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Blowing up Mercury and Venus may help meet energy demands for decades

London, Wed, 11 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 11 (ANI): Constructing a giant ball around the sun to harness its power could be closer than people may think - the only requirement would be to demolish Mercury, Venus, some of the outer planets and any nearby asteroids.

An emerging technology expert has claimed that we can start building a Dyson sphere (a sort of spherical solar panel) that would give us more energy than we will ever need within a matter of decades, the Daily Mail reported.

George Dvorsky asserted that by 'taking apart' the whole of Mercury, asteroids and even other planets like Venus we can collect sufficient material to complete the huge project.

He thinks the project can be started in 25 to 50 years and the first phase could be completed within a few decades.

But instead of a solid shell it would be a 'large number of independent constructs orbiting in a dense formation around the sun', which could be built in stages.

These would form a 'receiving surface' around the sun, which could absorb the energy from the sun to power the next phase of the project, rather than depending on fuel brought from Earth.

However Dvorsky has admitted that there are several hurdles - not least the fact that no astronaut has ever been to Mercury.

Dvorsky mentioned about a plan by Oxford University physicist Stuart Armstrong which breaks it down into five 'ten year surges', starting with the assembling of the first array.

"We're going to have to mine materials from Mercury. Actually, we'll likely have to take the whole planet apart," he said.

"The Dyson sphere will require a horrendous amount of material - so much so, in fact, that, should we want to completely envelope the sun, we are going to have to disassemble not just Mercury, but Venus, some of the outer planets, and any nearby asteroids as well'."

"A Dyson sphere would provide us with more energy than we would ever know what to do with while dramatically increasing our living space," Dvorsky said.

"Given that our resources here on Earth are starting to dwindle, and combined with the problem of increasing demand for more energy and living space, this would seem to a good long-term plan for our species."

But in his plan, he has not explained how the energy from the Sun could be brought back 93 million miles to Earth.

"It seems clear that the idea of constructing a Dyson sphere should no longer be relegated to science fiction or our dreams of the deep future."

"Like other speculative projects, like the space elevator or terraforming Mars, we should seriously consider putting this alongside our other near-term plans for space exploration and work," Dvorsky added. (ANI)

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