Archive for the ‘Space Settlement’ Category
I’ve recently finished a paper on space settlement called “Paths to Space Settlement.” Here’s the abstract:
A number of ﬁrms are developing commercial sub-orbital launch vehicles to carry tourists into space. Let’s assume they attract many customers and become proﬁtable. The next, much more diﬃcult, step is to develop orbital tourist vehicles and space hotels to go with them. These hotels will require maids, cooks, waiters, concierges and so forth, some of which may decide to stay, becoming the ﬁrst permanent residents in space. At some point a bright entrepreneur may notice the large numbers of wealthy elderly people in wheel chairs willing to pay well to get out of them. Add good medical facilities to an orbital hotel and those people could be living in the ﬁrst zero-g retirement home.
In the meantime, we could choose to solve, once and for all, our energy and global warming problems by developing space solar power, i.e., putting up enormous satellites to gather energy in space and beam it to Earth with no atmospheric emissions at all. To supply a substantial fraction of civilization’s 15 tw energy habit would require huge numbers of launches, not to mention developing the ability to build extremely large structures in orbit, and eventually tapping the moon and asteroids for materials to avoid the environmental cost of mining, manufacturing, and launch from Earth.
The best asteroids to mine would be known if Earth’s people realize we are in a cosmic shooting gallery and build telescopes to ﬁnd the thousands of deadly asteroids crossing Earth’s orbit. Most of these won’t hit us for millions of years, but there could be one heading our way at any time. Exploiting these Near Earth Ob jects (NEOs) could be made even easier if we take the eminently sensible step of changing the path of a few completely non dangerous NEOs, just for practice in case one is found to be heading our way without much time to develop deﬂection techniques.
If we do all this, each step of which is justiﬁed in it’s own right, we’ll have excellent launch, small orbital living facilities, the ability to build large objects in orbit, and access to extra-terrestrial materials – most of what we need to realize Gerard O’Neill’s space settlement vision. At that point, expect some extremely wealthy religious fanatics to build themselves a small orbital habitat so they don’t have to live with any ’unbelievers.’ Since the ﬁrst space settlement is by far the hardest to build, from there on it’s just a matter of time until we have an orbital civilization with trillions of inhabitants.
These are paths to space settlement.
By Al Globus
The Inevitability of Space Settlement by Mark Hopkins
It is only a matter of time before the large scale move into space begins. It is the goal of NSS and more generally the Space Movement for this to occur sooner rather than later.
According to Michael Griffin, former NASA Administrator, “One day, I don’t know when, but one day, there will be more humans living off Earth than on it” (February 2006). NSS looks forward to that day.
NASA is again considering the feasibility of manned missions to the asteroids. However, this idea is not without precedent. Scientists began seriously considering asteroids as targets of exploration in the 1960s. The leading proponent of such missions was American aerospace engineer and futurist - Dandridge MacFarland Cole.
October 30th, 2005 marked the 40th anniversary of his untimely passing. Dandridge Cole was only 44 years old when he suffered a fatal heart attack. The anniversary of his death seems to have largely escaped the notice and attention of the space community at large. This brief article seeks to redress that awful oversight.
NASA and the aerospace community owe an enormous debt to this great man. In his book ‘Islands in Space: The Challenge of the Planetoids’, co-authored with Donald Cox, he laid the foundation for much of our current thinking on the Exploration, Mining, and Colonization of the Asteroids.
Cole and Cox, from the vantage point of 1964, had foreseen the great wilderness that lay ahead of the U.S. space program after the Apollo program had achieved its objective of placing a man on the Moon. They had predicted, unlike many of their contemporises that a great hiatus laid between the first lunar landing and the eventual goal of landing men on Mars. A full decade of technological development would stall the American Space program until the super boosters and nuclear engines, needed to take astronauts to Mars, replaced the Saturn 5. Until these technical milestones were achieved, they felt that a manned mission to the Asteroids should be seriously considered as the next logical goal for the post-Apollo era.
