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My favorite cost curve is the price of putting 1kg into low earth orbit. Between SpaceX and Blue Origin I expect that curve to trend all the down to about 5x the cost of fuel, and maybe as low as 2-3x depending on how reliable they can make the rocket engines. At those prices you'll see an explosion in innovation as (1) new groups and institutions will enter the field of developing space hardware, and (2) even the groups that currently participate (such as militaries and government space programs) will be able to afford a more risk-taking approach to hardware development and deployment.

Kartik Gada


Not just that, but since Artificial Intelligence does not need much mass to support it (unlike the mass of the human body, along with associated air, water, food, etc.), when advanced AI can fit easily within a 1 kg computer, then we can do a LOT in space.

Stephen murray


right again!

Kartik Gada

Thanks Stephen.

Check out the 'SETI and the Singularity' article from 2009 : http://www.singularity2050.com/2009/05/seti-and-the-singularity.html

Stephen murray

I have of course read it over many times. Everyone gets that PCs and smartphones improve exponentially, but you have rightly shown that other less obvious things are also exponential, such as telescopes and space launches. Its still an exponential staircase, just with large steps.

would be nice to see your take on solar power and its rapid advance (Swansons law I believe?)

Kartik Gada


Yes, Swanson's law is moving extremely quickly. After 30 years of exponential rises at levels too low to notice, PV now provides 2% of world electricity. It will take less time to go from 2% to 10% than it took to go from 0% to 2%.


The thing about solar is that the sunniest parts of the world are the poorest. They can finally convert excessive sunlight into a natural resource (and not import fossil fuels for energy). Plus, major oil exporters like Saudi Arabia also get extreme sunlight, so will burn less oil on electricity.

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