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planet10 11th February 2012 05:51 AM

Near Space -- The Next Frontier
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John L (Post 2900978)
... a Space Elevator. It just happened because I am a big believer in getting into space and not having all of our eggs in one basket.

+1

Have you read both the novels on the making of? Build in place along a guidelne, or fly it in?

dave

John L 11th February 2012 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by planet10 (Post 2901464)
+1

Have you read both the novels on the making of? Build in place along a guidelne, or fly it in?

dave

If you are referring to one of them as "The Fountains of Paradise", by Arthur C.Clarke, yes. You wouldn't believe all the material out there. And I've read a lot of it.

I've even figured out that once we get into space, all raw material will be processed at the two earth Trojan points, not anywhere near earth. All it will take is for just one large asteroid to fall into the planet's gravity well, and it could spell doom for millions. There will be laws against that.

I worked out the entire scenario in my head.

planet10 11th February 2012 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John L (Post 2901467)

...the two earth Trojan points, not anywhere near earth..

i am really hoping to retire to there, but unless space development accelerates dramtically i'm not gonna live long enuff.

The shell for a colony could "easily" be built out of an iron asteriod by coring it thru the centre, spinning it and then use a giant solar collector to slowly heat the thing up. The thing softens up and could be made into a giant cylinder (5+ km x 2+ km D) like one spins a clay bowel.

There is another space elevator treat out there for you. The book that introduced me to the concept was Sheffield's Web Between the Worlds, interestingly released within a month of Clarke's book.

dave

John L 11th February 2012 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by planet10 (Post 2901479)
i am really hoping to retire to there, but unless space development accelerates dramtically i'm not gonna live long enuff.

The shell for a colony could "easily" be built out of an iron asteriod by coring it thru the centre, spinning it and then use a giant solar collector to slowly heat the thing up. The thing softens up and could be made into a giant cylinder (5+ km x 2+ km D) like one spins a clay bowel.

There is another space elevator treat out there for you. The book that introduced me to the concept was Sheffield's Web Between the Worlds, interestingly released within a month of Clarke's book.

dave

Lord, how did I manage to miss that one?

I know we should be discussing my project, but I'll just say this. There are several things I believe are going to be necessary before we can make our homes in space.

1. easy access and low cost to otbit: thus the beenstalk(elevator)

2. human genetic manipulation: genetically engineered body that will not lose muscle mass in microgravity.

3. more genetic manipulation: an outer skin, like the example in John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" where the skin will not be damaged by exposure to the sun in space, and an outer body that can live in a vacuum for a more extended time than present. Instead of about 45sec before death in space, say 5 minutes, time to deploy a spacesuit, in case of an accident.

4. a space suit that is worn like designer clothing when not deployed. Humans have to have lightweight clothing that uses nanotechnology which can provide open weave, but close up at the first sign of vacuum. That means a one piece suit from foot to the neck. The helmet can be a thin, flexible plastic, neatly folded in a shoulder pouch. It can be taken out and deployed in a matter of about 30 seconds. And it will have to provide protection from vacuum and the sun's radiation. A soft, and flexible, helmet is far safer than a rigid one. It won't crack and will give when struck. inside pressure will cause it to expand and look just like a regular helmet. Workers in space will be able to work and even play in space and not have to use a primitive suit.

5. a strong lightweight structural material. Iron will go from first to second choice: too much mass. Carbon will be the structural material of choice. Carbon nanotubes are at present several times stronger than steel, and many times lighter. Ships and habitats will be made out of carbon, which is every bit as common as iron. We just haven't found a way to produce it in mass and cheaply,..............yet.

6. all raw refining will be done outside the earth's gravity well. Then it will be set out to either slow down, or speed up, depending on its orbital distance, and will be picked up as it approaches the earth. Production of finished goods will be produced at Trojan points five and six, in lunar orbit. Everything will be away from earth for safety reasons. In fact, the sky will not be filled with satellites/space-stations as SiFi novels predict. Only the bare minimum, because a large one crashing into the ocean could cause a disaster, costing millions of lives.

There are others, but these are going to be necessary for us to be successful in space. Some of these I dreamed up at night when I was unable to sleep. 2, 3, 4, and 5, are all doable, and a cheap spacesuit being worn as regular clothing will be the norm eventually. If a hull breach occurred a suit could be set up in seconds, and there would be a power source, heater/refrigerator, and small oxygen recycler built into the suit/garment, allowing a person to live for at least 60 minutes before being rescued. This will be critical and give humans the confidence to venture out in dangerous territory. And it will cut down deaths dramatically.

If you want to go further into this, you can go to my forum site, which is in my signature. I have an entire thread or two devoted to this topic in the Science Section. I love discussing my thoughts as I lay wide awake at night, unable to sleep because of this. If I was good as a writer I would have started a series about all this. Many things we cannot predict the future, but the ones above are going to be an absolute Must Do.

planet10 11th February 2012 08:19 PM

THis looks like it may need to be split off soom

Quote:

Originally Posted by John L (Post 2901884)
I know we should be discussing my project, but I'll just say this. There are several things I believe are going to be necessary before we can make our homes in space.

Long term these things all need to happen, but the Pioneers will need to be living in space for them to occur.