Recently, within NASA there has been ongoing discussion of the possibility of mounting a manned voyage to a Near-Earth Object (NEO). Its advocates are certain of the tremendous scientific return of such an undertaking. Dandridge Cole was one of the first scientists to draw the broad outlines of such a mission. In the early 1960s, he studied the possibility of using Apollo hardware for a mission to Eros, during its close approach to Earth in 1975.
Cole and Cox also outlined many of the robotic precursor missions to the asteroids that have largely inspired those that were realised over the past few years (such as NEAR and Hayabusa) and the Dawn mission to Ceres and Vesta). In addition, they saw the importance of establishing beachheads on the Martian moons Phobos and Demos to facilitate the exploration of the planet.
In 1963, Cole wrote ‘Exploring the Secrets of Space: Astronautics for the Layman’ with I. M. Levitt. In this book they suggested hollowing out an ellipsoidal asteroid about 30 km long, and rotating it about its major axis to simulate gravity. By reflecting sunlight inside with mirrors, and creating, on its inner surface, a pastoral setting an asteroid could be transformed into a permanent space colony. Cole and Cox also envisioned that asteroids would provide the raw materials to form the basis of a spacefaring civilization. And, that asteroidal materials would also serve terrestrial needs. In their view these materials could be transported using mass drivers or linear motors. Cole’s work largely presages that of Gerard K. O’Neill by more than a decade.
A year later, Cole and Cox elaborated this idea further. They went on to consider the possibility of using asteroids as interstellar arks or generation ships. The “nomadic pseudo-earth,” as Cole and Cox called their conception, would be the hollowed out space inside a captured asteroid. The result would be a “gigantic geodesic interior chamber,” created “in much the same way as a glassblower shapes a small solid lump of molten glass into a large empty bottle.” Thus Cole, like Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert Goddard before him, envisaged that asteroids would be the stepping-stones paving the path to the outer solar system and beyond. Cole in his 1961 book ‘The Ultimate Human Society’ also argued that huge space colonies might evolve into new organisms called “Macro-Life” composed of innumerable living creatures. Cole wrote:
“Taking man as representative of multicelled life, we can say that man is the mean proportional between Macro-Life and the cell. Macro-Life is a new life form of gigantic size which has for its cells individual human beings, plants, animals, and machines . . . Society can be said to pregnant with a mutant creature which will be at the same time an extraterrestrial colony of human beings and a new large-scale life form.”
A Time magazine article from January 1961 provides a very interesting profile of Dandridge Cole during this period of his life.
In 1965, Cole co-authored with Roy Scarfo, ‘Beyond Tomorrow: The Next 50 Years in Space‘ in which he proposed various other space projects and the use of cryogenics so that individuals could travel great distances while in a state of suspended animation.
Considering Dandridge Cole’s many accomplishments, why is there such an enormous dearth in the number of websites devoted to the memory of this great visionary? I had the great privilege of meeting Donald Cox at the National Space Society’s 1996 International Space Development Congress (ISDC) in New York City. He graciously autographed my copy of ‘Islands in Space’. We spent the better part of fifteen minutes discussing the valuable insights, he and Cole discussed in that book and how it pertained to humanity’s future in space. It is one of my most cherished possessions. In fact, I consider ‘Islands in Space’ a very seminal work in the history of astronautics and should be republished along side other great works in the field.
I want to thank everyone who particapated in Space Settlement Blog Day. It was very successful. There were several very interesting essays written for the occasion.
Step by step to space settlement and More about space settlement day Clark S. Lindsey Space Transport News
Moon-Mine News by Niklas Järvstråt
Moon Business (Twitter)
[For Space Settlement Blog Day, July 20, 2009]
Can we afford to settle space? A concomitant question is “Can we afford NOT to settle space?” but let’s leave that aside for now. In the long run, space settlement will not be a consumer of wealth but will be be a creator of wealth. This is basically a truism because if space settlement does not become a creator of wealth it simply won’t happen. Assuming civilization survives, it is likely to move into space because that is where the vast bulk of available material and energy resources are located. Utilizing these resources creates wealth.
