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X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV)

dan_inbox

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I think the goal here isn't to create a brand new orbital power grid; I don't think that the tech would scale well.
Indeed. This is the origninal point: it cannot scale without serious consequences.
Now, as long as we keep it anecdotal, yes, we can hope that mamma Earth won't notice too soon, and that the consequences will not be too noticeable too soon. (after I retire? after my second term?)

Still, remains that on the principle, this is simply the most direct way to accelerate global warming. Big or small acceleration, we can choose the scale.


And yes, there is no doubt that it can come in handy in some cases, like remote disaster sites, military adventures, or maybe even darker applications such as frying somebody's critical stuff.
It's just not a safe answer to "very significant energy needs". This would just as "very significantly" accelerate warming.

EDIT:
Once we have those orbital routing points, energy would be beamed from several sources (solar, space nuclear, Lunar nuclear and more) and nurture an ecosystem of midpoint space stations and transportation ways.
Yes, as long as you leave the harvested energy in the outer space, there is no problem. The overwarming happens only if you bring it back down into the atmosphere (=the overheating pot)


Maybe I gave the wrong impression: this tech is a great opportunity, for all the applications that keep the extra energy outside of Earth. And for anecdotal-critical emergency applications in it.

I just wanted to dispell the idea that it could be "very significant for our energy needs" down here on Earth. Elsewhere, yes.
 
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starviking

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The sun energy is harvested outside of the earth atmosphere on a frequency that is anyway reflected by earth.
Then this photon energy is converted in electricity as it is done with a regular solar array and it's that electricity that is used to beam the energy back on earth
Yes, precisely the point that causes more warming: Energy from the Sun that today doesn't make it down into the atmosphere will be inserted into it. The details of the more-or-less circuitous process don't matter. The net result is that Earth atmosphere will in the end receive MORE energy than it did before this harvesting was implemented.

That's simply the most direct way to accelerate global warming.
The energy involved would be more than offset from the loss of whatever energy source would have been providing the energy in it's absence.

Anyway, the bigger orbital panel ideas involve using microwaves to transmit the power, and they are hardly absorbed in our atmosphere at all.
 

dan_inbox

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The energy involved would be more than offset from the loss of whatever energy source would have been providing the energy in it's absence.
From a Thermodynamics point of view, this is not true. More energy has been introduced into the system, period.
Here "the system" is spaceship Earth.

using microwaves to transmit the power, and they are hardly absorbed in our atmosphere at all.
From a Thermodynamics point of view again, this is not relevant. More energy gets introduced into the system, and that's going to accelerate the warming. Whether this energy gets absorbed first in the atmosphere or in some receiver antenna, that will modify which component of the system gets it first. But for the system as a whole, it makes no difference.
 

starviking

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The energy involved would be more than offset from the loss of whatever energy source would have been providing the energy in it's absence.
From a Thermodynamics point of view, this is not true. More energy has been introduced into the system, period.
Here "the system" is spaceship Earth.

But the burning of stored energy, fossil fuels, has been avoided. And the release of greenhouse gasses too - allowing more energy to escape the system into space.

using microwaves to transmit the power, and they are hardly absorbed in our atmosphere at all.
From a Thermodynamics point of view again, this is not relevant. More energy gets introduced into the system, and that's going to accelerate the warming. Whether this energy gets absorbed first in the atmosphere or in some receiver antenna, that will modify which component of the system gets it first. But for the system as a whole, it makes no difference.

And as in the first point, if this extra input energy results in less use of fossil fuels, less stored energy will be burnt on Earth, and less greenhouse gasses emitted.
 

TomcatViP

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Let's not drift anymore away from topic objectives my friends. I am sure there is enough here to open a new thread where to discuss the merits of directed energy against fossil fuels.
 

Byeman

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Almost sounds like the USAF don't see much of a future in store for the Space Force...
No, Space Force doesn't see much of a future for X-37
The DoD has never suffered a lack of shortsightedness.
This has nothing to do with shortsightedness. It is actually the opposite. Not wasting money on what little return X-37 brings.

There is a legitimate reason for Space Force exist, much like the reason the Air Force was formed.
 
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sferrin

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This has nothing to do with shortsightedness. It is actually the opposite. Not wasting money on what little return X-37 brings.

Yes, that's what shortsightedness is - a lack of imagination.
 

Josh_TN

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The X-37 isn't an operational platform, as far as we know at least.
 

sferrin

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This has nothing to do with shortsightedness. It is actually the opposite. Not wasting money on what little return X-37 brings.

Yes, that's what shortsightedness is - a lack of imagination.
There is no lack of imagination. X-37 is just a dead end. Just because it is cool doesn't mean it is useful.
And just because they can't think of a use for it doesn't mean there isn't any. Like I said - no imagination. (And no, I'm not talking mounting light sabers and hyperdrives on it.) It's as dumb as some comment from one of the suits on an older hypersonic program (RATTLRS/HyFly/X-51) that was basically, "well if it does work we don't know what we're going to do with it".
 
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stealthflanker

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Well for one it can have Satellite refuelling role.

Those multimillion dollars spy sats up there can use some top ups to extend their life or to have more flexibility to maneuver to evade any possible "visit" from another Satellite.
 

sublight is back

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This has nothing to do with shortsightedness. It is actually the opposite. Not wasting money on what little return X-37 brings.

Yes, that's what shortsightedness is - a lack of imagination.
There is no lack of imagination. X-37 is just a dead end. Just because it is cool doesn't mean it is useful.
What does this even mean? Nobody knows what X-37 is really used for.
 

Lc89

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This has nothing to do with shortsightedness. It is actually the opposite. Not wasting money on what little return X-37 brings.

Yes, that's what shortsightedness is - a lack of imagination.
There is no lack of imagination. X-37 is just a dead end. Just because it is cool doesn't mean it is useful.
What does this even mean? Nobody knows what X-37 is really used for.
Jadc2 maybe?
 

Josh_TN

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I suspect the X-37 is used for exactly what the USAF says its used for: testing new ideas and payloads with lower risk, and with the ability to return them to earth for post orbital study. There aren't many practical uses or advantages to the platform compared to a dedicated satellite other than being reconfigurable and returning test equipment to earth.

ETA: it also seems clear it doesn't have a specific job it is relied upon for, since there are only two of them and sometimes neither is on orbit. If it had a role to play outside testing, they'd probably build another one.
 

sublight is back

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This has nothing to do with shortsightedness. It is actually the opposite. Not wasting money on what little return X-37 brings.

Yes, that's what shortsightedness is - a lack of imagination.
There is no lack of imagination. X-37 is just a dead end. Just because it is cool doesn't mean it is useful.
What does this even mean? Nobody knows what X-37 is really used for.
Jadc2 maybe?
Uh no.... JADC2 is gonna be software and unified representation of data.
 
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