Quote:

1. easy access and low cost to otbit: thus the beenstalk(elevator)
Short term we will still be using tech evolved from rockets to establish ourselves in low earth, at geosyncronous & on the moon.

Quote:

2. human genetic manipulation: genetically engineered body that will not lose muscle mass in microgravity.

3. more genetic manipulation: an outer skin, like the example in John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" where the skin will not be damaged by exposure to the sun in space, and an outer body that can live in a vacuum for a more extended time than present. Instead of about 45sec before death in space, say 5 minutes, time to deploy a spacesuit, in case of an accident.
I believe that there is a lot of stuff in the human genome just waiting for us to move into space. Once established a lot of this "genetic manipulation" will happen naturally.

The early L4/L5 colonies as i envision them will have centrifical "gravity" on the same order as 1G, and parts of the habitats ranging from micro to macro. Brute force can serve us well, with iron walls 10s of metres thick being both strong and a natural barrier to cosmic rays.

4. a space suit that is worn like designer clothing when not deployed. Humans have to have lightweight clothing that uses nanotechnology which can provide open weave, but close up at the first sign of vacuum. That means a one piece suit from foot to the neck. The helmet can be a thin, flexible plastic, neatly folded in a shoulder pouch. It can be taken out and deployed in a matter of about 30 seconds. And it will have to provide protection from vacuum and the sun's radiation. A soft, and flexible, helmet is far safer than a rigid one. It won't crack and will give when struck. inside pressure will cause it to expand and look just like a regular helmet. Workers in space will be able to work and even play in space and not have to use a primitive suit.

Quote:

5. a strong lightweight structural material...Ships and habitats will be made out of carbon, which is every bit as common as iron. We just haven't found a way to produce it in mass and cheaply,..............yet.
Once a foothold is established being able to manufacture in microgravity and high vacuum will make things much easier.

Quote:

6. all raw refining will be done outside the earth's gravity well.
With ready access to huge solar furnances and energy (used directly or converted to electriciaty using well established "steam" generators) L4 and L5 outposts would become economic manufacturing & scientific powerhouses. And huge earthside mercantileports for raw resources being flown in from the asteroid belt.

dave

auplater 11th February 2012 10:35 PM

Biggest hurdle to space colonization is, imho, the human interactions over extended time frames. Heck, in many threads, we can't even manage civil conversations here on DIYaudio, imagine a bunch of engineer techno-geeks floating around 25K miles in outer space.:D:)


not to mention the radiation shielding problems... and 10's of meters of iron sounds good, until you calculate the radiation flux damage and fabrication difficulties. Dreams are one thing...:eek::santa:

John L 12th February 2012 03:37 AM

I suspect that the preferred habitat of choice will become the O'Neal cylinders. They will probably start off small, and use steel on them. They will be kept smaller because of the mass. But once carbon becomes the preferred structure material of choice they will eventually reach diameters of ten kilometers or more, and possibly a combination of several different habitats along the axis. It could be possible to have multiple cylinders rotating along the same central shaft, rotating at different speeds for different gravitational desires. And it will be possible to commute via the central shaft quickly. The possibilities are endless. One habitat could be in winter, one in summer, another in whatever, and they could serve the entire cylinder.

But all it will take is one terrible accident involving something coming down to earth, and all that will change over night. I think eventually there will be the bare minimum in earth orbit for that very reason. There will be international laws to make it virtually impossible for accidents, terrorists, or certain forces to use Impactors as a means of warfare.

With that in mind, I believe the L4-L5 lunar LeGrange Points will be huge hubs where manufacturing will be centered. But only for finished material. All the raw refining will be done at the earth LeGrange points, where the danger of a runaway asteroid would be negligible. Asteroids of high value would be moved to the inner system from the asteroid belt, and collected there, and then broken down for their wealth of raw materials.

Once that is done, nano-tube mesh nets will be filled with the raw material, tagged and recorded, and then moved into a shorter or longer orbit, depending on which Trojan point it is coming from. At the leading point(I believe L4) the raw materials need to be hauled a little further out of the stable orbit, where it will move slower in relation to earth. At the trailing point, the raw materials will be moved inside stable orbit, where it will move faster in relation to earth. Without expending much energy, the meshes full of raw material will slowly make it to earth on their own, where they will be gathered up by tugs and towed to the finishing factories at lunar L4 and L5.

I cannot think of any other practical way to do this and keep the planet safe from major accidents. If a net full of raw materials got loose and entered the gravitational field of earth, it would either burn up, or cause little damage to earth's inhabitants.

The safety of the planet from Impactors of any kind is going to be major issue in the future. And any person, or country that causes the death of millions, or worse, is going to be in Deep Trouble from the rest of humanity.

On a different note, I have always wondered why SiFi writers have always used themes of an overcrowded solar system, and this thing of running out of raw materials. It makes no sense to me.

First off, water is all over the solar system. Earth has water entering the atmosphere on a daily basis in the tons. Even though the 'Small Comet' theory has not panned out, we still get a net increase of water from space. So that is not a worry. And the Kuiper Belt, and Oort Cloud, are full of so many useful bodies that the amount of raw materials is just staggering to imagine.

If we don't invent a FTL drive, or find any warps in the fabric of space(wormhole) it would take us G-d knows how long before we became crowded or run out of raw materials.


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