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#76 2016-09-12 10:55:39

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Why would it have be international? An SPS is private property just like any other satellite that is currently in orbit. I don't see why we would want to limit ourselves to petrochemicals, why would we want to make the owners of oil fields rich at the expense of everyone else? I also think that people grow tired of the terrorism that petrochemicals finance. Why do we want to keep those fat oil sheik's gravy train running while the plot to murder us? I call that bad customer relations! Let do solar and make those Arabs work for a living rather than go out on Jihads against the West!

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#77 2016-09-12 11:49:12

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,712
Website

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Globalization as-sold was to lift all boats and make everybody better off.  Globalization as-practiced-for-profit was merely outsourcing manufacturing jobs to slave labor economies.  Greed drove improper policies and approaches.  Money talks far too loudly in the halls of governments around the planet.

Service sector jobs generally do not pay a living wage.  That's how middle classes are being destroyed in most advanced countries.  That's why everybody not part of the ruling cliques is mad.  That deserved anger is why "nationalism" is on the rise again.  It's not so much real nationalism (excepting Putin's Russia,  for one),  it's really "anti-globalism". 

Until the day arrives that we really can derive suitable construction materials from asteroids or other space objects,  all giant-by-today's-standards space projects are simply financially infeasible,  due to the surface-to-orbit transport costs.  This is true whether a national project,  or an international project.  That actually makes very little difference. 

You can tell about where the feasibility boundary is today,  looking at the ISS with a suitably jaundiced eye.  It's a few hundred tons of stuff launched in 15-ton packages and docked together (not real assembly or construction in space).  It took an international effort to pay the $110+B bill (just the US portion).  A large part of that bill was the incredibly expensive transportation to orbit (around $60M-$100M per delivered ton).

From a propaganda standpoint,  the "fix" is in,  that we can never afford to take on a project that large in space,  ever again,  even as an international thing.  But that's a lie,  for using those funds on things other than space.  Such as wars for oil. 

The bill to build another ISS would actually be a lot lower,  and for two very good reasons:  (1) learning curve experience effects,  and (2) transportation to space that is more than a factor of 10 cheaper now for those same payload sizes. 

But,  building another ISS is not anything we should want to do,  because it's not really the space station we needed anyway! 

So,  if we build what we do need,  we won't get much learning curve benefit.  We do get the cheap transportation benefit,  which could make it affordable,  even without international partners. 

The station we actually needed would have had a giant centrifuge section turning at a practical speed,  for research into all the different levels of partial gravity.

The station we actually needed would have had an experimental work bay where we could test and develop technologies,  materials,  and procedures for doing real on-orbit assembly and construction,  not just docking. 

The station we actually needed would have had an experimental laboratory/factory section where we could have experimented with deriving useful materials from asteroids and other space objects,  and learned how to actually use those new materials. 

The station we actually needed would have had a biological life support experimental section where we could have better defined the long-term and short-term atmospheres suitable for all sorts of different missions. 

Among the hardware equipping the station we actually need would be a spectrum of space suits,  including mechanical counterpressure.  You cannot use a 7/16" or 11 mm wrench on the corresponding bolt,  with the ridiculously bulky and stiff gloves current suits have.  So,  how do you strip and solder a wire in zero-gee / vacuum?  How do you weld?  Etc,  etc,  ad nauseum.  THAT is construction!  Not what we did to build ISS. 

We could actually do this.  But if we do it now,  after all the years spent on shuttle and ISS,  it'll be past 2100 AD before we ever go to Mars. 

If instead you want to go to Mars now,  then you must figure out how to do it safely,  knowing about all those problems,  but not having any answers to any of them. 

And THAT puts you right back where we were in the 1950's,  just modernized to today's technologies and ground truth science.  You need a large expedition to multiple sites,  using an orbit-to-orbit transport equipped with multiple landers.  Everything must be suspenders and belt and armored codpiece; back-up upon back-up.  Leave an automated base facility when you return,  to tempt the next guys into going.

Simple as that.  And just as hard. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-12 12:03:26)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#78 2016-09-12 15:51:06

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,508
Website

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

We could actually do this.  But if we do it now,  after all the years spent on shuttle and ISS,  it'll be past 2100 AD before we ever go to Mars.

Do you really think we'd take 80+ years to learn what we need to go to Mars? Or to get to the point where we'd have the will to go? I wouldn't expect us to have had such a station for a decade before we went back to Luna properly and set up a base. I'd give it at most 20 years from finishing the basic station before we land someone on Mars.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#79 2016-09-12 20:26:22

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

With extreme respect for the opinion expressed by G.W. the logic is sensible, but it forgets about the wandering attention span of society.  I appreciate the anxiety, the worry that after all the wasted effort, it would be a mistake to not put all effort to going to Mars and hope for a win.  I can appreciate the point of view.

However, there are very strong hints of things boiling up under the surface, the attention span drifting back to the Moon.

http://qz.com/779719/amazons-jeff-bezos … -the-moon/

MOONSHOT

Jeff Bezos has a plan to build an enormous new rocket and head for the moon

By Tim Fernholz  5 hours ago 

Jeff Bezos is ready for space.

Jeff Bezos is ready for space.  (Blue Origin)




Jeff Bezos said today that his space company Blue Origin is designing an enormous rocket capable of flying cargo and humans into space by 2020. It’s the next step, he hinted, in plans to take humans back to the moon.


