Talk:Future Work for NASA

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This is not an official NASA document

Say again

This is not an official NASA document

That said, the author would much appreciate any feedback you might have.

--Jriley 17:51, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Test in Progress

We are currently testing one of the major concepts in this article, Hubbert's Peak. We are running the test world wide but the results are particular acute in the USA. And, there is no reset; we will have to live with the result..

If the scenario presented here is correct, then the world oil market recently toggled over from a buyer's market to a seller's market. The supply is limited. Demand is high. The price will therefor rise until it hurts so bad that demand drops to match supply.

Efforts to stop this rise will be useless. The politicos will try all sorts of short-term measures, such as tax holidays, investigative hearings, and perhaps even opening drilling farther on the north slope. None of these will have more than a momentary effect.

The only action that could possibly work in the short-term is a massive conservation program which would be very hard on many parts of the American economy.

In the long-term we must rebuild the entire American energy infrastructure. This we can do, but it will take time and a lot of effort.

So watch the price of gasoline. If nothing can stop its rise until the American public is hurting real bad, then this paper becomes a lot more believable.

--Jriley 13:05, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

rebuilding the American energy infrastructure

A quick summary of what I mean by "rebuild the entire American energy infrastructure" seems to be in order. A good plan must not only meet Americans energy needs for both stationary and moving power, but reduce the carbon in the atmosphere while maintaining food supplies.

A massive and immediate energy conservation plan is a must. These measures must then be made pertinent.
Solar Energy
We must build numerous solar power stations throughout the American Southwest. Most of these will be of the concentrator type and include a few hours of storage. They must be spread out so that one storm can effect no more than a few. They will become important job creators in as many Congressional districts as possible.
Wind Energy
We must build a thousands of wind generators down the middle of the country and along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These will save many family farms and fishing villages. Again the effort will create jobs in as many Congressional districts as possible.
We must build a significant number of energy storage facilities. Most of these will be deep caverns and old gas fields where we can store air at high pressure. When the energy is needed the compressed air will be burned with natural gas with 60% of the energy coming from the compressed air.
Energy Backbone
Our national power grid is out of date and not up to the new challenges. It must be heavily rebuilt.
Transportation Fuel
We must build a network of plants and pipe lines that first take purpose grown crops (switchgrass), agricultural waste (corn stalks), and garbage (meat wastes) into a biocrude. This feedstock will be pumped to regional refineries and converted into three fuels: bio gasoline (similar to octane), bio diesel, and bio jet fuel. This process must reduce CO2 dumped into the atmosphere and not reduce either food production or replanting of forests.
Remote Sensing from Space
Powering a civilization off its own environment requires much more information than powering it from coal. We need both advanced weather satellites for day-to-day predictions and very advanced science satellites for long term prediction. These must be supported by latest computers and computer models.

(And when you are finished doing that; let in the dog and put out the cat.)

The cost of this effort will be comparable to that of the War in Iraq. The work has already started, but must be greatly speeded up.

--Jriley 14:02, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

About the Hubbert Peak

When the price for crude oil rises there is more that happens then merely reducing use at the higher price. There is serious encouragement of alternatives. One of these alternatives is methane clathrate frozen to the ocean bottom. It will take a considerable increase in hydrocarbon price to activeate methane clathrate use, but there is as much methane clathrate as there ever was crude oil. It can not be one of these silly for show one kilowatt alternative energy schemes that is run at a loss. It must be developed in a big way or not at all. So it must be profitable to be developed. The required reduction in CO2 emissions will best be brought about by increased fuel prices, but even with reduced use of hydrocarbon fuels there will still be a large market. At a new and higher price methane clathrates should enter the hydrocarbon fuel market and stretch out our industrial style of economy long enough to develop solar power from space.


I recently looked methane clathrates to confirm what I recall from previous reading. Apparently estimates of methane clathrate reserves have been lowered since the last time I had read anything. There should be a little less carbon as methane clathrate than there is in crude oil, but it should make a difference. Here is a web page: --Farred 20:40, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

The main concern that I have about methane hydrates is simply escaping gas during the recovery process. The estimate is for loses is around 5%. Methane is a very powerful green house gas. We simply cannot depend on a system that loses large amounts of it to the atmosphere. -- 23:31, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Solar Power Satellites

The expensive construction activities for the ISS show that the construction methods are not to be copied in building solar power satellites. Remote control manipulators should be used. After seeing how one works, a better one can be built. That is a significant advantage over construction by people in person in space suits. The environmental concerns of some ninnies will not stop solar power satellites when they are shown to be economic. --Farred 16:16, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Escaping Methane

Methane is escaping now from arctic permafrost. My impression is that the largest contribution to escaping methane from permafrost comes from Siberia. This methane will continue to escape whether people harvest it or not. If anyone believes the declining hydrocarbon use curve in the "Future Work" article, one would have to say that at some point even with increased methane escape from harvesting methane there would be lower greenhouse emissions than today. So people should get around to the methane. It is just a matter of when. This brings us to the graphs. I want a reference to the source of the graph data printed out plainly so I can look it up. I have seen graphic predictions of population and resources before that proved to be inacutate predictions. It was a case of garbage in yields garbage out. Then there is this matter of the cost of transport to orbit needing to be $500 per kilogram of less to make a solar power satellite a commercial venture. That may be so for now, but if industry is built up on Luna as described in "Bootstrapping Industry" people might reach a point at which building solar power satelites from lunar materials would be a comercial venture. It can not be considered a commercial venture now because perhaps fifty years are required to get any payback and many required techniques for getting these matterials still require so much development that the time required can not be well guessed. -- FARTHERRED 9:40 pm Central Daylight Time, 11 July 2008 I have found references in Future Work for NASA Readings. -- FARTHERRED 10:10 PM 11 July 2008 Added link. Farred 01:24, 18 January 2012 (UTC)