The Next Big Future blog has a very interesting look at laser powered space launches.
“Jordin Kare had a proposed development plan to demonstrate a one megawatt launch system over 4.5 years for $32 million back in 2005. It did not get funded but Jordin is working at Lasermotive and they are providing the laser power system for the space elevator challenge that will be held in April 26, 2009 [tentative]. Laser power beaming will be demonstrated, but the clock on the laser launch roadmap is not running as well as a funded laser launch program.”
The post has a lot of charts and calculations and such, none of which I really understand. Anyone out there have any idea as to whether this is a viable option or not?