Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 393

Dec 15, 2012

Titan Water Pressure

Posted by in category: space

I commented on another blog recently about visiting Titan;

I do not know the pressure in these possible liquid oceans. But if it is, for example, 2 or 3 times that of the Marianas Trench then it is certainly a daunting proposition to explore them with human crewed submarines.

Tremendous pressure would mean transporting a titanium sphere several feet thick there. Not an incredible solution if you make it out of Lunar Titanium and Lunar Solar Power.
After reading Ozzie Zhener’s Green Illusions and the Dan Criswell Lunar Solar Power concept web entries I am becoming skeptical about any other possible approach having any relevance in my lifetime. I turned fifty recently and though they sent John Glenn on a mission, I am not confident of any migration into space anytime soon. This is a case of a 7 year old boy watching Star Trek and believing it might be something like this when I got as old as Bill Shatner was.….is.
If you trouble shoot the problem and use a decision tree to find solutions from a survey of available technology it becomes clear that the contender technologies are either available or readily available in the form of improved copies of half century old prototypes.
If you want to launch a program of under ice manned submarine expeditions to the outer planet moons you would have to start with a huge program of super heavy lift vehicles. This may sound expensive but unlike any other existing approach this single inflexible path has the potential of a hundred thousand fold return on investment.
By landing payloads at the lunar polar ice deposits, the exploitation of Lunar Solar Power resources can begin. I want Greenpeace, and every environmental conservation group that exists to understand that they can have there every dream come true if they ruthlessly exploit the solar energy striking the Moon’s surface. It should be understood that the Moon is dead. It is kind of like Nietsche saying God is dead and God then saying Nietsche is dead; do not worry about polluting the Moon- it is dead.
Once there is Lunar Solar Power to melt ore then large structures can be created. These gargantuan solar energy devices will rapidly cover vast swathes of the lunar surface. The more energy that pours into the metal shops the more energy will be produced for new metal shops. After the energy is available come the microwave transmitting antennae fields. Finally come the space power relay battle stations; these must launch to Earth geostationary orbit. Ever larger battle stations from the Moon will park themselves above a certain spot on the Earth where receiving dishes the size of entire valleys are being built. At some point done the road a river of clean electricity begins to flow from the Moon to Earth.
This rainbow bridge of microwave energy from the surface all the way up to geostationary orbit means powering a beam propulsion launch system of several thousand Isp with power all the way from the Moon. How quickly this airline to space begins operation depends entirely on the resources put into it. Exactly what proportion of this electricity shall be dedicated to establishing new worlds in space?
Though it seems impossible for us to imagine, after every single human being on Earth has a very high western standard of living, what will we do with the excess power? If that Lunar Solar Power is geometrically increasing and feeding itself by adding ever increasing and phenomenal amounts of electricity will it be shut down at that point?
I believe when the full of potential of space is explained to the public and they are convinced then no one will stop a geometric progression of Lunar Solar Power to facilitate new projects. The next big project will be constructing large structures in space at the nearest Libration point. Proposed in 1929 the Bernal Sphere may be a simple structure to melt with microwaves in zero gravity and form into a miles- in-diameter hollow sphere. How many miles in diameter is the question.
When the optimum form and thicknesses of the shell or shells-inside-the shells is determined this will determine the diameter of the sphere. Spheres 20 or 30 miles in diameter have the prospect of being a multi-purpose vehicle; Not only can they act as power relay stations but they can support populations of at least thousands in deep space. Propelled by H-bombs this first product of the industry of the Moon may fill many roles from the start a chain of these hollow moons will stretch out in solar orbit from the Earth.
Human beings have a lot of problem with scale. It takes a certain open mindedness to embrace construction projects of such vast scales. But we have only to look at the pyramids in Egypt to understand that large goals have been met since civilization has been in existence. The numbers tell us this chain of hollow moons can contain larger and larger populations as they grow in sized. If it is actually possible to feed materials into a solar furnace and blow up balloons several miles in diameter then the next factory to build may be around Mercury. Greenpeace may have trouble getting tourists to visit the abandoned Earth.
If all else fails, there is sports. Decades ago I read a short story, called “Moonball” I think, and it had professional sports played in superdomes under the Lunar Surface and televised to Earth.
We could have only females of chilbearing age allowed on the Moon and have them play sports. So if there is an engineered pathogen or the planet killer comet or asteroid hits or a super-volcano lights off the next ice age, we will always have our amazon women on the Moon to save our species.

Dec 15, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, finance, geopolitics, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space.

On April 19, 2012, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that limited a spaceflight entity’s liability for spaceflight participants and paved the way for Spaceport Colorado’s development. The Front Range Airport Authority situated on 3,900 acres will allocate 900 acres towards the development and construction of Spaceport Colorado and ancillary facilities. The next steps are the completion of an environmental assessment, and feasibility and marketing study. This is expected to be completed by end of 2013.

