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Space Habitat

10/13/2009 11:50 AM

I have recently been reading about space habitats and all that is required to make one effective. http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/

I am not sure if this is the best location for a discussion on this as MOST of the forums have some information or input for this.

I was wondering if all the people that use this site can come up with a viable way to construct a fully functioning space habitat. The habitat should be as self sufficient as possible using existing on near complete research. The habitat should have the smallest possible reliance on Earth upon completion and provide its own means of financial support in the long term.

The various sites I have seen suggest a colony of 10,000 people. I think a larger colony may be better suited to garuntee species survival with limited genetic troubles.

I suggest a final goal of 100,000 person habitat; this includes children, with room for 10% transient population (tourists and short term visitors). The habitat should waste as little as possible. i.e. if the shuttle is used the big orange tank should be used in some capacity. The resources and manufacturing to build the habitat should be done with the lowest possible cost for the maximum benefit. Lunar resources are possible as well as Near Earth Objects and inoperable man made space junk.

A probable starting point would be Low Earth Orbit for construction of a small habitat for workers to begin the large scale construction from. If lunar resources are to be used, what can we find as the most cost effective way to build the LEO sight, Lunar site and Main Habitat?

What is the most benefical structure to allow for expansion and be operable, even in a limited capacity, as early as practical? I suggest a Torus that is spun at 1Rpm for pseudo 1G. The colony can be expanded by adding more Torii(sp) in a stack to eventually form a cylinder for the habitat.

The various space habitat sites have used the following values to define the habitat:

- Area per person 47 Meters Square

- Farm per person 20 Meters Square

- Water per person per day 3 litres (assumed average work load)

- Oxygen 13.4kPa or 100mmHg

- Nitrogen 26.7kPa or 200mmHg

- Carbon Dioxide 0.4kPa or 3mmHg

- Water vapour 1kPa or 7.5mmHg

The water for the habitat will be much more than 3 litres per person to account for plant watering, cooking, cleaning, recyling, manufacturing, and recreational uses. The diet for the habitat should be as close to Earth normal as possible with preference given to food items with large edible portions or otherwise usable parts.

To start things, what can space provide that is needed on Earth? Solar power, micro gravity manufacturing, Micro G research, Solar Exploration, Tourism and whatever else can be thought of that could make money to fund the station in the short and long term?

What is the most effective starting point for a space habitat ?

What is the most effective location for the habitat ?

What is the most effective design for the habitat ?

What is the most effective expansion or build up of the habitat ?

Lets see what we, as a group, can come up with for a self supporting habitat in space.

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Commentator

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#1

Re: Space Habitat

10/13/2009 12:19 PM

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/designer/needs.html#ENERGY

The above link covers the various aspects of a space habitat that MUST be addressed. Yes the site is the NASA space hab contest but it is also a great place to find a concise list or group of information to design a habitat.

I am mostly interested in learning why one thing is better than another with the reasons behind the various decissions. There is no perfect solution to this just a large group of justified compromises to achieve the end result.

I think a group of engineers and do-it-yourself people can come up with a simple, elegant design that almost runs itself. The process of developing a fully self reliant space habitat will also cover many different ways to improve life here on Earth by dealing with resource management for a space habitat.

Think of a discipline that is used for a space habitat that cant be used to benefit the Earth.

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#2

Re: Space Habitat

10/13/2009 10:59 PM

What I thought would be an interesting concept for a space habitat is blown glass. Imagine a double wall sphere with the outside cavity occupied by vegetation. High lead content glass may help protect from cosmic radiation. A solar furnace would provide the heat to melt the glass. The vegetation would provide oxygen and food. Glass blown in a gravity free situation, expanded by a special gas, and cooled precisely may have qualities we don't even anticipate. I think the moon has silicon on it.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 12:15 AM

The majority of the Apollo samples show that the moon has large amounts of silica but very very small amounts of lead. so you would have to ship the lead up or locate another source from NEO.

The moon has low grade oxides of Iron, Titanium and Aluminum. Iluminite is one of the many different composite minerals on the moon and most of the processing options I have read about have silica has a large portion of the slag left over.

As for a glass sphere from lunar silica for a habitat, how do you propose to shield the habitat from solar radiation ? If you assume a dose no higher than you would recieve out on the street you would still have to have a leaded glass about 5cm thick for radiation shielding and structural integrity. Not to mention how would you cope with micro meteorites and the various man made projectiles like paint chips or a Shuttle tool or tool belt ?

No argument about a solar furnace, initial size would be pretty small to allow for Earth based deployment of the starter parts. Where do the people stay to work the furnace ? If its remote operated who builds it and repairs it ? how is it supplied and unloaded ? If the ISS is to be used as a starter shack it will need to be able to house double its current complement atleast to allow the ISS to work on its own stuff while the habitat is started.

The glass from lunar silica is possible from what I have read on various sites. A small draw back is the lack of knowledge processing glass in a weightless environment or even at moon gravity. I think NASA has done a small test sample of lunar regolith to verify that it can make glass, something about the size of a bead was used from what I could determine. The various theories suggest lunar glass in micro G or Low G would be very pure/ The same goes for the various other smelting operations that would need to be done to maximize the use of raw materials in NEO or from the moon surface.

In the near future I will re-locate and post the various mineral compositions found to be on the moon. The values I have found are not a good average for the whole moon BUT they do show a substantial mineral content in the various areas explored by Apollo.

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 4:34 PM

For practical reasons, I think the first habitat would be on the moon. The resources are there, and the engineering problems could be experimented there. I like blown glass because it is air tight. A habitat could be constructed as interconnected bubbles, made one at a time. Air locks would protect from accidental breakage. As the technology improves, the size increases.

Protection from solar radiation may require going underground for a while, until technology solves that problem. Being under the surface will protect from meteorites, too. Only the greenhouses would be exposed to the sun. Making the caves is just another engineering challenge. Dig 'em, blow in the glass shell, mount the door, and move in. The only machined item is the door. (And all the other stuff you need to survive, of course)

I'll post this now, but will follow up more later. This would make a great sci-fi book.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 5:40 PM

"And all the other stuff you need to survive, of course"

Hi,

you will not survive there!

On Earth you have any support you can think of and billions of people that act and work with mutual exchange.

Tell me what you want to take with you and I will tell you when and how it will fail and you will not be able to replace it.

You need catalysts to male fuel, catalyst factory?

You need many high quality fabrication steps to make space-suits: fibers from synthetics or natural, weaving, sewing, dying, welding, plastics for windows, how to produce sheet and blow in forms and coat with filtering thin films?

Any part you need has on Earth a whole bunch of fabricational support and these have a support with machinery and technicians and raw materials and repair and information about new solutions and processes and machinery. None of these will be available on Moon or in Space.

