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Re: [erm] space mirrors

From: Thomas Anderson <thomas.anderson@u...>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 11:16:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: [erm] space mirrors

On Sun, 1 Nov 1998, Andrew & Alex wrote:
> Thomas Anderson <>
> >i read in the latest Nature (v395 p833) that the russians are to
deploy a
> >2.5-metre mirror from the Mir space station; they claim it should be
> >visible from some northern cities as a moving spot with the brightess
of 5
> >to 10 full moons. this is a proof-of-principle experiment, but i
think the
> >idea is that in future, bigger and more numerous mirrors will be
> >to supply light during power failures, rescue operations, etc.
>     The concept, if I recall correctly, is that the Russians intend to
> up an extremely large mirror to increase the temperature in various
> cities by several degrees by reflecting the sun's light on to the
ground. So
> making the place easier to live in at winter.

aha. the article didn't specify ultimate objectives, but ancient
have just crawled out of my limbic system which agree with you. i'm
skeptical of this: warming up Archangelsk is going to take a lot of
reflected sunlight ...

>     I don't think it was intended to be an extra source of
illumination at
> night.

i'm sure it could double as one, provided it was in the right orbit.

>     I think a space mirror would be easily cleared by using a space
ship to
> catch it and tow it away.

so deploy thousands of disposable mirrors.

>     Assuming enemy space craft aren't available, the reverse, a sun
> could decrease temperatures in opponents cities, could help freeze
> rivers in cold climates, darken key intersections (I don't think that
> would have a significant effect).

a sun shield is a whole different ball game - it would have to be
absolutely immense.


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