Monday, August 22, 2005

The Wonder of Nanotubes

As regular readers will know I'm a self-confessed geek- so I was overjoyed to read Tim Worstall's post indicating that the technology now exists to craft a space elevator thanks to nanotubes. Wow.

Ever since I read Eric Drexler's Engines of Creation and the wonderful Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition- another equally good book about a myriad of techonological possibilities, written in a very entertaining and accessible style- I've been hooked on the magical opportunities that may await us in the future. Add a few copies of Extropy's magazine into the mix and you've got someone intrigued by "smart fog" and uploaded minds.

The 21st century is going to be a very interesting time- and a major factor in that will be nanotechnology. If people want to argue about where Bush puts government funding, they should just ignore stem cells and demand medical nanotech research; that's where the really interesting developments are going to happen.

UPDATE - New Scientist reports that scientists are using the Hubble Telescope to scout the Moon for sites for a potential human base.

UPDATE 2 - Tim Worstall links to this article about a space elevator in his article but here it is direct. According to a study by the author for NASA, a space elevator could reduce the cost of transporting objects into space from the current $20,000 per kilogram to $200 per kilogram. Multiple elevators could reudce that cost further to $10 per kilogram. Such a feat could mark the beginning of a true space age.

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