So forget it. We need to survive here on Earth. Nowhere else.

RHABE

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 9:28 PM

You seem to have missed the point of this endeavour, which is to see what the minds of this site can come up with to make a working self sustaining habitat.

If your are one of those people who think we shouldnt go into space or even think about what we need to do to survive in space then why bother posting in this thread at all.

I would also appreciate attacking the argument or the idea and NOT the person.

You mentioned NONE of the process' required to make a self sustaining habitat in space exist. Of course they dont no one has built a self sustaining habitat to date. You also mentioned that you can tell us how it will fail and cant be replaced, good but also try and come up with ways to overcome that hurdle.

We need catalysts to make fuel, ok what catalysts can be made from the various resources I posted earlier that are available from the moon? There is an abundance of resources in NEO and on the moon, the idea behind building a space habitat is to gain cheaper access to those resources so they can be utilized. A large portion of the moon is Silica which can be used to make glass, so why make plastic for windows ?

Earth based manufacturing is great BUT it costs a lot of money per Kg to get the Earth based resources to space. I have seen estimated values of $500 to $5000 per Kg to place a resource into orbit. If your sending a large amount of long term resources into space then it can be a justifyable expense. If your sending a 2000Kg of sand to space it may not be a justifyable expense. So to design a process that mimics the Earth based systems BUT works economically in the space environment would need to be figured out. A good expanple would be Ore extraction, refining and processing. Sure it can be done on Earth easy enough, BUT returning the finished product BACK to space is like having a McDonalds in NewYork cook the fries that were cut from potatoes in California but grown in Vermont. You would be more cost effective to process the potatoes somewhere between vermont and new york.

This is why I posted this topic here to actually find the pit falls and potential pitfalls and find various ways around those pitfalls. NASA had a hard time getting a rocket to get a man into space, troubles kept cropping up. If they stopped there then Neil Armstrong never would have set foot on the moon, it may have been Yuri Gegarian.

If NASA never got a rocket to get into space you wouldnt have access to WORLD news or channels, You wouldnt have Weather satelites, Your cell phone wouldnt work because the wireless technology is a direct decendant of Space race research which never would have happened. Your bag of ruffles would be in plastic instead of Mylar, your comfy easy chair you sit on to watch television would not have a foam core, your nice slim winter coat with thinsulate lining would be large and heavy because its got feathers. These are all results of space exploration and research, Dacron, Kevlar, thinsulate, Closed Cell Foam, Styrofoam, Mylar all are because of the desire to go into space. Your fancy high end computer you are using is affordable because NASA needed a computer to handle long computations in space away from all the Earth based access. I am quite sure there is a list around somewhere of all the stuff NASA and the space race has given to homosapiens and equally sure that you use a portion of the items on the list.

Instead of saying why bother, say here's what can go wrong with this, or here's where that can fail. Even try and come up with a way to avoid the problems you can forsee. Heck make a list of what you see as the big stumbling blocks and post it so we can all try and find ways to get passed them. The main stumbling block will always be Cost, so the design always has to balance cost against each and every aspect.

Earlier I posted about Oil rigs. If the oil companies cant justify the cost of a new oil platform to develop a known oil deposit, but they can justify moving a rig from a near depleted deposit to the new location then they will do it. In the long run they make more money.

The last line of your reply you said,"So forget it. We need to survive here on Earth. Nowhere else." To be able to survive here on Earth we will need new resource sources. where will we those new resources come from ? space ? but we cant leave the Earth so how do we get the space resources? To survive here we have to be ready, willing and ABLE to survive in space. In space is the only place we will find the resources we will need in the future. In the future there wont be any space program if everyone says survive here nowhere else. There are all kinds of estimates floating around about how long we have until our Earth bound resources begin to run out. I have heard from a few hundred years up to several thousand. Being generous lets say 500 thousand years, in that time we could have colonies all throughout our solar system gathering resources and manufacturing products we havent even dreamed about. In that amount of time we could also have polluted the planet so bad we can barely sustain 1/4 of the population we do have now. If we say stay here dont go out into space then we better FIX what we have damaged NOW or else we will have a very hard choice to make in the future.

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#19
In reply to #15

Re: Space Habitat

10/15/2009 6:49 PM

Hi,

You seem to have missed the point of this endeavour, which is to see what the minds of this site can come up with to make a working self sustaining habitat.

Not at all, but I am convinced that this will not work within this century and maybe never will work.

I am convinced that any research done by unmanned spacecraft is much better and much cheaper - so no need to boost the cost by transporting humans.

no one has built a self sustaining habitat to date

Some have tried and failed: Biospheres

what catalysts can be made from the various resources

Anything can be made in space but in total you will need many million inhabitants to make a sufficient supply - and not have the machines to replace failed machines.

Your idea with glass is ok, it is useful for many more applications then most people are aware. I do not see any problems with complete space stations (on moon) made mostly from glass.

Plastic for windows: space-suit shall have plastic window.

Ore extraction: look to a mine for extraction, the reducing plant to make metal, the mill to make sheet and profiles, the endless necessities to have these running, do you really think you can do this in space within due time and with limited money?

Metal producing with more than medieval quality will require continuous production with some quantity - forget it.

Men on moon was a political decision in the times of cold war - irrespective of cost and not at all thought to be continuous.

All the stuff you mention (Mylar and other) was not at all invented for the moon party but existing many years earlier. Where did you get this wrong information that violates our engineering history?

To be able to survive here on Earth we will need new resource sources.

This is a dogma, and dogmas cannot be discussed, only believed, so it is useless to discuss about.

In space is the only place we will find the resources we will need in the future

Here too this is a dogma. We do not need to go out.

Earths surface has only been scratched to a minor amount. Look what is beneath! There is ample energy: oil will last much longer than you expect, see the recent article in SciAm about the Californian oilfields, look at the oil-shales, at geothermal energy,"only" 30 km from here is a non exhaustible source of intense heat. Some easier points existing.

In the future there wont be any space program if everyone says survive here nowhere else

There will be a lot of space programs but no need for manned spaceflight.

how long we have until our Earth bound resources begin to run out

Also here you follow a widespread misunderstanding about resources. Resources will be existing but the richer ones may be exhausted.

What will really be exhausted? Oil to be replaced by fission or fusion or solar energy.

metals: most are much more abundant than you may think, a problem may be the extraction.

then we better FIX what we have damaged NOW

As we do not know what we have damaged don't let them fix what they do not understand! Any human action I know had a lot of unwanted side-effects.

We should preserve our wildlife, this may be one of the major threats if not preserving.

We have to preserve our Earth else we will not survive.

