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Thread: Topopolis tether

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Given the size of the structure, I don't think the issue would be energy per se, but fuel. Even ion thrusters which sip fuel is going to need a lot of mass to keep going and that mass will be impacting the structure all down the line, which is making drag as you say.
    Maybe some contracting fibers like muscles to flex the structure? Expand with internal pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I can't really imagine both the rotation on the short axis and the long at the same time.
    It orbits on the long axis.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #32
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    OK, so how's this:

    No thrusters. A swarm of self replicating robots for repair, meteor defense, and to gather volatiles to make up losses.

    Outer skin does not rotate. It has photovoltaics, which power electric sails (superconducting wire), flexing contractions, internal lighting, and inner rotation. Light sails furled against the skin as backup for stabilizing correction. Layers of radiation protection, transport lines, storage of volatiles, etc.

    Inner compartments are O'Neill Cylinders like a string of sausages. Rotation and light/heat powered by outer skin photocells. If one compartment fails, only that section shuts down.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #33
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    It should be possible to maintain the configuration of the topopolis using magnetic motors which regulate the difference between the rotation of the internal segments and the non-rotating outer skin. This would remove the necessity for thrusters and fuel.

    This is similar to the way that Gerard O'Neill imagined that the Island 3 habitats would control their attitude, and also somewhat similar to the way a lot of satellites in real-life control their orientation using gyroscopes rather than thrusters. This process would still require an input of energy and an output of waste heat, of course.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    OK, so how's this:

    No thrusters. A swarm of self replicating robots for repair, meteor defense, and to gather volatiles to make up losses.
    I'd suggest that you'd want to build in an especially rich, possibly fairly young system. (Our solar system had far more small and volatile-rich bodies when young, though the sun would have also been more active - so shielding would be important.)

    Also, some kind of thrusters beyond sails for emergencies - like unpredicted large perturbations, or when something goes wrong (gas leaks, impacts . . .).

    Outer skin does not rotate. It has photovoltaics, which power electric sails (superconducting wire), flexing contractions, internal lighting, and inner rotation. Light sails furled against the skin as backup for stabilizing correction. Layers of radiation protection, transport lines, storage of volatiles, etc.

    Inner compartments are O'Neill Cylinders like a string of sausages. Rotation and light/heat powered by outer skin photocells. If one compartment fails, only that section shuts down.
    You'd need counter rotating masses, perhaps have alternate cylinder habitats counter rotate on an axle. Depending on the radius of the cylinders, you might consider a lit ceiling (perhaps with a natural sky simulation) some limited distance above the inner surface, and not bother filling the rest of the interior with atmosphere. Then, interior to the cylinder as well as exterior there could be storage, transport and maintenance. Also you might want some sections adjacent to the cylinders that would be strictly zero gravity for additional storage, manufacturing, zero gravity habitats, etc.

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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Also, some kind of thrusters beyond sails for emergencies - like unpredicted large perturbations, or when something goes wrong (gas leaks, impacts . . .).
    Sails are the third backup. Electrical sails and flex/expansion are first and second, respectively.

    You'd need counter rotating masses, perhaps have alternate cylinder habitats counter rotate on an axle. Depending on the radius of the cylinders, you might consider a lit ceiling (perhaps with a natural sky simulation) some limited distance above the inner surface, and not bother filling the rest of the interior with atmosphere.
    There's a hub along each cylinder to support lighting, a few kilometers thick. Stabilized and powered by support ground cables.

    Then, interior to the cylinder as well as exterior there could be storage, transport and maintenance. Also you might want some sections adjacent to the cylinders that would be strictly zero gravity for additional storage, manufacturing, zero gravity habitats, etc.
    The cylinders are pointy on the ends like sausage links (for story purposes, to make entry/exit easier for my characters. They can go uphill and down by vehicle). There's room for a few thousand cubic kilometers per compartment.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #36
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    I've read some crazy ideas on this forum but this must be the most stupid!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by speach View Post
    I've read some crazy ideas on this forum but this must be the most stupid!
    I think that this is a question related to an SF story, not an actual proposal.
    As above, so below

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by speach View Post
    I've read some crazy ideas on this forum but this must be the most stupid!
    If you mean impossible, it's not, there's nothing physically implausible about it. If one can build an O'Neill cylinder as engineers and scientists say you can, then this is just a cylinder of ungainly length, in a controlled orbit.
    If you mean impractical, well, yes, we already said that earlier in the thread.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by speach View Post
    I've read some crazy ideas on this forum but this must be the most stupid!
    Your post was rude and abrasive and it wasn’t a mainstream answer...or even an answer at all...to the question posed. You’ve done this before. Don’t do it again.
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