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selvaarchi
2016-Mar-20, 10:21 AM
This concept must have been discussed many times in our forum over the years. Creating a new thread as Popular Mechanics takes another look at three proposals that were popular in the 1970s. Bernal sphere, Stanford torus and O'Neill cylinder.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/deep-space/a11351/how-we-could-actually-build-a-space-colony-17268252/


In our cosmic megastructures series, Popular Mechanics explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today, three classic space-colony concepts.

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-20, 10:50 AM
And here is one to get people used to living in space. Turn the ISS into a space hotel (http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a19648/would-you-stay-in-a-hotel-on-the-international-space-station/).

Noclevername
2016-Mar-20, 11:24 AM
And here is one to get people used to living in space. Turn the ISS into a space hotel (http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a19648/would-you-stay-in-a-hotel-on-the-international-space-station/).

An old worn out station, still stinky from years of use? No thank you!

Noclevername
2016-Mar-20, 11:31 AM
We aren't building any of the Big Three you mention anytime in this century. There's no infrastructure in space to either build or support them. We're still at the build-the-station-to-build-the-station-to-build-the-station stage: IE, before the beginning.

Even small colonies will only come about as the end process of developing a space-based society. And that won't happen until we start. Large colonies like the ones in the OP, are even further down the road.

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-20, 11:58 AM
We aren't building any of the Big Three you mention anytime in this century. There's no infrastructure in space to either build or support them. We're still at the build-the-station-to-build-the-station-to-build-the-station stage: IE, before the beginning.

Even small colonies will only come about as the end process of developing a space-based society. And that won't happen until we start. Large colonies like the ones in the OP, are even further down the road.

They do say in the article, to bring down the cost, they need to get material from the moon for construction. So as you say nothing will happen till we start exploiting the moon.

Noclevername
2016-Mar-20, 12:03 PM
OK, now to the article.

It makes mention of the designs of the stations and handwaves the rest. Building a space infrastructure is not as difficult as building an Earth infrastructure, because we've already done the latter and merely need to move the stuff around. Doing in space will require trial and error on a large scale; a learning experience in an unfamiliar environment. An environment that's expensive to reach, in money, effort, and public credit-- that is, who supports it and how many mistakes they tolerate.

The good news is, none of that is undoable. But it'll require decades and possibly several generations to get to the level of capability needed for massive projects like the ones in the article. None of these complex factors are mentioned. The engineering challenges consist of a lot more than blueprints; someone's going to actually have to make it happen, and factories in space will have to be built first to make the parts and tools and get them where they need to go. That Lunar launcher the article mentions? Yeah, the one-step solar robot build? No. It'll take a lot more than that. Workers will-- even with future robot and tele-op technology-- need to be on the construction site to handle challenges that need human eyes and hands. And those workers will need places to live and eat and breathe while they do the work.

The suggestion that we put these colonies in L5 orbit is straight out of the 1970s: I know, I was around then. No, just no. It's a bad idea whose time has passed.

This is a frustrating topic for me, since I grew up on articles and books like the OP's piece, and for a long time I let myself be dazzled with claims of how "easy" and "simple" the ideas were. Unfortunately ideas alone are not enough to accomplish projects. I've had to become hard-headed about it. But I do still believe that it will happen someday. We just need to start taking the first baby steps and then continue to walk until we get someplace. Let's get to it, already!

Noclevername
2016-Mar-20, 12:04 PM
They do say in the article, to bring down the cost, they need to get material from the moon for construction. So as you say nothing will happen till we start exploiting the moon.

Asteroids are also available. Some are "nearby" in terms of delta-V, and have a wider variety of materials too. Plus no real gravity well to speak of.

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-20, 12:28 PM
This is a frustrating topic for me, since I grew up on articles and books like the OP's piece, and for a long time I let myself be dazzled with claims of how "easy" and "simple" the ideas were. Unfortunately ideas alone are not enough to accomplish projects. I've had to become hard-headed about it. But I do still believe that it will happen someday. We just need to start taking the first baby steps and then continue to walk until we get someplace. Let's get to it, already!

I am with you there but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, I think. Not on what NASA is doing but what Europe (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?160596-International-Exploration-of-the-Moon) and China (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2345849#post2345849) are planing to do on the moon.

I am keeping my figures crossed that ESA's initiative will take off. Hope NASA joins them at least in a supportive role.

Solfe
2016-Mar-20, 01:33 PM
An old worn out station, still stinky from years of use? No thank you!

We have a couple of those hotels on Niagara Fall Blvd. You'd think they'd close, but no. They even have hourly rates. Ick.

Noclevername
2016-Mar-20, 01:39 PM
I'm not kidding about the stink, though. With every molecule of air recycled, it gets a bit ripe on any space vessel.

Space tourism stations will probably need to have gardens not just to keep the air oxygenated, but to freshen its odor as well.

Solfe
2016-Mar-20, 02:02 PM
ISS: Houston, International Space Station. We have a little situation up here. We’d like to make an unscheduled space walk. (The 35 second video says it all. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvzVPJVyxtc) From Big Bang Theory - Howard has designed a toilet that has a serious malfunction on the ISS.)

I wonder if they have special cleaning supplies for the ISS? In classrooms, we use bleach wipes to clean up the desks. 33 children, 33 desks and the aroma is "intense". That wouldn't be any fun in a confined space.

Does the ISS even have the capacity to depressurize? On purpose, I mean. Maybe someday we will have a special cleaner module with the sole purpose of clean up of old space facilities. Basically, a flying maid service. It might be more practical to have a larger station shut down areas for "spring cleaning".

Plants for freshening the air is a great idea. It would be funny to see flower boxes on a space ship, but the idea is practical.

Noclevername
2016-Mar-20, 02:13 PM
I wonder if they have special cleaning supplies for the ISS? In classrooms, we use bleach wipes to clean up the desks. 33 children, 33 desks and the aroma is "intense". That wouldn't be any fun in a confined space.

My Dad was on a submarine. He says that you got noseblind after a week. When surfacing after six months under the polar ice, fresh air actually made some sailors nauseous. They literally had to wait a week to go nose blind to normal smells!


Does the ISS even have the capacity to depressurize? On purpose, I mean. Maybe someday we will have a special cleaner module with the sole purpose of clean up of old space facilities. Basically, a flying maid service. It might be more practical to have a larger station shut down areas for "spring cleaning".

It stinks in here, someone open a window!


Plants for freshening the air is a great idea. It would be funny to see flower boxes on a space ship, but the idea is practical.

Dual-purpose plants, with pretty smells and edible veggies?

ADDED: Everyone thinks their ship doesn't stink: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/lifesupport.php#id--Requirements--Breathing_Mix--Odors

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-20, 02:51 PM
Plants for freshening the air is a great idea. It would be funny to see flower boxes on a space ship, but the idea is practical.

If I am not mistaken, one of the three modules in China's future space station will have plants as part of the recycling of the air as well as nutrition for the astronauts diets.

Launch window
2018-Dec-27, 11:40 PM
Urban planning for the Moon Village
by Jeff Foust

https://spacenews.com/urban-planning-for-the-moon-village/

The event attracted a number of key government and commercial figures. Scott Pace, executive secretary of the National Space Council, talked about U.S. space policy. Jim Green, NASA’s chief scientist, discussed NASA’s lunar exploration plans. While Woerner didn’t attend, he recorded a brief video message, reminding participants that we’re “not going back to the moon, we’re going forward to the moon.”