We need some considerable efforts (not CO2 burying - this is ridiculous) so we need the money you want to waste on manned spacecraft.

If our planet cannot support the population then some will die, what happened in Ireland in the 1840ies?, in Europe in 1817?, in the two world-wars ...

Without any doubt we will have in not too far future one or more major pests, either illnesses of humans or illnesses of our food.

If you go into space with some companions this will end abruptly with the next big solar storm, energetic particles will roast you. Estimates are existing typical any 10 years to any 500 years - as with any storms unexpected when to come and how strong.

If you like further thinking on your path: Semiconductors and machines to make these? Silicon purification? Cutting, grinding, lapping polishing, etching, patterning, dicing, testing, encapsulation, burn-in testing! Not for one type but for thousands or more!

And: tools and machine tools, electronics, computers, vehicles,

and: emergency equipment and staff, energy mining, pollution and bacteriological control?

Pigs, rats and humans are able to survive in most terrestrial environments, stay here, there are big tasks to solve.

RHABE

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: Space Habitat

10/16/2009 1:37 AM

BTW I'm not ignoring this post, I'm contemplating a reasonable response that avoids potential angry returns. Your post has a few good points that should be addressed and a few points that would probablly have been better if phrased differently.

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#23
In reply to #19

Re: Space Habitat

10/16/2009 1:00 PM

"Not at all, but I am convinced that this will not work within this century and maybe never will work."

Now, I'll respond to that one. In a century we went from the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk to the moon. You totally underestimate mankind.

If we can work out a good way to get equipment up to space economically and efficiently, it will be like what railroad did for economic development worldwide.

I'm an inventor, and I watch development. We are innovating at an accelerated rate. The rail guns can almost put an object into orbit. We're getting close. My personal favorite is a method of flying up. NASA looked at it again recently, almost got it working. I think the space elevator is way off, hazardous and risky, but I could be wrong.

Have you read science fiction? Stories like Ringworld will stretch your imagination so that the things we promote will seem easy. My personal sci-fi story would be about a modern prospector searching the asteroid belt for ice, valuable ore, artifacts, etc. Mars would be a close customer.

Don't lock yourself into negativity. Look for positive aspects of the space endeavor. The view from space is of one world, no borders.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Space Habitat

10/16/2009 3:49 PM

"The rail guns can almost put an object into orbit."

Which acceleration? How much more to be transported if high "g" at launch?

If any of these guns will succeed then this is likely to be the coil-gun from university of Texas. Any of the rail-guns (to my limited nonmilitary knowledge) suffers from burning the contacts.

Sure I have read SciFi, but most is far away of reality.

If you are an inventor then think about a micro-robot to bring Sputnik down without damage! Garbage collecting may be an enterprise, swingbys to adopt necessary velocity and trajectory.

I am not locking myself into being negative, I want to have the money on Earth and Space that is wasted for manned spaceflight.

There are very many tasks to be solved to survive coming problems.

And naturally there is scientific interest.

Invent a technique to enable cheap drilling to 8 km deep (only): lots of precious metals and minerals and thermal energy there.

Invent a method how to bring down to earth one of the bigger iron-nickel asteroids in suitable chunks to the right place, and recover the kinetic energy and the metals.

There is one asteroid which is speculated to be mostly platinum???

Wright brothers had everything they needed for a success, we do not have very much:

Not sufficient energy, no suitable fission-reactor (may be solvable), no sufficient shielding, no experience with bio-systems going out of course, no really independent spacecraft. No rescue if problems.

We are lightyears beyond real space travel.

Anything else are tasteful but unlikely dreams.

Any system has its limitations.

Think about these!

Any human civilisation has only survived for 500 years and with major problems for 1000 years.

Genetic, economic, social and cultural decline were accompanying or triggering by products.

War and destroyed economy and pests and climatic excursions were amplifiers.

You are dreaming (okay for this) but come back to Earth, here are a lot of real problems.

Look at the CR4-thread: Unscientific America, there are some of the problems.

RHABE

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Space Habitat

10/16/2009 6:51 PM

"Any of the rail-guns (to my limited nonmilitary knowledge) suffers from burning the contacts." The term "rail gun" has been used to cover a variety of devices, some of which use coils surrounding the accelerated object, and have no contacts. Commutation is entirely electronic, to sequence actuation of the coils. Detailed proposals were written more than 30 years ago to build such devices on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, thus have them aimed upward and eastward to take advantage of the earth's rotation, and to use excess generating capacity of western hydroelectric dams during off-peak hours. Go back and read O'Neill's High Frontier, Dyson's Human Colonies in Space, and a variety of studies done by reputable and knowledgeable persons and organizations in the 1970's and '80's. Non-military and publicly demonstrated tests showed that the rail gun (aka solenoid gun, coil gun, etc.) was viable with technology and components of that era. Raw materials such as aluminum billet can be accelerated quite nicely with them, and will not be harmed by the experience.

"...a micro-robot to bring Sputnik down..." The last official "Sputnik" launched (Soviets switched to "Cosmos" series, though some items orbitted in the 1990's were given names in homage to the original) disintegrated more than 45 years ago. If you're trying for a generic term, try "satellite". And why "micro-"? Light weight is always an advantage for such a device, but physical size needs to be in keeping with the mission profile. If you wish to capture and return an object of considerable size, you're going to need equipment to match.

"...bring down to earth one of the bigger iron-nickel asteroids in suitable chunks to the right place, and recover the kinetic energy and the metals." Didn't you say earlier that an ICBM could move an earth-impactor object, or break it up? Isn't this a prime example of an entire class of objects which could NOT be so deflected / disintegrated? Harvesting the kinetic energy seems improbable. Metals are worthwhile, but trying to approach, assay, phsically contact, survey, cut up, and re-direct the chunks doesn't seem like something that I'd entrust to remote controls or autonomous devices. Under present circumstances, I'd be shocked if the return on investment came out positive for a trip to the asteroid belt for such a purpose. If the body turned out to be, say, platinum, what would happen to the metals market: would the price of platinum plummet, cancelling the profit?

"Wright brothers had everything they needed for a success, we do not have very much" Please try reading a bit of history, and learn such things as that a suitable engine was unavailable (did not exist, and manufacturers of engines refused to try to build one to spcification), means to understand the physics of airfoils was mostly wrong or missing, propellers for air were something they needed to invent from scratch [after inventing a means to mathematically describe and study them!], three-axis control was a new concept, with no physical pieces existing, and on and on. Finally, note that their entire approach required that they themselves actually FLY, not send up remote control devices or automatons in their stead. Lilienthal's last words tie in closely: "Small sacrifices must be made." Your approach is that of George Cayley, or worse, of Dr. Langley, not the Wrights or Lilienthal. Ask yourself why the Wrights succeeded, and Langley failed.

