Monday, January 15, 2007

Picture of the day

"The Liftport" - Platform, Lifter, and Counterweight

The Liftport - Platform, Lifter, and Counterweight

The subject of research for more than a century, the space elevator is a unique way to ferry cargo and people into space. Recent advances in technology, most notably the development of carbon nanotube composites, now appear to make building a space elevator feasible. Initial research reports on building the space elevator that draw upon these discoveries have now been completed. As proposed in these reports, the space elevator will consist of a carbon nanotube composite ribbon stretching some 62,000 miles from earth to space. The elevator will be anchored to an offshore sea platform near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and to a small counterweight in space. Mechanical lifters (robotic elevator cars) will move up and down the ribbon, carrying such items as satellites, solar power systems, and eventually people into space.

The Space Elevator is not a tower, or even an elevator shaft. It's just the elevator cable, without even any big motors at the top to pull things up. Vehicles and their payloads have to pull themselves up the cable with their own motors and power supply.

LiftPort Group Inc., Bremerton, Wash.

See the entire LiftPort Conceptual Engineering Drawings Gallery (Focused on the Space Elevator)

As with previous pictures, I will post the others in this series over time. To see it all now, visit the Nanotechnology Now Gallery.

Quote of the day

Much water today is wasted because it is almost but not entirely pure. Simple, reliable mechanical and electrical treatment technologies can recover brackish or tainted water for agricultural or even domestic use. These technologies require only initial manufacturing and a modest power supply. Physical filters with nanometer-scale pores can remove 100% of bacteria, viruses, and even prions. An electrical separation technology that attracts ions to supercapacitor plates can remove salts and heavy metals. The ability to recycle water from any source for any use can save huge amounts of water, and allow the use of presently unusable water resources. It can also eliminate downstream pollution; a completely effective water filter also permits the generation of quite "dirty" waste streams from agricultural and industrial operations. As long as the waste is contained, it can be filtered, concentrated, and perhaps even purified and used profitably. As with anything built by molecular nanotechnology, initial manufacturing costs for a water treatment system would be extremely low. Power will be cheap. Well-structured filter materials and smaller actuators will allow even the smallest filter elements to be self-monitoring and self-cleaning. Self-contained, small, completely automated filter units can be integrated in systems scalable over a wide range.

From: Benefits of Molecular Manufacturing

My Dream

We have within our grasp a technology that may enable the elevation of all humanity.

Nanotechnology holds the potential to create a world of abundance where no one is lacking for basic needs. Those needs include adequate food, safe water, a clean environment, housing, medical care, education, public safety, fair labor, unrestricted travel, artistic expression and freedom from fear and oppression.

Let me share with you the vision of Dr. K. Eric Drexler and some of the things that become practical with mature nanotechnology (molecular manufacturing):

Nearly free consumer products
PC's billions of times faster then today
Safe and affordable space travel
Virtual end to illness, aging, death
No more pollution and automatic cleanup of existing pollution
End of famine and starvation
Superior education for every child on Earth
Reintroduction of many extinct plants and animals
Terraforming Earth and the Solar System (RR: and move some of our "eggs" out of this one basket we call Earth)

Everything I know and understand about nanotechnology tells me that the time is near when every man, woman and child can live their dream, without cost to another. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is the birthright of all, and with a bit of luck and a lot of planning, it just may be within our reach.

As a great man (*) once said "Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."

How can you help ensure that MM is developed in safety and for all people? I encourage you to support the mission of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology and that of the Foresight Nanotech Institute ( and