The real question is: How do we get there from here? All space settlement scenarios have one thing in common — a very high startup cost before wealth starts being created. Dealing with this chicken-and-egg problem has been plaguing the space movement for the past 40 years. We don’t have the startup money.
Or do we? “What do you mean we don’t have enough money?” aerospace writer Eric Burgess once said. “We invented money.”
This response is not just flippant. A monetary invention, the private stock company, was at least in part responsible for financing the settlement of the New World at a time when reaching it was difficult, expensive, and dangerous. As a result, the New World became the largest creator of wealth in history. Space can do the same.
Besides inventive technologies, we need inventive ways of financing to settle space. There is always a lively debate within the space movement whether such financing should be governmental (with its inherent inefficiencies) or private (with its too-short time horizons), or some creative combination of the two.
A recommended classic paper addressing these subjects was written in 1978 by J. Peter Vajk (rhymes with “Like”) as part of the big DOE/NASA study of space solar power. The paper, “Satellite Power System (SPS) Financial/Management Scenarios” [3.7 MB PDF file], described 10 organizational models for managing and financing projects of this magnitude (the paper is also a model of expository writing). The ten models are as follows:
- Existing government agencies, e.g. NASA, DOE, etc.
- A new government agency, patterned after the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
- A taxpayer stock corporation, a new concept
- A trust fund supported by energy taxes, patterned after the financing of the interstate highway system
- A federal agency financed by bonds, patterned after the Federal National Mortgage Association
- A staging company, an as-yet unrealized new concept for a fully private venture
- A government-chartered monopoly, patterned after the Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat)
- A consortium model, already used for large-scale projects
- A corporate socialism model, patterned after such developments as the transcontinental railroad
- A universal capitalism model, a concept similar to Employee Stock Ownership Plans
It is not intended here to argue which (or which combination) of these might be the best. The point is that creative solutions can be and to some extent have already been identified. It remains to be seen what role our generation will play in the process of realizing them.
We have 34 blogs participating. This is a great success. What a great way to honor the Apollo 11 landing.
Please let us know which of their blog posts you liked and found interesting.
Thanks to all the blogs which are participating. Thanks to David Brandt-Erichsen and Brice Russ for all their technical work which has made Space Settlement Blog Day so successful. Thanks to all the sponsors the National Space Society, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Space Movement, the Moon Society, and Space Renaissance Initiative.
- National Space Society Blog
- NSS Mission Blog
- The Moon Society Blog
- Space Frontier Foundation Blog
- The Space Movement Blog
- Aerospace Pirate
- Aerospace, Technology, Paranormal, and UFOs News
- Artsnova Digital Art and Space
- Childe Jake’s Pilgrimage
- Day of X
- Discovery Enterprise
- Global Spin
- Habitation Intention
- I wanna be an African Aviator
- The Liber(al)tarian Network
- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Catgirls
- Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration
- Moonbounce by KB9RQZ
- Moon Business (Twitter)
- My Year of Science
- Neil Armstrong
- Plasma Wind
- Potentia Tenebras Repellendi
- San Diego Space Society
- The Space Advocate
- Space Transport News
- The Way Out
This week there is a lot going on to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.
The Apollo Legacy: The Moon and Beyond:
Monday, July 20, 2009
Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater, Level 1
Annual John H. Glenn Lecture - 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11
Sunday, July 19
Lockheed Martin Imax Theater
National Mall Building
On the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s first human landing on the Moon, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum welcomes the Apollo 11 crew, as well as Mission Control creator and former Johnson Space Center director Chris Kraft as the speakers for the Museum’s 2009 John H. Glenn lecture in space history.