In the 1995–96 I was Head of Corporate Planning at Westport, a $1 billion seaport infrastructure project in Malaysia, where I created and deployed the 7-hour port strategy, streamlined financial controls, container handling and container tariffs, reducing incoming (wharf to gate) dwell time to zero hours compared to the then world’s largest container port, Port Authority of Singapore’s (PSA) 18-hours. Westport was able to grow substantially, to the point where, in 2011, Westport handled 6.4 million TEUs compared to PSA’s 29.9 million TEUs. (TEU = Twenty-foot Equivalent Units or half a container)

So it caught my attention when Dennis Heap said Spaceport Colorado will be 33 miles (53 km) east of the city of Denver and about 6 miles (10 km) south of Denver International Airport (DIA).

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)” »

Dec 14, 2012

Europa Report Reality Base

Posted by in category: space

I was told once the secret to a good movie is suspension of disbelief.

This is a hard nut to crack for anyone making a good sci-fi movie because the closer you get to suspending that disbelief the farther away you get from what is entertaining and familiar to moviegoers.

For the true space geek sci-fi movies invariably disappoint. Anyone familiar with the basics of space flight knows things about gravity and physics that ruin any possible suspension of disbelief in these movies.

We will see how close this one comes to addressing things like:

Continue reading “Europa Report Reality Base” »

Dec 14, 2012

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (3b)

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, general relativity, particle physics, physics, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In a previous post on Technological Feasibility I had stated that a quick and dirty model shows that we could achieve velocity of light c by 2151 or the late 2150s. See table below.

Year Velocity (m/s) % of c
2200 8,419,759,324 2808.5%
2152 314,296,410 104.8%
2150 274,057,112 91.4%
2125 49,443,793 16.5%
2118 30,610,299 10.2%
2111 18,950,618 6.3%
2100 8,920,362 3.0%
2075 1,609,360 0.5%
2050 290,351 0.1%
2025 52,384 0.0%

That is, at the current rate of technological innovation we could as a civilization reach light speed in about 140 years. More importantly we could not even reach anywhere near that within the next 100 years. Our capability would be 6.3% of c.

The Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation informs us light speed would require an infinite amount of energy (i.e. more than there is in the Universe!), thereby highlighting the weaknesses in these types of technological forecasting methods. But these models still serve a purpose. They provide some guidance as to what is possible and when. The operative word is guidance.

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Dec 13, 2012

Deathstars and David Criswell

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability…itics.html

When the possible mixes with fantasy it should turn peoples heads- it does not happen very often. But this toungue-in-cheek petition is actually a case of truth being so close to fiction and no one seems to be noticing. I have been posting in the comments section of Centauri Dreams lately due to my disappointment with the contributor situation on the lifeboat blog and I am now happy to share edited versions of them here.

December 11, 2012 at 7:50

It is now the second decade of the twenty first century and we actually have a
tremendous amount of technology available and devices that may have been tested in some form in the past and found to work quite well but by various circumstance did not enter production. The example that every real space nut is aware of is the Aerojet AJ-260 monolithic solid rocket booster. Each of these put out over 7 million pounds of thrust and would probably have been used in a pair with yet another aerojet product called the M-1 as a core liquid engine as in the Titan configuration. This was the logical progression of a more powerful partially reusable vehicle to replace the Saturn V; a vehicle with over twice the first stage thrust. Instead we tried to go cheap with the Space Shuttle and recieved zero ROI. In fact we have the ability to build much larger solid boosters of up to 325 inches. Built with submarine hull technology it is recovered at sea and resused. This system is the only practical reusable technology as the liquid shuttle motors turned out to be a total waste of time returning to earth for reuse.

Continue reading “Deathstars and David Criswell” »

Dec 12, 2012

Crowdfunding campaign for Software Wars, the movie

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism, robotics/AI, space

I’d like to announce the start of the campaign for Software Wars, the movie. It is called Software Wars, but it also talks about biotechnology, the space elevator and other futuristic topics. This movie takes many of the ideas I’ve posted here and puts them into video form. It will be understandable to normal people but interesting to people like us. I would appreciate the support of Lifeboat for this project.

Dec 11, 2012

I Voted for you to Dream Big Mr. President

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

I recently began studying David Criswell’s Lunar Solar Power concept. If I was a conspiracy theory type I would say investigate Elon Musk. About the time Elon decided to go into space instead of into solar power, David was proclaiming he could solve the Earth’s energy problems by beaming microwave energy to Earth from the Moon. My suspicion is that Musk is building a microwave deathstar weapon on the Moon. Think about it, he has tested these rockets and they seem to work fine but how many has he built somewhere in secret and put on ships to launch from the poles? There may be space-x factories on the lunar poles busily building solar energy converters and microwave antennae fields and fabricating the gargantuan constructs necessary to be launched from the Moon and put in geostationary Earth orbit as relay stations. Darth Musk may be building Criswell’s system with a slight improvement- the microwaves can be focused on the Earth in catastrophic concentrations. This guy is the anti-christ; he will be able to conquer any country, even the United States, by using these geostationary microwave transmitters to incinerate any target on the surface of the Earth. The point being that there will be no reason to destroy a nation when you can sell them cheap electricity instead. In this concept, the armed forces of the planet also control the power supplies to the planet through a network of super power battle stations. The trick is building these giant space fortress power relay stations on the Moon and launching them into geostationary Earth orbit. This lunar launch technique would take advantage of beam propulsion and also insert into geostationary orbit using power beamed from the Moon. As soon as the power is available from geostationary orbit then powering a vehicle from the surface to escape velocity becomes practical. These launch vehicles will most likely be in the form of a disc; flying saucers. The Flying Saucer Airlines will finally whisk thousands and then millions of people into the heavens. It would be better if the government would set up this giant power system that will so forever and completely solve the Energy problems of Earth.