The “New Glenn” rocket, named after John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, will be larger and more powerful than any rocket currently in operation, and those envisioned by its rivals in the commercial launch business, SpaceX and ULA.


“Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step,” Bezos wrote in an e-mail to fans and press this morning. “It won’t be the last of course. Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong.”

All you have to do is query for NASA Moon plans.

As I have said before, "I want it all", but reality might choose something else.  Interesting article though.

Pretty Pretty!
new-glenn-large2.jpg?w=940

Say what you want, I know that I am not a rocket man, but I am interested in stuff like this.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-12 20:34:06)

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#80 2016-09-13 08:37:32

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

GW Johnson wrote:

Globalization as-sold was to lift all boats and make everybody better off.  Globalization as-practiced-for-profit was merely outsourcing manufacturing jobs to slave labor economies.  Greed drove improper policies and approaches.  Money talks far too loudly in the halls of governments around the planet.

It is easier to steal than to make, the greed your referring to, is the greed of government insiders, that is typically large corporations and billionaires, with cash to invest in bribes, so they can get government to close off the competition of their competitors through increased taxes and regulations, and government spending on what they sell. You see, if your firm sells to the government, then you want that government to raise taxes, so they can buy more of what you sell. In government, only a few people make the decisions on what government buys. and it is much easier to bribe those few decision makers with cash on hand, than to provide a superior product, that most people would buy. When your selling to the general public, you have to provide a superior product or service, when you are selling to the government, you just have to grease a few palms to get them to raise taxes and spend more on your product. The politicians can't simply take public funds for themselves, that would look bad and they might not get reelected, so they need a middleman to take the public funds for a supposed good or service, that they will seek to justify to their constituents, and then they receive the kickbacks in the form of a campaign contribution, or a cozy job when they "retire." So its not competition per se, but the lack of it, which is the problem. If people don't play by the rules, or seek to influence government to change the rules in their favor, that is not globalization but its opposite!

Service sector jobs generally do not pay a living wage.  That's how middle classes are being destroyed in most advanced countries.  That's why everybody not part of the ruling cliques is mad.  That deserved anger is why "nationalism" is on the rise again.  It's not so much real nationalism (excepting Putin's Russia,  for one),  it's really "anti-globalism".

 
That really is a false choice, patriotism or globalism, people who are against globalism want protection for their weak ideas, ideas such as communism for instance, which was born in a global marketplace, but it seeks to eliminate it. Karl Marx very much took advantage of the global market place, he wanted to undermine, to sell his books and spread his ideas about communism, he was a cheater who sought to change the rules to eliminate competition. The global market place gives rise to those sorts of ideas as well.

Service sector jobs are harder to automate, because they deal directly with customers, manufacturing jobs do not! Customers are finicky and unpredictable, which is why machines don't do those jobs very well. Service jobs require a level of emotional intelligence that machines simply do not have, it is easier for them to assemble things in a predictable factory setting, there is not bringing back those jobs, that would mean replacing machines with people, making the products more expensive, and if you want to build space colonies, you actually need more automation. not less, Gerard O'Neill said that in his book, the High Frontier, the construction of very large space colonies such as his Island Three requires a high degree of automation.
Spacecolony1.jpg To give you an idea of what this entails, lets imagine we wanted to construct an artificial island in the middle of the Atlantic with the same amount of living space as O'Neill's Island three. If we unrolled a cylinder on put it on oil platform like floating stilts, it would be a massive rectangular platform about 12 miles wide and 20 miles long, this would be the equivalent land area of two O'Neill cylinders, since each cylinder loses half of its land to large windows on the floor to let in sunlight. How much do you think it would cost to construct such a thing? don't think humans have ever built so much land in human history, and if we were to get hard hats to construct it, it would cost too much, even excluding the cost of building it in space, the simple platform alone would cost maybe a trillion dollars I think. It is similar in principle to building a suspension or an arch bridge. You need a bunch of towers to raise the platform above the ocean surface so the waves can roll under them. Buoyancy below the waves in tanks is what keeps each tower afloat.

Until the day arrives that we really can derive suitable construction materials from asteroids or other space objects,  all giant-by-today's-standards space projects are simply financially infeasible,  due to the surface-to-orbit transport costs.  This is true whether a national project,  or an international project.  That actually makes very little difference.

 
The question is whether we can build a "Space Colony" on the surface of the Ocean, that since it doesn't involve launch costs, would be cheaper than building it in space. Maybe we should practice building a space colony on the ocean surface first.
long_island_sound_by_tomkalbfus-dahm7j1.png
This is what we'd have to build, if we were to build an Island Three on Earth. How much do you think it would cost? The main idea for building it here is as a replacement for New York City. You see New York City has been getting crowded as of late, traffic is a problem, there are not wide enough streets and the parking is insufficient, so if we were to build a New New York City, many of these problems would be solved! and constructing bridges from Long Island and Connecticut would be a trivial problem when compared to constructing it!

You can tell about where the feasibility boundary is today,  looking at the ISS with a suitably jaundiced eye.  It's a few hundred tons of stuff launched in 15-ton packages and docked together (not real assembly or construction in space).  It took an international effort to pay the $110+B bill (just the US portion).  A large part of that bill was the incredibly expensive transportation to orbit (around $60M-$100M per delivered ton).

From a propaganda standpoint,  the "fix" is in,  that we can never afford to take on a project that large in space,  ever again,  even as an international thing.  But that's a lie,  for using those funds on things other than space.  Such as wars for oil. 

