "30 years off" for the foreseeable future.
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>>6662665
The question is who would do all this?
>inb4 murricans
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>>6662665
>We are no where near able to create self sustaining fusion reactions yet
Pretty sure you can't read, because that's exactly what we already can.
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>>6662666
Based on the current/foreseeable geopolitical/economic climate, the united states of freedom would be an obvious majority contributor. But such a thing would doubtlessly be a multinational effort.

There would also need to be considerable motivation in terms of space development/travel to make such an effort worthwhile. Which there isn't which is why so much more money is being pumped into the possibility of fusion power. Because power demand exists and is increasing insatiably.

>>6662667
There has not been a full self sustaining reaction. There has been no actual energy positive reaction, only calculations that such a thing is possible on currently existing hardware and even if this energy positive reaction were carried out it is not self sustainable in any way.
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>>6662635
>stupid idea
>there will be a better solution
I'd be interested in hearing your reasoning.
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>you will never live to see a mankind create a full geostationary space station that encircles the globe and makes getting into space as trivial as going to Hawaii
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>>6662677
Space ramps
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>>6662677
>build satellite with a winch and a long cable
>launch into orbit
>let cable down
>hook it to payload
>pull payload into orbit.

Bam, no tower for shitskins to ram learjets into.
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>>6662677
space elevators are a cool idea, and I am sure will be used heavily on the moon and other none water rich areas, but on earth, once you have fusion you can put a few powerful lasers on earth and a few on some satellites and use steam rockets to get into space, water is free and non polluting and there is no easier rocket to design then a steam rocket, given a big enough rocket and powerful enough lasers, there is no practical limit to how much mass can be launched into orbit.
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>>6662684
>>6662687
Jesus Christ

>>6662686
Thats a space elevator
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>>6662686
And how do you negate the Third Law of Motion?
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>>6662652
>>6662654
http://io9.com/5984371/why-well-probably-never-build-a-space-elevator
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We will probably never build a space elevator as there's far better mega-structures available to get into space.
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>>6662724
Your picture has a space elevator in it
Probably should think what you post.
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>>6662729
It doesn't have a cable running the full 36,000 km up to geostationary, which the phrase 'space elevator' is synonymous with and is being discussed here.
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>>6662675
>There would also need to be considerable motivation in terms of space development/travel to make such an effort worthwhile.

This is always the problem I keep running into. Getting things down to earth is as easy as falling on your ass, but the elevator only makes sense if you're looking to get a lot of stuff out of the gravity well on a constant basis that is going to make a big enough return to pay back the massive investment of the space elevator itself.

Tourism and science ain't gonna finance that.

Asteroid mining seems to be the nearest potential goal that would justify a space elevator on a cost/benefit kind of way. Of course that is a whole different can of worms since the tonnage of resources we're talking about would pretty much smash the conventional economy.
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>>6662710
>io9
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http://www.agrion.org/upload/fichier/Helion%20Energy%20Executive%20Summary.pdf

It's like you don't even keep up with fusion energy at all /sci/. These guys are going to be replacing enormous power plants in a few years with these things. There's also at least two other small scale fusion efforts, one of which intends to replace combustion engines in vehicles.

>MFW I will live to see fusion-electric hybrid cars that get 3000 mpg
>>
Why do we not have fusion yet
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>>6662484
rly now
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>>6662985
Trying to contain high energy plasma with magnetic fields is like trying to contain Jello with rubber bands that cost energy themselves.

Then trying to capture energy when most of it is emitted as alpha particles in a self sustainable way that doesn't destroy it's own containment vessel is prohibitively hard.

>>6662978
>Pipedream, the PDF
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>>6661530
Well considering dozens of governments and private companies are currently working on fusion, meanwhile literally no one is seriously working on a space elevator, I would say fusion.
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>>6661530

I'm gonna go all in on fusion.

Wish me luck /b/ros, that's my life savings there.

