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September 21st, 2005
Is This the Right Way to Return to the Moon?
Glenn Harlan Reynolds: I wonder, then, if the money wouldn't be better spent on things that have a higher likelihood of delivering those, like space elevators. As I mentioned in an earlier column, space elevator technology promises drastically reduced costs to orbit (from which, as Robert Heinlein famously observed, you're halfway to anywhere in the solar system in terms of energy) and it looks as if we could build a working space elevator -- or several -- within the $100 billion pricetag and over the same time frame.
(Ed.'s note: New Nanotechnology Now readers may not realize that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a key feature in building the space elevator. Recent developments in very promising technologies to mass-produce CNT ribbons hint at the toppling of another obstacle in the construction of the Space Elevator. All things considered, it looks likely that the Space Elevator could soon be off the “science fiction” list and become the most cost-effective method of leaving the gravity well.)
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