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Barry Haworth wrote,
> The interesting thing is that, if these guys are right, we'll be
> getting a space elevator *before* we have widespread space travel.
> Both Clarke & Sheffield had their elevators built well after space
> flight using more conventional means had become widespread.

I wonder if the economics of conventional means were ever as clear as
they are now. Zubrin talks about the economics in _Entering Space_. The
current cost is in the thousands of dollars per pound of payload, partly
due to the technological choices we're making. Zubrin seems to think
that we could reduce the cost by a couple of orders of magnitude, even
with conventional rockets. Back in 2000 David Smitherman (Space
Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New
Millennium) suggested the cost by elevator might be a couple bucks per
pound. Smitherman also figured that it'd take maybe 50 years to build
it. I gather some people are now, just 4 years later, saying we could do
it in less than 20 years. What changed, besides Bush's proposed space
initiative?
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:[log in to unmask]                Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/                  with a weird name