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Oct 22 2014

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Modeling space infrastructure after the US Highway system

NextBigFuture’s take on space infrastructure, which I believe was Bob Zubrin’s original idea.

There are interesting parts of NextBigFuture’s proposal, but at the core I believe it is a non-starter. There just isn’t the funding available to provide the equivalent of the 1956 Federal Highway Act for space. Nor, I believe, would the public be behind the idea.

That’s not to say that a Spaceways won’t be built, but it’ll be built by commercial companies and maybe a little bit by NASA or the Chinese.

Rather than pick apart the rest of the article (which has plenty of holes and “government fixes all” and “companies should work together” nonsense), I’ll focus on the commercial technologies that the article brings forward:

Tethers Unlimited’s SpiderFab concept has gotten a NASA Phase I SBIR contract, so that’s promising.
Tethers Unlimited's Spiderfab

Bigelow Space has a design for a 84-person, 8300 cubic meters of space Space Depot.
Bigelow Space SpaceDepot

And finally, here’s a cool graphic on asteroid mining, though I believe that basic supply and demand necessarily means that the economic benefit is overstated.

But read the article yourself and make your own opinion.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/10/22/modeling-space-infrastructure-after-the-us-highway-system/

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