COOOMMMEEE ON LUCKY FUSIONNNN
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>>6661530
>What will we have first?
>popscibullshit or a popscibullshit?
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>>6662978
That's gonna be one massive vehicle you're gonna be driving. Maybe you could get german tank manufacturers in on it and call your car the Fusion Maus.
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>>6661530
what if we had space power and fusion elevators?
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>>6663173
>popsci
>implying fusion power and efficient space travel aren't both highly researched fields.
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>>6663175
>>6663129
Neither of you have any idea what you're talking about.
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>>6663202
Yea sure bro.

You should put all your money into this now. I'm sure it's going to really pay out.
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I always find the GT-R vs Vette threads funny.

I would never get a GT-R simply because they sound like someone running a leaf blower next to a blender full of bolts. The vette always sounds like pure sex.
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>>6662493
If you were to build one, it'd be made out of materials so strong crashing a plane into it would just destroy the plane.
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>>6662978
>a fusion reactor in your car
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>>6663370
The ribbon, or tether, or whatever the form chosen, would still be damaged if hit with both great heat and a large mass moving at great speed.

Whether the line would break or not would need some calculations, but it would be damaged and would need repairs before regular traffic could continue.

Of course, there would already be systems for repairing the line, since it would degrade on it's own and replacing the whole thing wouldn't make economic sense.

Also, if the line was broken in any kind of altitude attainable by commercial aircraft, the mass of the tether above the cut would still keep the end close to ground, especially if more line was fed from the counterweight, where the machinery to make the whole thing would probably still be.

Actually, continuous feed of the line from space to ground might serve as regular maintenance in normal operations.
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>>6663379
No brakes in the world would be able to stop that mass in time if you went at anything past crawl speed.
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>>6663395
train brakes can
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>>6663390
The construction method that seems most plausible to me would be launching (actually several launches) to put the initial geosynchrous station into orbit and start of the counterweight as well as prefabricated sections of the initial tether.

Then with the help of subsequent launches further prefabricated sections would be incorporated until the tether was able to reach low enough to be anchored. While this is all happening the counterweight/station is maneuvered relative to the structures center of mass.

Once it is anchored a 'crawling' fabrication facility takes up material to increase counterweight mass and being further reinforcing the ribbon to by fabricating the length to it's full diameter in order to support the full mass of the full operational weight of the elevator and counterweight.

May need to be done in several progressive steps with progressively larger fabricating crawlers to build up the eventual size of the ribbon without exceeding the capacity of the initial anchoring/counterweight/tensile strength.
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>>6663395
Why do you think a fusion reactor needs to be massive? Do you think a Tokamak is the only possible fusion reactor?
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>>6663674
I think the shielding will be massive. And the cooling system. Not to mention the systems needed to change the energy from one form to another until electricity or whatever is gained.

Aneutronic fusion sounds good, but will probably be even further away than economic application of easier reactions. And even then you've only disposed of radiation shielding, leaving the rest.

Sure, a pocket fusion reactor would be nifty, but so would an ftl winnebago or total control of gravity.
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>>6662635
>Space elevators will never be a reality. It's a very stupid idea.
Asssuming plenty of fusion power it would probably be much easier to use space fountains/cables(active powered structures) instead of elevators.
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>>6664037
Aneutronic fusion still produces enough x-rays to warrant massive radiation shields.
It just avoids the neutron problem that degrades the materials involved.
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>>6662612
while some estimates do say that we have some materials that could survive post construction, the construction would pose a major issue. This isn't something you can build with a crane, and does not have the kind of base structure to build floor upon floor.
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>fusion power is impossible
wot. I don't know if you all have cold fusion in mind, but the stellarator design for regular fusion is very promising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendelstein_7-X
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>>6664093
No, no one ever suggested making the space elevator from the ground up (since victorian times, at least), but instead from the top down.

