I’m sure space travel is an incredible experience, probably incomparable to anything else one can experience. The high you get must be massive. Whether it is worth the price totally depends on how much money you have and what else can you with that money. If I had over a million dollars to spare, I’d totally go for space travel. The current cost of space travel is about 300,000 dollars (not including all the costs you’ll spend in traveling to training centres etc.). For this amount, one can take like 3 week long amazing vacations on earth every year for the next 20 years! While it is theoretically possible to include kinetic energy objects as part of the class of weapons prohibited under the Outer space Treaty (OST), most commentators do not consider this type of weapon to be a violation of the OST as their targeting and comparatively limited energy impact keep them beyond the definition of a “weapon of mass destruction” as defined in Article IV of that international agreement. The advantage of such a weapon is not in its inherent destructive capability, but that it is virtually impossible to counteract. The projectile has a negligible radar cross-section, and enters the atmosphere at orbital velocity, meaning detecting it and shooting it down would be impossible. Secondly, a strike can be effected anywhere on the planet, assuming you had a number of orbiting satellites. An important thing to understand is that on the one hand there is nothing to understand about this movie, it’s express purpose is to make you think. It can be a difficult concept to accept when we’re conditioned to expect a nice neat resolution to movies and all meaning to be handed to us on a plate. But filmmakers like Kubrick actually set out to be intentionally vague so that the audience has no choice but to draw their own conclusions.
In terms of “meaning” though, rather than searching for meaning in terms of what it is happening plot wise (is it aliens, is it god? Etc – Kubrick feels that searching for this kind of meaning in a movie to be trivial), the more relevant and interesting thing to look for is the more ‘down to earth’ stuff like what the movie is saying about things like human nature and experience. This theme is perhaps more subtle in 2001 than some of Kubrick’s other movies, however it very clearly crops up in the very first chapter where the early humans are killing one another using their newly discovered tools, hinting at our violent nature and primitive drive for survival (note: this part is scientifically inaccurate, other animals can use tools as well as us). The interesting thing after hearing other people’s thoughts is to re watch the movie and see if you can spot things that support or contradict their interpretation, perhaps even forming some conclusions of your own. All the answers already given are significant challenges. One issue I rarely see mentioned is how to get the cable assembled/inserted/attached. Let’s assume we have the “termination satellite” in place in geosynchronous orbit already. You couldn’t just “drop” the cable from the satellite like you would drop a rope from the top of a building. If you did, you’d at least have to guide it down, like how they use helicopters to run electrical transmission likes between towers. In fact, in many examples the “cable” is more likely to be a stiff “tube” so this “dropping from the satellite” is not going to work. The examples then show the “cable” being built in place. Do you build it up like a giant skyscraper? Even if you build it from both ends and meet in the middle, it would still have to be self supporting for many, many, many miles until the two ends meet.