Hi I think that both the space elevator and Project Orion are theoretically sound ideas. The space elevator, although within reach, has carbon nanotube composites that are needed for its construction that still have not attained the required tensile strength to allow for an Earth to orbit space elevator. It may become feasable in the near future due to the fast-paced discoveries being made in the field of nanotechnology these days. Nevertheless, the technology behind Project Orion has been proven. You can get a lot of payload into space using a large spacecraft with nuclear bombs in it, yes. As many of you mentioned its pobably a big problem because of radiation and so on. I do not know enough on the subject of radiation from Project Orion to comment. I suppose that is one of the reasons it was discontinued, that and the cold war; They must have feared a nuclear retaliation from the Soviet Union or something. I think it is only human to have interest, and get a psychological kick, just as anybody would from talking and poking at people, as all humans strive for recognition to some point or another---or for that matter, psychological "fun" with other people such as playing around, etc----I would defenitely get a 'kick' and raise my level of 'intrigue' if we could go into space and start colonies up there at a reasonable cost. If this could be accomplished by reasonable means, I would defenitely want to explore these possibilities. However, I recommend working this century on more down to earth initiatives such as revolutions in education using cheap latopts such as the ones developed at MIT (worth $100) for the worlds poor. I think these initiatives and more education would be a lot better than the innefficient 'space exploration initiative' that President Bush has initiated. Nevertheless, there is one very good reason of 'down to earth benefits' using cheap access to space technology: 1-beaming cheap energy down to earth. It is theoretically possible, according to what I have read on google news, that a 'solar sattelite' could concentrate a beam of light from the sun and concentrate it on a point on the earth to create electricity---maybe through fusion or just plainly heating water to turn to steam and then turn a turbine. The problem has been that they are too large to be placed in orbit economically. If such technology becomes accessible we could potentially place many solar satelites in space that would end our dependence on fossil fuels---we could I don't know--get the solar sattelites to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, etc---use solar cell plants--where beams could be concentrated, etc. 2. Disposal of waste It would be very beneficial to dispose waste for reasons that are reasonable.