The bill to build another ISS would actually be a lot lower,  and for two very good reasons:  (1) learning curve experience effects,  and (2) transportation to space that is more than a factor of 10 cheaper now for those same payload sizes. 

But,  building another ISS is not anything we should want to do,  because it's not really the space station we needed anyway! 

So,  if we build what we do need,  we won't get much learning curve benefit.  We do get the cheap transportation benefit,  which could make it affordable,  even without international partners. 

The station we actually needed would have had a giant centrifuge section turning at a practical speed,  for research into all the different levels of partial gravity.

The station we actually needed would have had an experimental work bay where we could test and develop technologies,  materials,  and procedures for doing real on-orbit assembly and construction,  not just docking. 

The station we actually needed would have had an experimental laboratory/factory section where we could have experimented with deriving useful materials from asteroids and other space objects,  and learned how to actually use those new materials. 

The station we actually needed would have had a biological life support experimental section where we could have better defined the long-term and short-term atmospheres suitable for all sorts of different missions. 

Among the hardware equipping the station we actually need would be a spectrum of space suits,  including mechanical counterpressure.  You cannot use a 7/16" or 11 mm wrench on the corresponding bolt,  with the ridiculously bulky and stiff gloves current suits have.  So,  how do you strip and solder a wire in zero-gee / vacuum?  How do you weld?  Etc,  etc,  ad nauseum.  THAT is construction!  Not what we did to build ISS. 

We could actually do this.  But if we do it now,  after all the years spent on shuttle and ISS,  it'll be past 2100 AD before we ever go to Mars. 

If instead you want to go to Mars now,  then you must figure out how to do it safely,  knowing about all those problems,  but not having any answers to any of them. 

And THAT puts you right back where we were in the 1950's,  just modernized to today's technologies and ground truth science.  You need a large expedition to multiple sites,  using an orbit-to-orbit transport equipped with multiple landers.  Everything must be suspenders and belt and armored codpiece; back-up upon back-up.  Leave an automated base facility when you return,  to tempt the next guys into going.

Simple as that.  And just as hard. 

GW

If we build the station you are talking about, we might as well attach rockets to it and make it an interplanetary spacecraft.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2016-09-13 08:51:56)

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#81 2016-09-13 08:50:52

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,712
Website

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Hi Void and Terraformer:

No,  it really doesn't take 80 years to learn what we need to know to go to Mars or anywhere else.  Neither should it take 12 years to learn what you come out of public school with.  But for either,  it does seem to take too long,  the way we go about doing things.  Especially government projects.

My hopes for leapfrogging this useless-government problem lie with the likes of Blue Origin and Spacex.  I saw the same illustration of rockets that Void posted.  Musk and his outfit are mired hip-deep in trouble again,  so I wonder if he will really reveal his big rocket and spacecraft at that meeting in Mexico this month. 

But when he does,  it'll be a huge thing to the right of the Saturn-5 on that illustration.  They really need to get their act back together,  before Bezos' outfit eclipses them. 

There's a definite market in the 10-20 ton range to LEO (or the equivalent smaller tonnages to GEO).  That's what most of these existing vehicles address,  and what the upcoming ULA Vulcan addresses.  The Delta-4 Heavy no longer really flies.  ULA never simplified that one to get the price down.  Only NASA used it in recent years. 

Things like Falcon-Heavy and the New Glenn are aimed at interplanetary shots with nontrivial payloads,  and could also take men back to the moon for short trips in small crews.  They'll both be a lot less expensive to use and ready to fly sooner than the SLS/Orion that NASA is developing,  as mandated by Congress.  I notice this illustration does not show SLS.

I think that when we finally do go back outside LEO with men,  it'll be less about moon versus Mars,  and more about all-of-the-above.  Too many folks are looking at Mars,  and commercial moon mining,  and maybe commercial asteroid mining.  That's the difference this time around.  No one outfit will do this,  it'll be teams of many outfits.  It'll likely kind of happen all-at-once. 

Government outfits like NASA really are in danger of getting left behind by this.  Although,  I don't see commercial interest in asteroid detection/deflection.  That's a very good reason for a government space program,  sort of the philosophical extension of providing for the common dense,  as the constitution has it. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#82 2016-09-13 11:16:53

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

GW Johnson wrote:

Hi Void and Terraformer:

No,  it really doesn't take 80 years to learn what we need to know to go to Mars or anywhere else.  Neither should it take 12 years to learn what you come out of public school with.  But for either,  it does seem to take too long,  the way we go about doing things.  Especially government projects.

My hopes for leapfrogging this useless-government problem lie with the likes of Blue Origin and Spacex.  I saw the same illustration of rockets that Void posted.  Musk and his outfit are mired hip-deep in trouble again,  so I wonder if he will really reveal his big rocket and spacecraft at that meeting in Mexico this month.

 
Why not? There are always excuses for a delay. Developing a rocket is a messy business, things tend to explode! You just got to accept that as part of the cost of doing business and move on. the thing about Musk, is he takes risk that NASA is not willing to take, therefore his rockets are more likely to explode on the launch pad than NASA's. NASA always likes to analyze and test things to death, and all that Analysis and testing costs more than rockets blowing up on the pad, that is why the SLS costs so much!

But when he does,  it'll be a huge thing to the right of the Saturn-5 on that illustration.  They really need to get their act back together,  before Bezos' outfit eclipses them. 

