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View Diary: Who's Killing The Electric Car Again? (Part II) (48 comments)

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  •  Rei, new materials manufacturing in Space? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    Beyond titanium, carbon fiber, magnesium, esters, etc...something completely different that can meet the stringent FMVSS standards (among others who need satisfaction).

    Something that cannot be manufactured on earth because of gravity's contricts and needs to be manufactured in micro-gravity (or what is sometimes erroneously called zero-gravity).  Containerless manufacturing.  Nanotech manufacturing in Space.  New materials science because of the new chemistries.  I haven't kept up with the field but about 20 years ago ESA (European Space Agency) was actively pursuing this avenue of inquiry.

    BtW I once was part of a Brain Trust on this issue.

    •  I don't expect space manufacture... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac, Aidos

      to be a relevant factor for a long time... it's just way too expensive to get things to space and back.  Nanotech, on the other hand, is absolutely playing an increasing role in materials science (not nanomachines, as most people picture when they hear the term, but molecular self-assembly).

      There is one space manufacture process that may have some potential if a cheaper product return method can be found -- transparent aerogel.  From what I've read, aerogels produced in zero-G can be transparent rather than foggy-translucent, giving them applications as ultra-light, ultra-insulated windows.  Their very low density should make for easier payload return (return craft are simplest when they have low mass and high surface area); combined with aerogel's high heat tolerance, I almost wonder if a large "chute" of aerogel could just be braked straight into the upper atmosphere unprotected.

      •  Rei, space elevator or "Stairway to Heaven" ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bigjacbigjacbigjac

        IBM's nanotech primer


        Chute of "aerogel"?

        Life immitates art?  Led Zepp's song gave inspiration to the space elevator?

        Or, did the "Tower of Babel" myth give us the first stirrings of elevating ourselves into space and our need to be in-sync/speak the same language in order to succeed?

        Led Zepp's "Stairway to Heaven" video

        NASA's official space elevator challenge

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