Doesn’t take much investigation for someone to hit the fact that that guy O’Neill and the folks who made SSI with him were constantly having to explain over and over and over that you don’t have to launch – and should try to avoid launching – dumb mass from Earth to make large helpful things in Space. Yet even today, every day, we still hear things like ‘SPS can only now be done because of lowered launch costs.’
Happily, some others have maybe started figuring out what “Space Manufacturing” really means.
“Such lunar-made solar power satellites would require around five times less velocity change to place them into geostationary Earth orbit compared to satellites launched from Earth itself.”
What a neat concept.
“Investigating the technical and financial feasibility of the concept, the study found that GE⊕-LPS could be achieved without requiring any technological breakthroughs. Most of the core technologies for lunar surface mining, beneficiation and fabrication operations are already in use or under development on Earth today. These technologies could be extrapolated and adapted to the lunar environment, delivered in modular form and managed telerobotically on the Moon’s surface.”
What a great concept.
“Although substantial engineering development would be required, the study found that solar power satellites produced on the Moon would not only be cheaper than any comparable Earth-developed solar power satellite, but that the electricity generated for Earth would also be cost-competitive with any terrestrial power alternative.”
We don’t know why but, for some strange reason, we agree with that new concept.