"...no suitable fission-reactor...". True. But you have unlimited sunlight 24/7, at roughly 25 times the insolation of Phoenix AZ, in LEO and many other places. A solar-energy system driving a steam boiler will offer more electric power than any ordinary person uses on earth. A steam turbine with no gravitational load on the bearings should be fairly durable, and you don't need mining and transportation for its "fuel". Why do you insist upon putting obstacles in your own path and the paths of others?

"We are lightyears beyond real space travel." I'm nearly speechless! A lightyear is a distance, and "beyond" implies that we've already passed "real space travel". So, where were we when we had "real space travel", and why didn't we retain it?

"Any human civilisation has only survived for 500 years and with major problems for 1000 years." Interesting: the Chinese have a written history going back roughly 4,000 years. Granted, they've changed dynasties and ruling classes a number of times, but they're still identifiable as the same general civilization. A modern Chinese can read inscriptions on objects 1500 years old (visit the National Palace Museum in Taipei and ask), with what I'd call condsiderably less effort than I'd need to read Chaucer or even Shakespeare [in the original], due to the amount of change in between.

While I have NOT read "Unscientific America", it is my understanding that part of the reason why we have a scientifically illiterate society stems from beliefs like "There are things that Man is not meant to know" and the deliberate avoidance of knowledge. Experimental study is downplayed, and education of children in narrow (usually religious) paths propagates the ignorance, because they cannot even follow the logic involved in a scientific study, much less evaluate the issues.

Please alow me to point out another aspect: humans have always been explorers, though many individuals are stay-at-homes who do NOT wish to know what's over the next hill. Progress requires the explorers; if somehow barred from going into space, they will lose interest, and whatever support they provide to unmanned missions will be vastly inferior to what they'd have done if there was a chance to actually GO, even by proxy. This does not mean that there aren't missions more suited to robotic than human presence - weather satellites are a great example, IMO - but for doing truly novel work, humans have flexibility and capability that wins hands-down.

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Space Habitat

10/16/2009 11:28 PM

this is a really good response ... it shows WHY you object to this idea or that idea ... keep em like this and who knows we may convert you :)

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#27
In reply to #19

Re: Space Habitat

10/17/2009 10:37 AM

Not at all, but I am convinced that this will not work within this century and maybe never will work.

The only way this wont work in the near future is if human kind keep using the argument it will cost too much. We may not have a 10k or 100k habitat fully built and working in a Century but we can have one being built and partially working in that time frame with little extra effort.

I am convinced that any research done by unmanned spacecraft is much better and much cheaper - so no need to boost the cost by transporting humans.

Basic exploration to find the best compromise for a space habitat and needed resources would best be started by unmanned exploration. To properly assess the final suitability though, manned exploration is needed to allow for "on the fly" adjustments to any tests and small testing.

Some have tried and failed: Biospheres

Although the various biospheres failed they did supply valuable insights into how to make a self contained living environment work. Edison found thousands of ways a Light bulb wouldnt work before he found a way to make them work.

Anything can be made in space but in total you will need many million inhabitants to make a sufficient supply - and not have the machines to replace failed machines.

Early settlers to the west needed a small supply and access to the resources to build what they needed. The knowledge of how to bootstrap a construction site is nothing new and building ever larger just relies on automation and problem solving.

Ore extraction: look to a mine for extraction, the reducing plant to make metal, the mill to make sheet and profiles, the endless necessities to have these running, do you really think you can do this in space within due time and with limited money?

The extraction of resources is well understood, the troubles arise when you add the environment you are in. There is, and has been, research going on to deal with the harvesting of resources in space.

Metal producing with more than medieval quality will require continuous production with some quantity - forget it.

Space has the advantage on ore qualities because of the lack of gravity, this is why better quality ores are expected. Automation will allow for extended production and solar furnaces can supply the heat and power needed to keep them running.

All the stuff you mention (Mylar and other) was not at all invented for the moon party but existing many years earlier. Where did you get this wrong information that violates our engineering history?

Actually Mylar was developed Specifically for space mission as a light weight solar reflective material to reduce heating and provide some solar radiation protection. Memory foam, or Close cell foam is what the astronauts use for pillows now, and is what the seats of the orbiter were cushioned with. NASA has a kids section that shows the "Spin offs" of space. Dont forget NASA gave us TANG.

Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted or diverged from. Wikipedia definition.

This is a dogma, and dogmas cannot be discussed, only believed, so it is useless to discuss about.

Trouble with Dogma is most people dont question it, some great scientist once said question everything and make up your own mind.

Earths surface has only been scratched to a minor amount. Look what is beneath! There is ample energy: oil will last much longer than you expect, see the recent article in SciAm about the Californian oilfields, look at the oil-shales, at geothermal energy,"only" 30 km from here is a non exhaustible source of intense heat. Some easier points existing.

Yes there are more resources further down BUT like space they require systems to allow us to work there, the same systems we need in space. The expected fossil fuels further down in the Earth and the ones we are using currently ARE what we need to get away from. They are a major reason for our troubles today, continued reliance on Fossil fuels will mean more pollution and a less habitable place her on Earth.

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#28
In reply to #19

Re: Space Habitat

10/17/2009 11:10 AM

There will be a lot of space programs but no need for manned spaceflight.

unmanned exploration will always be needed, but only manned exploration will be able to deal with the unexpected. To be able to explore further than orbit we need to research and create the systems required to keep people alive and functioning on long duration flights. This is safest when done near Earth where help is close at hand. The better we plan now the less problems we have in the future.

Space spin offs is actually a kids game on the NASA web site. There is a list floating around of lots more of the various items from space, absorbent diapers comes to mind.

Dwindling resources is a fact not a dogma. Earth has a finite size as such a finite amount of resources. space has many billions of times the size of Earth and has many billions of times the resources. To go deeper into the Earth to get resources will require systems similar to those needed in a space habitat. So parallel needs of a space habitat are directly use full for deep core mining of Earth. The asteroid Eros has more resources than the human race has mined in its Existence, If we can mine that one asteroid economically we have a large potential profit. How many asteroids are in the asteroid belt ? To gain access to those resources we need to be able to sustain large populations in space to be able to process them. To support the large populations in space we need working habitats, those working habitats need to be developed at some point. The sooner we start the sooner we have access to the space based resources.

Development of a space habitat can be looked at as creating a small scale version of the Earths systems. The better we understand the requirements to make a self sustaining space habitat the better we understand how the Earth works. The better we understand the more likely we can find solutions to the troubles we have caused here on Earth.

