Comments on Dr. Royce Jones Analysis:

Dr. Jones is analyzing an essential part of a larger idea.  The larger idea is a patented idea to create a Space Based Solar Power system.  Dr. Jones is looking at the part of this larger plan that takes the main boosters in a Delta-IV launch, and by adding additional main boosters, launches into low earth orbit (LEO) the original main boosters on the Delta-IV launch.

The Delta-IV has 3 main boosters, and an upper payload stage.   He analyzed what you could orbit to LEO if you added an additional 3 main boosters to the launch.  He concluded that you would orbit over 80 metric tons, more than 3 times the original payload.  This is for a cost of twice as much as the original Delta-IV launch.

Structures in low earth orbit with artificial gravity by rotation can be created by launching 4 Delta-IV launches and joining them together with 6 lengthwise and 3 perpendicular at each end.  By rotating this structure up to 2 times a minute, an artificial martian gravity of .4 earth can be achieved.

This allows a cost estimate of $2 Billion for the 4 launches to bring the habitat structural materials to LEO.  It also allows an estimate of $1 Billion for additional hardware, and to put it together and rotate it.  This idea, though essential to the patented Space Based Solar Power system is NOT patented.

Dr. Jones commentary is about his feeling about the feasibility of the Space Based Solar Power system.  He thinks that there are less complicated ways to accomplish that goal.  I agree with him about that, but think that this is a way to significantly lower the cost to make competitive green power available. See Solar Power Home Page >>

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