Dec 2, 2012

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (3a)

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, education, engineering, general relativity, particle physics, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

My apologies to my readers for this long break since my last post of Nov 19, 2012. I write the quarterly economic report for a Colorado bank’s Board of Directors. Based on my quarterly reports to the Board, I gave a talk Are We Good Stewards? on the US Economy to about 35 business executives at a TiE Rockies’ Business for Breakfast event. This talk was originally scheduled for Dec 14, but had moved forward to Nov 30 because the original speaker could not make the time commitment for that day. There was a lot to prepare, and I am very glad to say that it was very well received. For my readers who are interested here is the link to a pdf copy of my slides to Are We Good Stewards?

Now back to interstellar physics and the Kline Directive. Let’s recap.

In my last four posts (2c), (2d), (2e) & (2f) I had identified four major errors taught in contemporary physics. First, to be consistent (2c) with Lorentz-Fitzgerald and Special Theory of Relativity, elementary particles contract as their energy increases. This is antithetical to string theories and explains why string theories are becoming more and more complex without discovering new empirically verifiable fundamental laws of Nature.

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Nov 23, 2012

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: A Galilean Base

Posted by in categories: engineering, habitats, space

In a previous post I explored the feasibility of an industrial base on planet Mercury — an option which on first glance had seemed implausible but on getting down to the detail could be considered quite reasonable. Here I go the other direction — outward to the first of the gas giants — and the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

From a scientific point of view it makes a lot of sense to set up a base in this region as it provides the nearest possible base to home that could start to explore the dynamics and weather systems of gaseous planets — which are quite common in our Universe — and how such planets impact on their moons — as potential locations for off-earth colonies and industrial bases. It bears consideration that only two other moons in our outer solar system are of requisite size to have a gravitational field similar or greater to that of our Moon — namely Saturn’s Titan and Neptune’s Triton — so the Galilean moons demand attention.

The first difficulty to consider is the intense radiation from Jupiter, which is far stronger than the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts. Although proper shielding normally protects living organisms and electronic instrumentation, that from Jupiter is whipped up from magnetic fields 20,000 stronger than Earth’s, so shielding would become difficult. It has been considered that such radiation would be the greatest threat to any craft closing within 300,000 km of the planet. At 420,000 km from Jupiter, Io is the closest of the Galilean satellites. With over 400 active volcanoes, from which plumes of sulphur and sulphur dioxide regularly rise as high as 400 km above its surface, it is considered the most geologically active object in the solar system. The activity could be viewed as a source of heat/energy.

Unlike most satellites, it is composed of silicate rock with a molten iron or iron sulphide core, and despite extensive mountain ranges, the majority of its surface is characterized by extensive plains coated with sulphur and sulphur dioxide frost. One can perhaps disregard its extremely thin sulphur dioxide atmosphere as an inconvenience, though is in too close proximity to Jupiter and its extensive magnetosphere even for occasional mining expeditions from the other moons. In this regard one would have to rule out Io and any resources there completely from consideration for such as base. Onto the other options…

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Nov 20, 2012

Google’s 100,000 Stars & the Paradigmatic Disruption of Large-Scale Innovation Revisited

Posted by in categories: cosmology, general relativity, human trajectories, information science, physics, scientific freedom, space

The 100,000 Stars Google Chrome Galactic Visualization Experiment Thingy

So, Google has these things called Chrome Experiments, and they like, you know, do that. 100,000 Stars, their latest, simulates our immediate galactic zip code and provides detailed information on many of the massive nuclear fireballs nearby.

Zoom in & out of interactive galaxy, state, city, neighborhood, so to speak.

It’s humbling, beautiful, and awesome. Now, is 100, 000 Stars perfectly accurate and practical for anything other than having something pretty to look at and explore and educate and remind us of the enormity of our quaint little galaxy among the likely 170 billion others? Well, no — not really. But if you really feel the need to evaluate it that way, you are a unimaginative jerk and your life is without joy and awe and hope and wonder and you probably have irritable bowel syndrome. Deservedly.

The New Innovation Paradigm Kinda Revisited
Just about exactly one year ago technosnark cudgel was rapping about the changing innovation paradigm in large-scale technological development. There’s chastisement for Neil deGrasse Tyson and others who, paraphrasically (totally a word), have declared that private companies won’t take big risks, won’t do bold stuff, won’t push the boundaries of scientific exploration because of bottom lines and restrictive boards and such. But new business entities like Google, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, & Planetary Resources are kind of steadily proving this wrong.

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