Solar radiation can be limited and controlled, there are many space habitat documents that cover the needs of a habitat for shielding. The various habitat papers I have read assume that an acceptable solar radiation level is the same as the average person would experience on the street in front of their home. The end result is some form of dense covering surrounding the habitat on the exterior while leaving areas that are less critical open to allow for reflecting sunlight in for use within the living space of the habitat.

Growing silicon in space is easier since you don't have to contend with gravity and constant fluctuating vacuum. The leading scientists all seem to agree that growing silicon for semiconductors in space will result in better crystals with less contaminants. Yes the process needed to do this in space is different from the one on Earth; BUT the Earth based system is a proof of concept.

The more we learn about what it takes to survive in space the more we know about what it takes to survive here. A space habitat can be considered a small scale replica of Earth and as such will undergo the troubles of Earth faster than the Earth giving us the time to find solutions to the problems on Earth before its too late. The sooner we have a working self sufficient space habitat the sooner we have access to knowledge about how to correct what we have done down on Earth.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Space Habitat

10/17/2009 5:21 PM

Hi,

but only manned exploration will be able to deal with the unexpected

You have no certainty that the unexpected will be survived by the manned spacecraft, but you have the certainty that with much lower cost of unmanned spacecraft you have many times a trial open within the same cost limit.

Further than Earths orbit: think about the near 1m shield too protect from solar storms - not likely to occur but will kill unshielded passengers if occurring. This will end up in Russian Roulette.

Dwindling resources is a fact not a dogma:

Since any resources have been mined (minimum 15,000 years) this is true but says nothing about the timescale/prices involved.

To go deeper into the Earth to get resources will require systems similar to those needed in a space habitat.

Not at all - nothing is similar.

The asteroid Eros has more resources than the human race has mined in its Existence,

If so why not bring this by minor impulse from unmanned spacecraft to a swing-by at suitable planets and store near moon or in one of the libration regions.

Then think about a passive device that will bring down chunks of considerable size. What about a big "pot" of water that will catch some of the heat?

The sooner we start the sooner we have access to the space based resources.

Ok if unmanned, everything else will waste our money/resources.

No need for any manned excursion to go there!

Development of a space habitat can be looked at as creating a small scale version of the Earths systems

No, no, no: in 1 Kg of soil you may have more than 1million living species. Never you will have any comparable complexity - including self-healing capability. Look at an ordinary greenhouse on Earth how this has to be protected against overwhelming growth of non-wanted species. No such necessities in bigger open areas.

Growing silicon in space is easier since you don't have to contend with gravity and constant fluctuating vacuum.

This is very likely one of the early errors that was cultivated by scientists in universities to let their experiments go with one of the space-flights. There is no more any fluctuating vacuum in silicon growth. And contamination near spacecraft is worse than acceptable in silicon growth. And much worse near any manned station!

In zero-gravity environment the convection by gravity and temperature gradients is blocked. So the convection by secondary flow - caused by stirring or rotation of solid part of silicon and friction at solid-liquid interface - will still exist.

This is the same effect that transports the non-dissolved sugar crystals to the center of your cup at stirring.

So what is improved? Nothing except transportation cost and system cost going up some orders of magnitude.

The sooner we have a working self sufficient space habitat the sooner we have access to knowledge about how to correct what we have done down on Earth.

"Think simple" is ok where applicable. Do you really think to explain the oscillating patterns of ice-ages by observing a very limited space-station.

Once more as in my last post: you are dreaming, wake up! Make some cost estimates. Then make again the size and requirement estimates. Then think about necessary cost cuts and then another discussion may be good.

RHABE

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 9:51 PM

Resources are on the moon that can be used to build a habitat. yes the moon needs to be developed no matter where a habitat is ultimately placed. Wouldnt it be cheaper in the long run to build a small habitat in LEO before we work on the moon ? Transit time to the habitat would be minutes or hours instead of days. resources could still be taken from the moon cheaper than from Earth because of the lower gravity. The starter habitat can be used as a proof of concept and "builders shelter" while the main habitat is begun.

Trouble with Glass is its not a true solid its a superfluid and as such cant be considered airtight, vacuum resistant sure but not airtight.

Assuming the glass is airtight how do you fasten walls to the inside of the glass ? how do you anchor heavy machinery, or a second floor to the walls ? How do you keep a heavy machine from bouncing on the glass floor and breaking the glass ?

Is there a process that is out there that makes glass tough as steel but flexible as bamboo ? is there a way to put a hole in glass for a fastener that wont compromise the interior environment ? Perhaps a Hybrid construction of glass and mooncrete would solve the possible troubles ? or some form of sintered moon dust and glass?

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#4

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 3:46 AM

Hi,

this is worse than pyramid construction: absorbing a lot or all available money for nothing to result.

Politicians will stand up and declare: see our progress.

Science will suffer, people will suffer, necessary projects will suffer.

So what for?

Look at the bad results of the "Biosphere" experiments.

(Wo)Man in space is a bad idea. Including spectacular positive results as bringing some more useful years to Hubble. I am convinced if two or three of the original instruments would have been built and then improved on earth and brought into orbit the total cost would have been lower.

There are only two real motivations for humans in near Earth space: military and political.

RHABE

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 9:39 AM

How about survival of the species ? Lets assume like the dino's before us we have a chunk of rock headed our way. If we go with the current trends for stopping this from landing, Shift it or blow it up. we need to see it VERY early. If we have a place in space, a habitat, we can place all kinds of telescopes on it for science and research.

As for nothing to result, do you use, Cling wrap, velcro, Microwave oven, A computer, GPS, Weather predictions, The World wide web, chips of any type and a plethora of other things. All of these are related to space exploration. All the things above were boosted because of apollo and the need for smaller, faster, better ways to do things in space. Think about the apollo computer, it basically was a Vic-20, it went to the moon and back; before this a computer filled a room and needed 10 people just to keep it working.

As for a benefit, how about access to solar power 24/7 ? Improved communication world wide ? A new frontier to explore and inhabit just like the old west? A way to ensure the survival of Homo-Sapiens ? High purity metals and new alloys ? Knowledge on how the Earth regulates itself and ways to HELP it correct our errors? A chance to go see for yourself what is out beyond those clouds? Okay perhaps your kids or thiers.

Cost, well hoover dam cost more than could be afforded when it was built BUT it was Built. Pick ANY military vehicle it cost more than can be afforded but it was built. If NASA had the same budget it did for Apollo we would already be on the moon and perhaps above Mars. Sure it will cost alot to build a space habitat, BUT what can space offer that will allow the habitat to pay back its cost.

Mylar chip bags - NASA used mylar as a solar reflector on the lunar lander to reduce solar heating.