There's a definite market in the 10-20 ton range to LEO (or the equivalent smaller tonnages to GEO).  That's what most of these existing vehicles address,  and what the upcoming ULA Vulcan addresses.  The Delta-4 Heavy no longer really flies.  ULA never simplified that one to get the price down.  Only NASA used it in recent years. 

Things like Falcon-Heavy and the New Glenn are aimed at interplanetary shots with nontrivial payloads,  and could also take men back to the moon for short trips in small crews.  They'll both be a lot less expensive to use and ready to fly sooner than the SLS/Orion that NASA is developing,  as mandated by Congress.  I notice this illustration does not show SLS.

I heard the SLS I already built, they are just waiting on the Orion capsule, because with an SLS if you use it, its gone, you got to build another one if you want another launch!

I think that when we finally do go back outside LEO with men,  it'll be less about moon versus Mars,  and more about all-of-the-above.  Too many folks are looking at Mars,  and commercial moon mining,  and maybe commercial asteroid mining.  That's the difference this time around.  No one outfit will do this,  it'll be teams of many outfits.  It'll likely kind of happen all-at-once. 

Government outfits like NASA really are in danger of getting left behind by this.  Although,  I don't see commercial interest in asteroid detection/deflection.  That's a very good reason for a government space program,  sort of the philosophical extension of providing for the common dense,  as the constitution has it. 

GW

George Friedman wrote:

There are 100,000 Earth crossing asteroids with diameters of 120 meters or more. Each of these can provide the mass equivalent of the Island One space habitat: 4 million tons of structure and shielding, 400m in diameter with a 2m thick shell, providing a safe, uncrowded, pleasant habitat for 10,000 people.

From Chapter 18 of The High Frontier

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#83 2016-09-13 12:52:17

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,712
Website

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Point 1: 

"NASA always likes to analyze and test things to death, and all that Analysis and testing costs more than rockets blowing up on the pad, that is why the SLS costs so much!"  -- true enough on the face of it.  But only a small piece of the launch cost of an SLS. 

The real reason that cost is so high is that among all the contractors and vendors,  plus NASA's various teams,  it takes the population of a major US city to put one together and fly it.  This is the 1960-vintage logistical model. 

What Spacex and ULA and the foreign firms are doing today commercially is building and flying with a very small town's population supporting the efforts.  That's the 21st century logistical model,  and it is 10-20 times cheaper as demonstrated so far.  If one can successfully add in re-use of vehicles,  there's potentially another order of magnitude cost reduction,  but it's only apparent if you are already using the 21st century logistical model.  Otherwise it's just swamped in the inefficiency. 

So far,  the administrative culture at NASA has proven totally incapable of using the 21st century model.  Overcontrol and micromanagement is a bitch,  ain't it?

I would also point out that Boeing and Lockheed have employed the 21st century model as ULA with Atlas-5.  They are NOT doing that with NASA on SLS,  because they have to do exactly what NASA says,  in order to get paid.  And a big,  inefficient,  expensive program like SLS/Orion represents an enormous paycheck for them,  regardless whether any of it ever actually flies at all.  Corporate welfare state in action.

Point 2:

"Each of these can provide the mass equivalent of the Island One space habitat: 4 million tons of structure and shielding,"  true enough from the point of view of conservation of mass.  But these things are generally minerals similar to those in igneous rocks down here.  Sources we generally do not use for much at all down here,  except for cut building stones. 

Very few to none of the small ones seem to have any volatiles.  Some have carbon in an unknown form,  maybe somewhat like charcoal or graphite.  A few others might have some iron alloys.  What science we have about these bodies is mostly remote observation,  which historically has a poor track record compared to ground truth. 

I would point out once again that there's a whale of a lot more to it than just tons of mass.  We still know absolutely nothing about what materials we might really be able to make out of such stuff,  we know absolutely nothing about the processes by which to make those materials,  and because we do not yet have a clue what those derivable materials are,  we have no processes by which to shape and join them. 

We still know little-to-nothing about grinding or welding or other machining operations on ordinary steel in a space environment.  Same for the other familiar materials.  That work has never been done,  not even during the building of ISS. 

Locating mass in space is but the first tiny baby step,  and a miniscule part of the overall capability to be developed.  Aluminum was known,  and was rare-and-expensive for over a century before some team figured out how to make big masses of it from bauxite.  You won't find bauxite out there on those small bodies,  it's created from microbe debris in an aqueous environment.  There are some other aluminum-containing minerals,  but we never really use them,  because it costs you a whole lot more effort and energy to get a lot less metal. 

So,  it actually seems rather foolish to say "make it out of asteroids" as if such capability were right around the corner,  or a minor thing to develop.  It is neither.

Point 3:

"4 million tons of structure and shielding, 400m in diameter with a 2m thick shell, providing a safe, uncrowded, pleasant habitat for 10,000 people." -- What I am talking about in point 2 above is exactly what is completely missing in getting from the "4 million tons" to the "400 meter diameter with a 2m thick shell" in that quoted sentence. 

That mass exists as igneous rock-like chunks ranging from boulders down to sand.  Some of the sand and gravel seems bound by a little-understood "space weathering" into a concretion with roughly the cohesive characteristics of desert hardpan,  which was hard enough to defeat the Hayabusa and Philae lander concepts. 

