Saturday, December 05, 2009

Interview with Brad Edwards

Interview with Brad Edwards, in which we find he is still foolishly over-optimistic about building a space elevator

He's still claiming $10 billion and fifteen years will see it done.

Which seems mighty quick to build a system using materials that have not been made yet, and real cheap to field a fully working system.  

I am not a big-brained scientist but .. when is he going to flight test the components?  Test the gear and materials that today only prototyped (if that) and must work in the field 24x7 for years?  Prove the nano wonder material isn't going to fail a few years after it's in production?

P'haps we should build a few bridges with the nano-material first and get some experience with the stuff before launching it into space.

He's always been dismissive of the fiddly details and it drives me nuts.  Like this

The initial stage would require 4 launches of a heavy lift, Saturn V class rocket.

Awesome.  And where do we get four of these?  Nobody is making a Saturn V class rocket - how many billions to kick-start a program?  Perhaps the assumption is that they will just happen.  Well, golly, Doctor Edwards: maybe unicorns will just happen along and poop gold coins and make me rich.  But I won't hold my breath.

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