A regular suggestion is to catch a handy carbonaceous chondrite, steer it into the required orbit and produce the needed thread from it's mass and then lower the ribbon/tether/else down into the atmosphere and finally to the ground to be caught and fastened, while at the same time balancing it with an outgoing thread if/as needed.

And if the production process is perfected and cheap enough, you can keep the machinery going, producing strengthening/replacement thread as needed.
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>>6662683
>Orbital elevators
>not hundreds of massive colonies at Lagrange points
You soul is still weighed down by Earth's gravity
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>>6661530
Working fusion power would make a space elevator obsolete after a few decades
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>>6664080
no, it really doesn't. Besides, directly converting x-rays into electricity eliminates the need for shielding (which just converts into heat waste instead of power).
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>>6661556
If a space elevator falls, it could wrap around the world.

And all of the damage that >implies
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>>6664949
Except that it's not long enough to do that, when well placed it the pacific it probably couldn't even reach anything significant.
That is not to say that the elevator itself isn't the most valuable object on the planet anyway
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>>6664949
>>6664955
>Oh no! A lightweight ribbon is going to gently flutter down on us!! What ever shall we do?

>>6664766
Have you seen what goes into the walls and doors of a room that houses a medical x-ray imager?

And a fusion reactor is going to produce a lot more x-rays, and it's going to do it all the time it's on, instead of for a few seconds.

Your x-rays-to-electricity setup will still need to be incredibly massive to catch enough of the radiation.

Unless you don't mind your car engine cooking your testicular/ovarial matter.
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>>6665038
>Unless you don't mind your car engine cooking your testicular/ovarial matter.

Procreation is overrated anyway.
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>>6665040
Yours? Certainly.
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Fusion may become practical, a space elevator will not.
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>>6661530
I'm going to say Fusion because I really don't know how a space elevator would be achieved depending on where it's going.
The moon for example, you'd have to put it in such a way that it rotates between the earth and the moon to make it effective for the majority of time it can be accessed.
Else you could plant it straight on earth and wait for the perfect moment everyday, but you'd definitely have to plan ahead and make it suitable for beyond high-altitude conditions.
Also I'm not so sure how much pressure there'd be from leaving such a high altitude and going straight into zero-g, if there would be any.
Though if anyone's got shit that can blow whatever I've said away, please do. Because I'd be pretty hyped for a space elevator.
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>>6665038
I don't think you've seen newer x-ray imagers. There's almost no shielding required. Even the lead smocks attendants use are a holdover from safety policies dating back decades.

Capturing and converting x-rays around a small scale fusion generator (which is actually quite small when talking about powering an electric vehicle) is a relatively trivial engineering problem at this point. Nothing massive is required and that piece of it won't need to rely on new science or materials being developed.
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>>6664655
>implying you can build massive Lagrange colonies without a cheap and efficient way to attain orbit
>implying that's not exactly what a space elevator provides.

Baring any sort of super efficient magical scifi launch vehicle propulsion, a space elevator is our best bet for expanding into space.
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>>6664666
How so?

Some sort of fusion propulsion?
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>>6665054
Bro, you have no idea what a space elevator is or how it works.

I also suspect you have no idea what a geostationary orbit is.
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>>6664949
>>6664955
>>6665038

Since a space elevator would be under tension at all times (both for stability/stationkeeping and to support the forces of scending loads) and be counterweighted, if the elevator shaft/ribbon/cable/whatever were damaged/broken it would want to fly off into space, not topple down to earth.

Of course whatever lower altitude portion of the break would fall to earth which is why locating it in the pacific would be the best bet. And since any portion of it that is below geostationary orbit would be at suborbital velocities the majority of it would conserve momentum and essentially fall straight down relative the earths surface.