Unless there is way to turn such stuff into sheet metal and bar stock,  then you are proposing to build a giant pressure shell (that also resists centrifugal force) out of a riverbed gravel bar with no concrete.  It cannot be done like that. 

If you really want to make giant constructions feasible in space,  then figure out how to turn such seemingly-useless rocky rubble into sheet metal and bar stock.  So far,  NOBODY knows how to do that.  But some visionary companies are getting interested in trying to find out. 

Point 4:

I'm not saying this (space material processing) cannot be done.  I am saying that it has not yet been done (essentially zero progress),  and that it is a truly enormous undertaking.  It will take much time and effort to accomplish.  But in the long run (several decades?) it will prove to be worth it. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-13 13:28:55)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#84 2016-09-13 13:44:38

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

What if you focus the Sun's rays on the rock to vaporize it? presumably different substances have different temperatures at which they vaporize, you can separate materials out that way. Remember, there is no shortage of energy in space, and it doesn't have to be turned into electricity before you use it, you can simply focus sunlight where you want it with curved reflective surfaces. If you vaporize the rock, the different elements and compounds will vaporize at different temperatures. If you want to collect the material that vaporizes at alower temperature, the vapor, as it expands in space, will cool like any expanding gas, as it cools it condenses. If you want the higher temperature stuff, its the stuff left over. You can also separate out elements by heating substances to plasma temperatures and breaking the chemical bonds. I think the element tungsten would be an important substance since it has a very high melting point, stuff with lower melting points can condense on tungsten. Upon contact with the vapors, the tungsten will absorb the heat and conduct it away causin vapor deposition.

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#85 2016-09-13 15:05:28

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

My feeling at this time, is that I would like a background gravity field to work in as would be provided by the Moon.

~1/6 g.

I think our minds will handle that better than in microgravity.

Tom said:

What if you focus the Sun's rays on the rock to vaporize it?

That is an interesting notion Tom, but consider doing it in microgravity vs the Moons surface.

If you could do that, I presume you have to have a condensing surface, to collect the presumably separated materials.  (I think it will need a lot of work to be useful).  The Moon can provide that.  And a human or teleoperation machine can go and collect the various concentrations for further processing.  You might include an electric field to help in the processing.  I choose not to go much further.  Think about what it would take to do this in microgravity.

Ores:
http://www.space.com/13247-moon-map-lunar-titanium.html

And I speculate that you could use a magnetic system to concentrate magnetic particles involving some metals from the soils of the Moon, due to meteor impacts over the ages.  That could involve essentially a four wheeled cart with some special attachments.  I don't think you could do that with small rocks in microgravity.

And then it seems that Hydrogen and Helium are captured in the soil as well. I won't tire GW out with the Helium 3 thing, but I am interested in Hydrogen and Helium captured from the solar wind for other reasons.

And the Moon has lava tubes, and polar deposits of volatile materials.

So, if you figured out how to use the Moon, you would have a slug of those resources to use for a long time before they ran out.

If automated asteroid mining turns up vast amounts of metals to be used for parts, I might reconsider, but I think that in light of what I have mentioned and more that could be mentioned, the Moon should be strongly reconsidered in a positive light.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-13 15:24:56)

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#86 2016-09-13 21:50:35

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

I think this is safe to post, but they seem to be very rigid about borrowing any info for any purpose at all.
http://www.lunarpedia.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
Quote from the above:

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That's all the scary I need to otherwise leave it alone.

And there is a "Moon Society".  I am assuming they don't want my nonsense, probably have to have some pretty strong credentials.  Maybe some of you could.
http://www.moonsociety.org/register/

The only reason I posted these are for your use if you care.  I previously found an article by them (I think), that indicated that actually when an iron bearing asteroid hits the Moon, all the iron vaporizes, and so it does not leave an ore body to mine. 

I hope I won't go to jail, heck, and hell for mentioning that.

However, to me, it is a good thing.  Much of that iron might then be found in the Moon dust.

From more than 30 years ago I know something about beneficiating a lean iron ore, so, of course that is what I am going to think about.  In that case here on Earth, you needed to grind the ore to a powder from hard rock, and then separate the more magnetic portion with magnetism.  You needed lots of water for that process, so that is not an option on the Moon.  So, you could try using magnetism, but you would have to create a fluid process from something like vibration I would suppose.

Point is why would you want to grind up ore bodies of hard rock, if you already have a powdered dust which may have some of the metals in it that you want.

And another point is that you are not likely to have that kind of a powdered metal source on small asteroids, maybe some of the big ones in the main belt, I would think.

Well let me correct myself.  Some asteroids are rubble piles and there could be dust involved, but you have to move big chunks of rock to get to some of it I would think, and if you disturb it the wrong way, lots of your dust might just drift off.  Plus, I think the dusts on the Moon may have fair similarities, but on rubble pile asteroids, the buildup might have happened in different era's and so you might have a hard time finding consistency as you mined down.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-13 22:05:50)

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#87 2016-09-14 10:19:19

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

The Moon is largely made up of what was formerly Earth's crust and mantle when a Planetesimal hit the Earth, a shock wave caused a portion of the Earth to bud out, escape into space and form the Moon. Because of that the Moon is relatively poor in iron, since most of Earth's iron core remained part of the Earth, but since the formation of the Moon, and number of asteroids have hit it, creating craters, some of the asteroids that hit it were rich in iron, so that iron should have enriched the crust into and around the crater. Even if that asteroid completely vaporized, I'm pretty sure most of it didn't escape back into space, so that iron is still mostly there. Iron has a relatively high boiling point and melting point, the Moon's surface is usually cooler than that, so iron vapor would condense on the Moon's surface after an asteroid impact. A lot of other stuff would too, such as Uranium, gold, and platinum. (which also has a high boiling point) Practically all of the platinum which was contained within an asteroid would remain at the impact site.