Velcro - NASA uses velcro to keep things in place in space

GPS - NASA uses GPS to locate a space ship in 3 dimensions

Closed Cell Foam, Memory Foam, ANY Foam mattress you have placed your backside on, all these are directly related to space exploration and the needs of NASA to make it smaller, faster, better, lighter, cheaper.

NASA drove a large portion of the development of things you take for granted today. NASA doesnt hold the patents for any of these items the people who developed them do. NASA wasnt allowed to make money from its research as it was a NON-PROFIT government organization for scientific research. IF NASA got 1 cent from every bag of chips sold in the USA they could probably fly a shuttle every week.

As for the political side, FIRE em all and start over. Military ? well assuming everyone holds to the international space treaty there will be no militarization of space. Knowing that places like USA have not signed this treaty that is not likely to happen BUT most countries are using space for the benefit of human kind.

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 4:17 PM

Hi,

nearly all of this is nonsense!:

"How about survival of the species ?"

!Not in space and not endangered by asteroids. The last really dangerous asteroid hit Earth 65million years ago! A piece this big we will see early and can destroy today with some reprogramming and reloading one of the ballistic intercontinental missiles with only one powerful nuclear weapon and some additional mass to direct the explosion.

Not likely to come soon and then there will be other means.

And if coming, then not survival in space but in some deep mines and not a few only but some 100 thousand are needed! And no need to see early, some days will be sufficient!

"Cling wrap, velcro, Microwave oven, A computer, GPS, Weather predictions, The World wide web, chips of any type..."

Not really funded by NASA but by military needs, demands! Except WWW, this was originated by CERN and soon adapted by DARPA:

You believe on fairy-tales that are launched to support human beings in space.

"High purity metals and new alloys": Promised but never realised!

"Knowledge on how the Earth regulates itself and ways to HELP it correct our errors? A chance to go see for yourself what is out beyond those clouds?"

This can be done much better, faster and cheaper by unmanned probes! And I want it to be done and not efforts, manpower and money wasted on manned spaceflight.

"Velcro, GPS, Foam" you mix up pure military results (GPS) with others that were just mature to come.

All the rest of your text does not clearly distinguish between unmanned and manned spaceflight so I am not willing to comment further.

Please give one clear example what we learned from a few of us for a short time in space!

RHABE

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 5:32 PM

"How about survival of the species ?"

!Not in space and not endangered by asteroids.

You seem to have missed out on the knowledge that the earth IS IN SPACE. That is where we are. "In Space" encompasses every place that exists; you cannot go anywhere else. We live (currently) on ths skin of an object IN SPACE, circling a smallish star IN SPACE, itself part of a galaxy IN SPACE.

Moving a bit away from that skin, say to earth orbit, gives us a vastly improved ability to "see" objects at great distances, where we would have to spot them if we wished to deflect, disintegrate, or otherwise prevent them continuing on a path that will end in damage to the earth and its inhabitants. A decent-sized object on a collision course will not be deterred by any ICBM so far demonstrated. Get a rock a couple of hundred miles / kilometers in diameter, and all of the ICBMs in the world combined won't do the trick. But a colony could mean survival of the human race, if sufficiently stable, self-contained, and with a large enough complement of inhabitants. If enough colonies are put into earth orbit, eventually it is likely that some will be placed into other orbits, (lunar, planetary, or solar orbits) drastically improving their odds against being struck by the same rock.

Your position on this discussion sounds like the sailors of a few centuries back, most afraid to sail beyond sight of land, afraid, indeed, to confront new knowledge.

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#6

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 11:22 AM

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/spaceres/V-1.html

The above link has a decent list of the minerals that can be found on the moon, specifically for Apollo 15.

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/75SummerStudy/figure2.4.gif

This is a link to a graph of resource concentrations found during the Apollo missions.

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/75SummerStudy/2appendB.html

This is a table that covers some of the radiation dangers that must be protected against.

Rather than copy and paste links to portions of the 1975 space settlement design study.

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/75SummerStudy/Table_of_Contents1.html

This is the most comprehensive coverage of the requirements for space that I have found. Its now 30+ years later, can we as a group do better with our current knowledge?

Using the 1975 design study as a baseliine:

- what changes must be made to bring it upto date with current technology and knowledge?

- Are the conclusions of location still acurate ?

-- is this the better choice or is there an optimal compromise for LEO, LLO, Lagrange or HEO?

- What advantages can be used to fund the construction of a space habitat as early as possible ?

- Assuming a goal population of 100k can a space settlement become truly Earth independant ? If not what size population would be needed?

- What is the more prudent way to keep costs down while getting the most work done on a space settlement ?

-- What is the bare minimum population required to begin a space habitat construction project ?

-- where is the most prudent place to start or is it better to have multiple starting points for construction?

-- what needs to be developed to better assist the construction of a space habitat?

--- Are we able to use "off the shelf" technology to build what we need ?

Can we make it cost effective in the short term and in the long term ?

If we can come up with a rational plan and design what would need to happen politically, economically and socially to make this a reality?

Are you up to the challenge ? are you willing to use some grey matter and tackle the next frontier ? Can you find a way to do something better, cheaper, easier, faster ?

Can CR4 as a group handle such an involved task as designing a space habitat, literally from the ground up? I just looked over the CR4 sections and I cant think of 1 section that would not have some part to contribute.

Give it a try and see what happens!

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#7

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 12:00 PM

Potential settlers in space? Develop living means without water, food and energy.

Or think of making earth a worth habitate.

At least on the housing part, with so much speculation on land going on, Spacial or above ground floating colonies got to be made feasible.

Antigravity technologies, space harvesting, ether power conversions and so on.

Man kind can do it too.

But too dangerous for the universe, man will fill the entire space and cry greedy for more habit-ate. Could it be?

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 12:05 PM

I dont see where your reply has anything to do with a space habitat ? Could you please adjust your reply to make it clear what you are trying to say or ask.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 12:12 PM

Kaboom,

With the on going speculation of land prices and high housing construction costs, future may demand floating houses or possible human settlements in sea.MY posting is related to that assumption.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Space Habitat

10/14/2009 12:44 PM

Sea as in Ocean ? if so that is not related to a Space habitat. If you mean in Orbit around Earth or within the the Sol system then sure a space habitat could be looked at as a way to allieviate planetary over crowding.

If habitats are stationed within the habitation "sweet spot" then we could expand for MANY years and not get crowded. I have not mentioned Generational space ships simply because you need some place to build them before you can plunk a few million people onto a space ark and send em off to some place many light years away.

Manned missions to Mars, or any Sol system planet, would benefit from a Space habitat as that habitat can provide a jumping off point. No need to build a big space ship on Earth then send a BIG disposable rocket into space just to get it off the planet. Send the crew to the habitat that built the space ship in orbit and push off for your destination.

