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  #21  
Old 31 March 2017, 10:52 PM
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If we're not lucky it depopulates a country and scours the Atlantic rim with tsunamis.
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  #22  
Old 31 March 2017, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Of course, the slightest miscalculation...
Oh the hell with it. Let's build the thing. What's life worth if we don't take a few risks?
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  #23  
Old 31 March 2017, 11:38 PM
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Hmm. Sounds rather likely that any international law on the subject could be considerably simpler than I was envisioning, coming down basically to "building permit denied!"

-- I was having enough trouble envisioning this thing making a mess of everyone's flight patterns (including those of birds), even before we got into the broken-cable issue.
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  #24  
Old 31 March 2017, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
If we're not lucky it depopulates a country and scours the Atlantic rim with tsunamis.
Quick and dirty physics says we'll have around 45 minutes to evacuate the area.

Also from the Q&D physics: It will have a mass about 20,000* times the size of the meteor that caused Meteor Crater and be coming down at about the same speed.

*Assuming the flying building is a bit lighter than the Empire State and that the asteroid is orbiting at 10% above standard geosynchronous orbits.
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  #25  
Old 01 April 2017, 12:51 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Crash

Satellites are not a huge problem. Space junk really is. Using NASA's own space junk statistics software, we once worked out the odds for even a very slim space elevator tether, which turns out to have a huge area and therefore gets hit all the time. There are hundreds of thousands of tiny bullets in orbit around the Earth. Even a small nut or washer travelling at 10 thousand kilometres per hour is actually worse than a bullet. The tether would be shredded many times a year. Satellites avoid these small pieces because their area - even for the ISS - are relatively small compared to a line that stretches from the atmosphere directly through all low Earth orbits. (Actually, they do get hit and the ISS is expected to get hit every decade or so on average. Unlike a tether, they aren't all structure so structural damage is expected to be limited.) For larger pieces, they adjust their orbits and that is a very very limited option for geosynchronous space elevators. I consider this to be the largest challenge, even greater than the rather next to impossible feat of making such a tether. Futurists call such things "merely engineering problems". I've decided that usually means "probably not possible for at least a century".
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  #26  
Old 01 April 2017, 01:15 AM
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I've noticed a pattern in futurists when they talk about things like space elevators and off-planet colonies.
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  #27  
Old 01 April 2017, 01:34 PM
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Yes. Futurists are ridiculous. I mean, for off-planet colonies, particularly colonies outside the solar system, there would have to be a significant economic gain expected prior to undertaking such a monumental enterprise. Easing overpopulation of the Earth, for instance, would be a poor reason to do so as the resources it would take to move even a small amount of people off-planet, even within the solar system, could probably be better spent developing more efficient ways of sustaining life on Earth.

Now, if we could figure out how to produce/contain anti-matter on a large scale, perhaps in a way that cannot be done under the conditions available in our solar system, but would require either a) a more extreme environment (like proximity to a black hole) or b) posed a significant hazard of a catastrophic failure wiping out an entire system, that might be reason enough to colonize some other part of the galaxy...

Out of curiosity, any thoughts on how you could produce antiprotons on a large scale? Apparently positrons may be vented from black holes and neutrons stars (which certainly can't be found in the solar system), but I would imagine the real money would be in antiprotons, if only there were a natural process that generated them on a large scale. Right? Of course, if it could be done, one would wonder why such a colony would even bother hanging out with Earth, especially absent magic faster-than-light communications or travel to keep them in regular contact.

Just asking...
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  #28  
Old 01 April 2017, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Also from the Q&D physics: It will have a mass about 20,000* times the size of the meteor that caused Meteor Crater and be coming down at about the same speed.
I have the best deliberately cheesy tee-shirt ever from there. Ever.
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