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#88 2016-09-14 10:43:16

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Good information, I feel.

I guess, if I were to try to find the best way, I would be looking for the low hanging fruit.

I am also thinking that we are talking about humans in space as a collection of variable actions being in effect an immature organism, for which there is hope of a future greater maturity.

So, I am thinking that the Milk, and Pablum for such a child could be dust and dunes on various planets/moons.

In the case of the Moon there are certain ore bodies, where some substances have been concentrated.
-Gold and Silver in the cold traps along with water and other things, (Mercury, etc.)
-Some concentrations of titanium apparently also are mixed with Oxygen and Iron.
-Maybe some remnants of asteroids will be found to linger in concentrations more near or under the impact location.

So in my mind, you start with the nearby baby foods, such as dust on the Moon. Then try to move to ore bodies, and concentrations, then finally try to learn how to process generalized rock.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-14 10:45:02)

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#89 2016-09-14 15:19:04

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,508
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7484

New thread for discussing what we need in our next space station.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#90 2016-09-15 10:13:40

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

You know, what if we reduces the scale of an O'Neill Cylinder? Lets say we made it 200 meters in diameter and 1000 meters long, it would rotate 3 times per minute, each valley and window would then be the width of a football field.
This would be a compeditor for the Berna Sphere in holding 10,000 people. this is Model 1.

What if we reduced the size even further say to 100 meters wide and 500 meters long? At 50 meters radius it would rotate 4.23 times per minute.

If we reduce the diameter to 76 meters and spin it three times per minute, we would produce Mars level gravity, keeping the same proportions, that would make this O'Neill 380 meters long! the International Space Station is Approximately 356 feet (109 meters) long, so this O'Neill would be just a little bit bigger than this. It would hold 1444 people if population is taken proportional to surface area.

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#91 2016-09-15 21:18:25

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

I think you are moving to convergence towards the rest of us, so I will move a bit in your direction Tom.

Yes, that only makes sense, to do it smaller, at least at first.

O'neill's vision was inspiring, but it was also defiance of history and nature.  It was a good aspiration, but a bit of a deception, so now I better understand G.W's position.

We like to think of ourselves as much more powerful than we are.  For instance I can recognize that the substances cast off/excreted from my body are matter, I cannot make a spaceship out of it and fly somewhere.  I might have tanned leather with my Urine, simply because that was something discovered to work, and I might fertilize a patch of nature with my outputs, but sadly no spaceship emerges from my B.S. or my emissions smile

Take for instance my mining experience some 30+ to 40+ years ago, yes great minds figured out how to upgrade an ore economically, but nature had to lay that ore that we would upgrade into our laps in the first place.

We need to find humility.  Our abilities allow us to do more than is obvious to a mindless brute, but never-the-less, life is a gift to us.

From my point of view, we should always be thinking efficiency against necessity, and capability expansion.  Never excluding either one.

O'neill's concept presumed that the human race might bypass Mars, because crunching up asteroids into synthetic habitat would be so efficiently capable of satisfying human needs.  Probably too optimistic.

So, if humans make even a mini-habitat, do I get fat medically expensive potato chip eaters, lounging in sunlight emitting bad smells which servile (Secretly Evil) robots compliment them on, or do I get more?

Do I get generation ships, or cycling spaceships, or way stations which serve a bigger purpose?  Or do I get lazy people increasing our rate of experienced flatulence?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatulence

Last edited by Void (2016-09-15 21:35:51)

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#92 2016-09-16 10:21:37

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,712
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Well,  if anybody actually gets off their duff and goes to Mars,  I think you will see two things.

(1) You will also see a return to the moon,  and you will see some private space stations where experiments with space materials and processes are investigated.  The return to the moon is as likely to private as it is government.  But I think these things will happen sponsored by multiple entities,  and in an uncoordinated parallel fashion.

(2) You will see a call to use the Mars ship to visit NEO's with an eye to both asteroid mining and asteroid deflection experiments.  You will see this as the manned-mission portion of efforts that began with unmanned missions.  Some of that unmanned asteroid stuff has just begun.  I lump comets in with asteroids on this.  There seems to be very little difference. 

After a while,  the results of these two things will make large space construction using space resources feasible.  Once that happens,  then the big habitats,  the power satellites,  and the colonization ships,  all become feasible. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-16 10:24:10)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#93 2016-09-16 10:43:58

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Yes I think you are right.

I have been browsing around, to actually try to get the drift of what may be in the works, and I think this has cast some better light on some possibilities that I like.

Earth based resources from hardware re-use/re-cycle methods:
I know that we cannot for the large part depend on materials from Earth to build the devices discussed in this topic.  However, it seems that there is no reason not to plan to have a continuous stream of such materials as a contribution of higher quality materials, at least until the processing of Moon/Asteroid/Comet materials has advanced sufficiently to make the method not cost effective.