Oil rig construction is a similar approach to space habitat construction. You find the spot you want and send a small group to do the prep work while you build the final structure to do the money making part. When all is ready you move the final structure to its work site and get to the job of making back the money you have already spent.

The reason behind this thread is to see if the people on this site can come up with a concept for space habitat that can work with "off the shelf" or near production technology. At the same time keeping cost recovery in mind to allow for financial returns over and above the cost of implementing it.

Look at Henry Ford, he Made Chryslers production line more productive by making the vehicle move down the line rather than having the line move down the vehicle. Look at newspaper production, large scale automated printing presses overtook the hand crank press wich overtook the hand copied manuscript. Progress will happen wether we want it to or not, the trick is to direct the progress in a way that benefits all.

In 4 billion years or so Homo sapiens will either have to leave this solar system or die. Its a fact of life our sun wont last forever and when it dies, if we are ONLY here, so do we. Bees swarm when the colony gets crowded and so they propogate across the country and eventually across the continent. If they dont they die off from over crowding and dwindling resources because only so many Bees can harvest from so many flowers to feed so many bees. The same goes for us as a species, we expand or die. Its the way of nature, the strong survive the weak dont. Strong doesnt need to mean physical strength it can mean mental strength as well.

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#17

Re: Space Habitat

10/15/2009 2:14 PM

I thoroughly understand the desire to take care of the Earth before venturing outwards. It ain;t gonna happen. We humans are a destructive, power hungry lot. But that's ok, that's how Mother Nature made us. We are the seed carriers. Only humans are capable of carrying the seeds of the Earth to Space. That is Mother Natures prime directive, survival and propogation.

So, if space exploration is inevitable, let's discuss it. It needs to be financed. Private enterprise is starting with joy rides, will move to hotels, great. I like the way they are looking at alternative ways to get up there. I have some far out ideas of my own, will get to that later.

Financing can come from smart people who know financing. I'm an inventor, I'll contribute my skill freely. One idea I had for making money is to clean up the junk in orbit and charge for the service. That junk is taking up valuable orbit space. Cleaning it up has to have value to someone. As for the junk, finders keepers. Anything already up there is more valuable if only for making a 'catchers mitt' to catch more. I think throwing junk down to burn up in the atmosphere is wasteful. It cost a fortune to get that stuff up there.

As for the qualities of glass, sure, there's work to be done there, too. I mention it because it will go from ore to product easier than anything else, except concrete. Glass just seems cooler, good for instant greenhouses, storage tanks, domes, etc.

The whole project will progress one step at a time. Just getting to orbit is a huge step. Then build a single person habitat testing food recycling, air recycling, radiation survival, collision avoidance, low gravity concerns, etc. The current space station depends on very expensive shuttle support. The first real pioneer in space will be famous.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Space Habitat

10/15/2009 4:21 PM

The truly funny part is the shuttle was supposed to be the garbage truck of orbit. The other funny part is all man made orbiting stuff still belongs to the country or company that put it up there. It doesn't matter if it works or not so if you retrieve something say Sputnik then it still belongs to the Russian's. Is it possible to have those countries pay for the retrieval of the defunct or defective stuff they have in space? Getting them to pay for repair or upgrade is a definite money maker. If the various countries will take a small fee for salvage rights on the dead stuff we should be able to use some parts easily enough. Solar arrays, wiring stuff like that would save lots of money in the short term. The loose bits like the paint flecks and nuts, bolts, shuttle tool's and various odds and ends floating around should be considered garbage and may have some value.

The idea of glass as a way to seal various storage tanks should work well depending on what is stored in the tanks. water stored in one of these tanks would be fine, LOX would probably be a bad idea. The relatively high concentrations of Iron, Titanium and Aluminium in various moon ore's can provide decent materials to work with in space and for return to Earth. If we use mostly Aluminium and some Titanium we can send Iron and surplus Titanium back to Earth at some reasonable price. Once we research and develop Zero G materials that can be used on the station and on Earth we would have another income source. The refining of Lunar ore's will also yield O2 so there most likely will be an abundance of it to use for refueling of various space craft, this is assuming we don't need all we recover for the habitat and manufacturing.

There is a market for Lunar regolith and rocks as well, so we have access to yet another resource for funding, with only collection needed. If all the minor funding is used to attract the long term minded investors then building the workers construction habitat should be be easy enough to accomplish. If this habitat is used to prove the various closed loop cycles needed, O2, waste, Water, Food etc. then a small group of people working to proof those concepts should be fine. The proofing could always be done on the ISS by adding a module or 2 dedicated to the future habitat research. When the various concepts get most of the "bugs" worked out a dedicated habitat could be constructed with space for the starting construction crew. I would assume 6 person teams for 4 different shifts, 2 outside working, 2 monitoring and 2 looking after the construction habitat's needs. So 24 people for some duration would work on constructing the main Lunar modules. When there are enough modules to house an additional, say 24 people, we could then send them to the moon for assembly of the lunar work base. The lunar base would then be able to start doing what it needs to get more resources for itself to grow and the construction n habitat to grow and ultimately create the main habitat.

If we make the construction habitat the central core of the Main habitat then as the construction habitat enlarges it will build itself into the main habitat. If the Main habitat is a torus then the center core and the spokes would be the construction habitat at its maximum size. Once it has reached it's maximum size it could close the loop from each end of the spokes to create the Main habitat's Living spaces. If each segment between a spoke is closed off then the main habitat can be used to house the workers and allow for the central section to be converted into its final configuration. Once the main habitat's exterior is closed off the various farming areas can be started up so there is space grown food available as new people arrive on the habitat. A steady controlled growth of the final inhabitants of the habitat would allow for all the various production areas to slowly ramp up to the required levels for self reliance. Eventually the main habitat would be able to modify the next habitat's construction to correct troubles or inefficiencies found during the first habitats construction.

If the main habitat Uses the torus and each torus is designed for 10k people, farming and living combined; then 10 tori would make up the final habitat. The habitat then could decide to remove the shared walls to turn the habitat into a cylinder and thus expand the habitat marginally. I would suggest leaving the shared walls in place so no one catastrophe could unduly harm the Whole colony. If you add an 11th torus to the habitat you now have excess space for tourists, long range space crews, short term science groups and other similar transient population groups, all paying to stay on the habitat. If one dreams big, get KISS to play a concert for the inauguration of the habitat, or the rolling Stones, they both have been around forever and will probably still be around for the opening :)

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Space Habitat

10/15/2009 11:50 PM

It's going to be interesting to see what happens in space, from a legal point of view. Abandoned property causing a public nuisance can be towed away. Radio airwaves are being re-distributed, and I'm sure there's money in the decision of who gets what. There are treaties being made and redone all the time, I'm sure. No weapons, sure. We had spies in space before anything else.

