THE SECOND SPACE CYNICS ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION IS HERE!!!
THIS TIME THE CYNICS FOCUS ON SPACE SOLAR POWER (and a few other issues).
Space Cynics Shubber Ali, Tom Olson (Tom’s Rants), Dr. John Jurist (Old Space Cadet) and Dr. David Livingston (Professor L) engaged in a roundtable conference call Saturday morning, Oct. 25, 2008 to discuss space solar power. In keeping with true Space Cynics fashion, this was a hard-hitting discussion addressing some of the fundamental challenges facing SSP and why the Cynics do not share the joy of seeing a future SSP world as do those promoting it. As we started the discussion, Shubber outlined three basic areas that we addressed: technical challenges, economic and political (policy) challenges, and those challenges represented by substitute technology. All of us were in agreement that the technical challenges can be met over time and with sufficient funding and R&D. All the Cynics believe that substitute technologies here on Earth will typically give the economic and policy advantage to terrestrial power over SSP. Furthermore, the economic, political, and policy challenges ahead for SSP are formidable and likely to be much harder, complex, and costly to resolve than many of those promoting SSP believe will be the case.
Since many listening to this discussion will not agree with some or even all of the points made, should you choose to reply, comment, or question what you hear, please do so factually. For example, if you are going to report or comment that the launch cost will be $200/kilo to GEO or some other very low rate, tell us how that happens so we can respond factually. If you are talking theoretical, please provide the support and basis for your theory. If you are expressing your opinion, fine, please do so, but remember that opinions are not fact or reality. By the way, this rule applies to the opinions of the Cynics as well. Another interesting point offered in this discussion came up when we talked about the need for low cost space access. Shubber made the point that the military does not really want cheap and easy access to space by the general public, thus it’s unlikely that there will be any government action taken to significantly change the way we access space.
For some of you, you may believe or even tell us that we are not helping the “SSP movement.” All of us have heard this before. So be it, but please tell us why our goal should to be to help any movement. Either individually or collectively as the Space Cynics, we discuss, report, and post on what we read, see, understand, and want to express. We are not posting to serve a movement of any kind. We are not obligated to serve any movement. We are obligated to study and understand an issue and report or discuss it as we see it and understand it. If some of you have ruffled feathers over that, please show us where our analysis or conclusions are wrong. We welcome such input and open discussion right here on the Space Cynics blog. Please see http://www.thespaceshow.com for a more comprehensive description of this program.