This has been posted elsewhere, but thinking it through, it demonstrates how perhaps the majority of hardware launched from Earths surface can go into a re-use/re-cycle plan also involving space habitats.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aero … fuel-tanks

I believe that there are multiple concepts on how to re-use launcher hardware.
1) Recover the 1st stage back to the surface, as re-furbish/re-usable.
2) Recover the engines only, as re-furbish/re-usable.

Neither of these seem to be able to recover 2nd stage hardware (Maybe #2 can get the engines back, I don't know)

I know that SpaceX originally had hopes to recover the 2nd stage from orbit to the surface in some cases, but it is becoming obvious to me that it would make sense to instead recover the 2nd stage to station assembly areas in the Earth/Moon system.

Perhaps doing that it will also make sense to put the engines from the 2nd stage into a compartment of a return to surface vessel, perhaps a commercial re-entry device.  Some companies are looking at only recycling engines anyway, not fuel tanks.

So, I think that if most launchers eventually evolve to the above scheme, then there would be a continuous stream of Earth based materials to re-cycle into orbital purposes.

As for getting the 2nd stages to where you would want them, the re-cycle centers, I would think that a robotic electric tug would be one possible option.  I would think that eventually, there will have to be billing applied to entities which leave discarded space junk around in orbit anyway.  Only so much space junk can be tolerated.

Then if experimentation on Moon/Asteroid/Comet materials can produce low quality processed materials, they still may be valuable for the purposes they can serve, while the higher quality recycle material from Earth will take care of the more fussy applications.

Eventually it could be hoped that Moon/Asteroid/Comet materials could be made into high quality materials, but that would come later, not first, most likely.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-16 11:06:06)

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#94 2016-09-16 11:10:25

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

I want to separate this out because it will likely get shot full of holes by those who know rockets.

I am wondering if in light of my just previous post, it could ever make sense to design a single stage to orbit rocket for launch to LEO, and not carrying a cargo.

In other words the rocket sends itself, then in orbit at a recycle center, the valuable parts such as engines are taken off, and put into a re-entry device for return to Earth, and the tanks, are then incorporated into large space machines to serve purposes in orbit, or on the Moon/Mars/Etc.

If that is not sufficiently viable, could you strap on a couple of solid rockets, to give it a boost?  I think those are to a degree capable of being recycled?
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/ab … rb_11.html

???

Last edited by Void (2016-09-16 11:14:39)

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#95 2016-09-16 13:55:52

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 974

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Void wrote:

I want to separate this out because it will likely get shot full of holes by those who know rockets.

I am wondering if in light of my just previous post, it could ever make sense to design a single stage to orbit rocket for launch to LEO, and not carrying a cargo.

In other words the rocket sends itself, then in orbit at a recycle center, the valuable parts such as engines are taken off, and put into a re-entry device for return to Earth, and the tanks, are then incorporated into large space machines to serve purposes in orbit, or on the Moon/Mars/Etc.

If that is not sufficiently viable, could you strap on a couple of solid rockets, to give it a boost?  I think those are to a degree capable of being recycled?
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/ab … rb_11.html

???

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarius_Launch_Vehicle

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#96 2016-09-16 22:05:18

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Antius,

Thank you.  I am not a rocket guy, as is well known.  However you took the time.  I appreciate it.

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#97 2016-09-17 09:15:42

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Void wrote:

I think you are moving to convergence towards the rest of us, so I will move a bit in your direction Tom.

Yes, that only makes sense, to do it smaller, at least at first.

O'neill's vision was inspiring, but it was also defiance of history and nature.  It was a good aspiration, but a bit of a deception, so now I better understand G.W's position.

We like to think of ourselves as much more powerful than we are.  For instance I can recognize that the substances cast off/excreted from my body are matter, I cannot make a spaceship out of it and fly somewhere.  I might have tanned leather with my Urine, simply because that was something discovered to work, and I might fertilize a patch of nature with my outputs, but sadly no spaceship emerges from my B.S. or my emissions smile

Take for instance my mining experience some 30+ to 40+ years ago, yes great minds figured out how to upgrade an ore economically, but nature had to lay that ore that we would upgrade into our laps in the first place.

We need to find humility.  Our abilities allow us to do more than is obvious to a mindless brute, but never-the-less, life is a gift to us.

From my point of view, we should always be thinking efficiency against necessity, and capability expansion.  Never excluding either one.

O'neill's concept presumed that the human race might bypass Mars, because crunching up asteroids into synthetic habitat would be so efficiently capable of satisfying human needs.  Probably too optimistic.

So, if humans make even a mini-habitat, do I get fat medically expensive potato chip eaters, lounging in sunlight emitting bad smells which servile (Secretly Evil) robots compliment them on, or do I get more?

Do I get generation ships, or cycling spaceships, or way stations which serve a bigger purpose?  Or do I get lazy people increasing our rate of experienced flatulence?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatulence

I would dub the 76 meter side O'Neill Cylinder as the Martian Model One, O'Neill had several models of his O'Neill Cylinder, the smallest one he had has a radius of 100 meters and rotates 3 times per second to produce 1-G of gravity. If we reduce that to 0.38-gs, with the same rate of rotation, we get a Martian level of gravity this space station is only a little longer than the ISS from end to end, though it is quite a bit more massive. The best use for the Martian Model one would be as a colonization transport to Mars in a cycling orbit. Colonists acclimatize themselves to a Martian surface gravity on the way to Mars. The O'Neill also has a permanent crew that grows food onboard the ship for passengers, it can transport 1444 colonists at a time. We would need to get launch costs down to build this thing, but perhaps we wouldn't need to utilize extraterrestrial materials to build it. We could assemble it in low Earth orbit using materials built on Earth. Once we learn to build this small thing, we can scale it up and build larger space colonies.