This event is sold out.
Watch the live webcast on NASA TV
We Choose The Moon The Kennedy Presidential Library Web Site
Book Signing for We Came in Peace for all Mankind
Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 10:00am- Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 5:00pm
Smithsonian Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Museum
Air and Space Pkwy
Facebook event listing
40th Anniversary of Landing on the Moon
Moonfest 2009: From Apollo to LCROSS, and Beyond!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
12:00pm - 6:00pm
NASA Ames Research Center
Mountain View, CA
Moon Day at Frontiers of Flight Museum- Celebrate 40th anniversary of Apollo 11
Sunday, July 19, 2009
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Dallas Love Field Airport
6911 Lemmon Ave
The Frontiers of Flight Museum and the National Space Society of North Texas host presentations and book signings by Marianne Dyson (flight controller/author), Craig Nelson (author), Ron DiIulio (astronomer), Richard Jeffries (Star Trek), Dallas Area Rocket Society, Chaz Hafey (lunar scientist), exhibits (Apollo 7 command module), DOOR PRIZES—all in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.
Free concert celebrating the anniversary of 69 ! - Skyebat
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
8:00pm - 9:00pm
317 East Houston between Ave, B & C
New York, NY
Storgruvan, Pershyttan, Sweden, 20th July, 2009.
In addition to speakers and journal films from Nora and from the Moon landing, an exhibition will illustrate the plans for the moon-mine, put in context by historical facts about the mine and the Apollo program, as well as contributions from some of our sponsors.
In breaks between speakers, films from 1969 about the Moon, Nora and Pershyttan will be shown.
|Tema miljö, rymd, Månen jämförd med Jorden. (Moon-Earth environments)|
|Konferencier: Carl Fridh|
|1500||Välkomsttal||Jan Norlund, Nora kommunchef|
|1530||Varför Månbas i Storgruvan?||Niklas Järvstråt, Moon-Mine|
|1600||Start av pumparna||Anders Olsson, NJOV|
|1630||I rymden måste allt vara ekologiskt||Ulf E Andersson, Ekofisk Rolagen|
|Tema Nora och Månen i forntid - nutid - framtid (Historic view on Nora and the Moon)|
|Konferencier: Carl Fridh|
Lars Östring, Länsråd Örebro län
Åke Wiklund, Hembygdsf. Noraskog
|1930(ca)||Pershyttan på 60-talet||Åke Mossberg, Pershyttans Hembygdscirkel|
|2000||Gruvdykningar||Daniel Karlsson/Mark Dougherty Baggbodykarna|
|2030||Current moon initiatives||Romanian Space Agency (videolänk?)|
|2117||Markering: månlandningen 40 år||-|
Fotspår i FJS-1 (Japanskt mångrus)
Maria Aldrin, släkting till Buzz Aldrin
Lars Östring, Länsråd Örebro län
Niklas Järvstråt, Moon-Mine
|2200||Vision, månbas pershyttan||Niklas Järvstråt, Moon-Mine|
Coffee and snacks will be available throughout. Hopefully also light meals.
Horseback riding for children is being arranged.
Space Settlement Blog Day is on July 20th. Blog for and about space settlement on July 20th. 33 blogs have signed up already.
Uranium exists on the moon, according to new data from a Japanese spacecraft.
The findings are the first conclusive evidence for the presence of the radioactive element in lunar dirt, the researchers said. They announced the discovery recently at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Conference and at the Proceedings of the International Workshop Advances in Science.
Anita Gale’s Husband of 23 years, Dick Edwards, passed away shortly after the ISDC. Anita Gale and Dick Edwards jointly ran the AIAA International Space Settlement Design Competition. In his honor donations can be made to the AIAA International Space Settlement Design Competition.
Checks written to AIAA Orange County Section may be mailed to:
6962 Los Amigos Circle
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Please note on the check: Dick Edwards SSDC Fund