The higher altitude portion that would tend to fly off into an elliptical orbit would be saved by the counterweight's stationkeeping propulsion (which it would have for normal operation/stationkeeping/alignment). From there it could be parked back into a untethered geostationary orbit and reconstruction of the damaged lower portion of the elevator could be performed.
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>>6666485
You'd be correct.
How would a space elevator work anyway? I was just making assumptions on how it would work so a clear up would be great.
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>>6667741
Basically a satellite/station would be put into a geostationary orbit.

A geostationary orbit an orbit over the equator where the orbital period is the same as the rate of earths rotation so that the satellite is stationary relative to the earths surface.

Said satellite/station then manufacturers/lowers a ~32,000 km ribbon down to the earths surface (probably somewhere over the pacific) where it would be anchored.

From there mass for the counterweight and further material to reinforce the ribbon would be sent up using an elevator type arrangement.

Mass would be arranged where the ribbon would be put under constant tension to stabilize the structure and provide the ability to lift substantial mass from the surface into space.

That's a space elevator.
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>a whole thread jerking off to space elevators and fusion

Why bother with these far future technologies when we can design and build thorium nuclear reactors for cheap safe energy and mass drivers to get to low earth orbit for ($1/kg)? These are much more feasible technologies for the near future.
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>>6668491
ITER is literally just couple years away from operation
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>>6668512
>16 billion
>isn't expected to begin full deuterium-tritium fusion until 2027
In addition, it's still an experimental rector. Nuclear energy is a proven technology with more technical understanding.

Meanwhile in thorium:
>India's government is also developing up to 62, mostly thorium reactors, which it expects to be operational by 2025.
>first reactor expected to commence operation in two months
Did I mention you can also mix in current nuclear waste (and thus dispose of it) to power them?
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>>6662686
>>6662686
>>6662628
>>6662493
>>6662493
I think we need to remove kebab before we continue on with anymore science stuff
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>>6668491
>muh thorium
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>>6668625
That's a nice shitpost you have there. Do you have any actual reason why every nation shouldn't pour money into thorium? It could save us from climate change. This shit is important.
>>
>>6668625
>>6668625
Many of the reasons against thorium were written up in the 1950s by the AOE.

Your faith in those old opinions are why we will be buying electricity from people that are our enemies.
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>>6668628
http://archive.foolz.us/sci/thread/6639560/
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>>6668631
>muh 1950s

Great durpinion thar.
>>
>>6668631
No technical objection to an LFTR was left unanswered in that thread.
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I'd say fusion power.

A space elevator would require a global worldwide-effort. Humanity is too selfish to focus on anything other than money. There's probably no benefits (yet) that would justify mobilizing that much ressources.
Also, I think that nothing big can be done in space until we find a way to send humans and materials cheaply, rapidly and at a large scale, without any physical link to the Earth. I guess the most realistic way is building ships strong and reliable enough to be able to enter/exit atmosphere using its own propulsion methods.

But yet again, that would require some serious engine technology, aerodynamics constraints and an energy supply that doesn't exist yet.
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>implying molten salt reactors wont come first
>>
get all nukes to the jupiter
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>>6661530
you dont need elevator if you can make a teleport.
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>>6666478
If a fusion reaction could be used as propulsion it would be cheap enough to make sending rockets up very cheap and easy, enough that it would be more convenient than a space elevator.
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>>6661530
Fusion is already a reality. H-bomb is one example. There are also fusion reactors around. They are just not efficient enough to be economically viable.
Space elevator is just a dream.
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>>6668629
>why we will be buying electricity from people that are our enemies.
>our enemy
>canada
>our enemy
>canada
>>
>>6668834
you dont need teleport if you can manipulate matter with ur mind.
>>
>>6669160
Hydrogen bombs aren't synonymous with fusion power just because they are a nuclear fusion reaction.

There is currently no way we can create a self sustaining, reliable, positive energy fusion reaction for the purpose of power production.

There is nothing technically impossible or insurmountable engineering wise about a space elevator. The biggest obstacle for such a thing is monetary/resource based.
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