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#98 2016-09-17 10:26:45

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

OK Tom, I will play ball.

This video will have some parts that annoy many here.  For me the video also plays recordings of Buzz Aldrin after.
-Most here don't like cyclers.
-The presenters look like kids to me, but I am guessing they are quite a lot smarter than I am, and youth is not a crime.
-Their heat shield concept with a toroidal balloon is very interesting.
-They seem to think in terms of Hohmann transfers for their resupply ships, but I think that for most cases ballistic transfer would be better.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-energy_transfer
-I like the idea they have of lifting their hab onto a wheeled chassis to make it mobile.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bu … ORM=VDQVAP

Here is a more generalized web site on the topic:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_cycler

The difference however between this material and what you are thinking Tom is that you want to use a O'neill device for the cycler.
Also the previous material emphasizes reaching Mars as the objective, but your plan is more that there will be people living on an artificial world, and that world will also transit both Earth and Mars periodically.  Those periodic transfers will be the secondary purpose, but may be useful to the inhabitants of the artificial world, as they can perhaps take on passengers as a business option.

I would like to speculate on sizing down your habitat even more.  How about a gravity of Ceres as the background gravity field of a main chamber?
This may be enough so that things will stay in place (Or be clamped down).  Humans will be able to lift large loads, if we are presuming that this could be a manufacturing facility as well.

The lower gravity will reduce the centrifugal rigors imposed on the device.  The Ceres gravity will provide very useful data, to find out to what degree humans could adapt to the gravitational environment of Ceres, and work in it.  Also, can farming be done in such a low gravity field?  Very important I think.  Later if humans inhabit artificial spinning worlds around Ceres, they may still want to do most of their farming in chambers on Ceres, just to save space on the spinning worlds.

I do not intend however to subject humans to only a Ceres level gravity field, but also to have a secondary toroidal chamber where hyperloop technology could provide additional synthetic gravity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

So, I would like a "Rotor" torus inside of a "Stator" torus, with an air film between them as lubricant, and the use of induction motors to add or remove rotation.

The "Main Chamber" would rotate in a different direction than the "Rotor".  The "Stator" would be solidly attached to the "Main Chamber".

Most likely the "Rotor" would start and stop periodically, so it would go from a spin to produce "Moon", "Mars", or "Earth" synthetic gravity, towards but not necessarily at Micro Gravity.

The Main Chamber would respond by having a variable gravity as well, going from "Ceres" synthetic gravity towards and possibly even at Micro Gravity.

Obviously a "Habitat" could be composed of more than one MainChamber/Stator/Rotor.  In that case a "Main Chamber" could be used as a giant air lock, that is a large portion of an end of a main chamber could be opened up (After capturing most or all of the air inside), and large objects could be move into that main chamber or out of it.

Then reseal it and with whatever machinery is inside do some kind of construction/manufacturing process, producing a value added service, and later removing whatever was made, and taking a profit, if possible.

One method of propulsion for these machines might be:
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/an-au … ion-2015-9
http://www.iflscience.com/technology/ma … magnesium/

It is still being developed, but I do believe that it can run on Titanium, and the Moon has abundant Titanium.

One thing about using a material from the Moon as propulsion mass, is that it (perhaps) may not have to be as high quality as if the metal were being fabricated for use as structure.

One additional thing, the "Main Chamber" could have a reduced atmospheric pressure relative to the interior of the rotor torus.
The Rotor Torus perhaps could be at 10 pounds pressure N2/O2, and the "Main Chamber at perhaps 5 Pounds? O2?
Air locks between required then of course, and additional non rotor space at 10 pounds provided as well.

But by keeping the "Main Chamber" at a lower pressure, of course less stress on the pressure shell.  But it is a trade off, as it complicates things.

The above is an attempt by me to find a compromise between the cyclers mentioned, and your habitat, possibly pointing to a more useful agenda.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-17 11:18:18)

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#99 2016-09-17 15:53:57

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

If I recall correctly, Ceres has 1/50th of  Earth's gravity, Starting with the standard Model One Cylinder which is 100 meters in radius and rotates 3 times a minute, if you want Ceres gravity, the radius becomes 2 meters. So a person standing up will have his head almost at the center axis of the cylinder. Keeping the same proportions, a 4 meter wide cylinder will be 20 meters long Proportionally if the standard model one can hold 10,000 people, the Ceres Model One can hold 4 people! 4 people is the number of people Zubrin wanted to send to Mars. An O'Neill Cylinder that is 4 meters wide and 20 meters long is small enough to be built on the ground and launched into space in one piece. I wonder if the SLS could launch it, what do you think? It would be interesting to test out the geometry of an O'Neill cylinder using something that is small enough that we could build and launch into space, without having to build a moon base and mining facility first.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2016-09-17 15:58:32)

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#100 2016-09-17 16:32:09

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,508
Website

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Before all that, I'd like to find out how much gravity is required for plumbing to function normally. Now *there's* something we can do using parabolic flights, without needing to go into space at all.

If it turns out 0.1g is sufficient to be make a lot of things significantly easier to do, even if it doesn't provide much health benefits, then we could look at sending some small, ~8m diameter centrifuges to whatever space station we're using at that time.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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