If I get my hands on Sputnik, it's going on e-bay. If the Russians want it, go get it. As far as I'm concerned it's historical litter. If it knocks the shuttle out of the sky someday, who is responsible?

You're real hung up on that $10,000 (or was it $100,000?) tool bag that the lady astronaut lost. That was a real hoot, watching it drift away. Where is the Buck Rogers jet pack they used to have? They could have chased it down. What are their plans if it's an astronaut drifting away?

I agree solar radiation is a big concern, that's why I'm proposing a multi-layered habitat with vegetation, soil substitute, water, everything possible with mass on the outside shells, and people in the center. Those rays can really penetrate. Maybe the designers will have to come up with electromagnetic protection or something. What's the scoop on the space station? Those guys stay up there for quite a while.

I like the idea of an add-on module for the space station to check out the habitat experiment. A dedicated experiment to self sustaining life in orbit just may be on NASA's agenda already. Popular support could push it through. NASA needs and appreciates popular support.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Space Habitat

10/16/2009 1:33 AM

If it knocks the shuttle out of the sky someday, who is responsible?

The Russians would be responsible for damages, unless they have some agreement with the USA that says different.

The MMU should go on every mission but I guess they felt the belt was going to be too far away to bother getting it on and going after it.

As far as I know, if an astronaut goes for an unplanned excursion they run em over with the shuttle and Canadarm.

Solar radiation can be shielded with 5 feet of water or a few inches of PVC or Dense metals like lead. I read on the NASA contest site that 5 feet of moon rock would be sufficient shielding for a habitat. The ISS uses some new materials in layers, one is a few cm thick plastic type sheet, and a few others layers of stuff. The longer duration residents take various radiation medication to limit the effects of radiation poisoning as well.

A fair portion of a habitats needs are already in research on the ISS, the urine recycle is part of a closed loop water recycling system for long term space habitation, same with the solid waste evaporator. They are running a small greenhouse as well to test plant reactions to weightless environments.

I am surprised they have sent up a module with a rotating inner section to check on sleeping in centrifugal gravity, or even doing floor exercises upon it.

I'm fairly confident they realize how popular a space habitat would be as evidenced by the ongoing space habitat contests for public school on up to college and universities.

The tool belt is just plain funny to harp on, they spend many thousands of dollars to develop battery powered tools that can be used in space and because some astronaut forgets to clip the silly thing on properly they add several pounds of projectile to the rest of the space junk whizzing around up there. A 1cm paint chip cracked one orbiters wind screen, imagine what that tool belt would do. Not to mention the old space suit they sent adrift to see what would happen when it re-enters the atmosphere.

As for getting more done to actually get a habitat on the books for the near future they would need to get more funding, perhaps from the over inflated Military budget. Heck 10% of the military budget would let NASA actually do some serious research towards living in space.

Theres a few space treaties from the 60's and 70's that are still in effect but the USA hasn't signed most of them because they all want to limit the militarization of space. I will dig up a link for the various space treaties another time and post them. Those treaties are also part of the reason the few space tourists fly with Russia and not with NASA, less red tape. In Russia its pass the physicals and pay for the portion of the resources that it takes to get you to the space station for the duration of your stay and your good to go. If it costs Russia $400K bucks to launch 4 peeps to ISS and stay for 1 week your paying $100K for your ride and room and board, assuming there is space for you to stay there as well.

The most common approach to radiation shielding and gravitation has people living on the inside rim of the habitat while the shielding is on the outside rim. The basic utilities are usually run on the base of the living portion of the habitat which also adds some extra shielding to the living spaces. The habitat is also spun at 1 RPM for pseudo gravity. It is theorized that this type of gravity would still cause some short term troubles as far as motion sickness for the first few days while your body oriented to the different sensation.

I personally like the idea of the torus as a habitat because you can slap another torus onto the place fairly easy. A cylinder means longer waits to start putting people into the habitat; but you do get more space in the long run. If you stack tori like you do tires then each torus can house people as it is done letting you bump the various production up as you build more space. You could even do a housing habitat in one torus and a farming habitat in another so the usual odours of the farming habitat don't make people leery about living a semi rural life in space.

As far as governance goes it would have to be a conglomeration of rural politics and business hierarchy to keep the place working on a profitable basis. You can bet there would be a few harsh penalties for doing stupid things like trying to blow a hole in the side of the place for your beliefs, personally a good case for capital punishment ... dump those types out the airlock or send em packing towards the sun ... you survive you get to come back you don't your toast ... literally.

The political aspect of a space habitat Should be left for the last possible item to do because it will cause lots of heated debate.

AS for the current trend of this discussion I think a week or two of people putting various ideas out there for all to find the good and bad points. If there isn't enough input I will post a conglomeration of the various space habitat's I have read about and see what troubles and solutions can be found. I know there is a person on this site who seems to have a pretty good idea of up-to-date shuttle launch costs and loading weights. I will also try and relocate the mineral chemical composition of the various lunar samples for the chemical engineers to give forth their great wisdom on what needs to be done to convert them into their constituent parts for use.

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#30

Space Habitat - refocusing

10/27/2009 9:26 AM

Let's see if we can focus more on the following questions and perhaps find the questions that should have been asked that I'm sure I have missed.

Copied from earlier post:

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/75SummerStudy/Table_of_Contents1.html

This is the most comprehensive coverage of the requirements for space that I have found. Its now 30+ years later, can we as a group do better with our current knowledge?

Using the 1975 design study as a baseline:

- what changes must be made to bring it up to date with current technology and knowledge?

- Are the conclusions of location still accurate ?

-- is this the better choice or is there an optimal compromise for LEO, LLO, Lagrange or HEO?

- What advantages can be used to fund the construction of a space habitat as early as possible ?

- Assuming a goal population of 100k can a space settlement become truly Earth independent ? If not what size population would be needed?

- What is the more prudent way to keep costs down while getting the most work done on a space settlement ?

-- What is the bare minimum population required to begin a space habitat construction project ?

-- where is the most prudent place to start or is it better to have multiple starting points for construction?

-- what needs to be developed to better assist the construction of a space habitat?

--- Are we able to use "off the shelf" technology to build what we need ?

Can we make it cost effective in the short term and in the long term ?

So now we have a basic list of questions and A link for some further reading if desired. I have suggested a habitat shape of a Torus and Someone else has suggested a Lunar Leaded Glass Habitat. Is this the best shape ?

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#31

Re: Space Habitat - Space Treaties

10/27/2009 10:49 AM

The United Nations has the most complete and recent versions of the group of Space Treaties as the main governing body for Space. A link to the UN space treaty web page follows: http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosa/SpaceLaw/outerspt.html

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