I envy this YouTube personality with half a million viewers…I really do. So I will try not to let any bitter resentment show too much in my own humble blog offering concerning his space-themed videos. I will try but since nobody visits my blog I might have to just vent a little. Sorry Joe. Of course, I could actually TRY and promote my blog but that takes time and I barely find enough of that to write. A poor excuse. But that is my story and I am sticking to it.
Joe promotes Musk and SpaceX which I do not like at all. He also seems to think space solar power is a dead end which makes me want to not like Joe at all. But I can’t help enjoying most of his videos. It is not a perfect world and I must take the good with the bad. His offering this morning had some of what I considered not so accurate information and neglected three key concepts- and I just had to write a blog entry about it.
- The idea that Artificial Gravity makes you sick. This is not really a factual statement. What I recall from my studies is past NASA research indicated a system requiring more than 4 revolutions per minute of centripetal artificial gravity might not be practical due to difficulties adapting to it. My spin calculator website says those 4 revolutions per minute require a radius of 183.37 feet and a speed of 52.37 miles per hour to generate one disorienting and nauseating gravity. In view of this information the best place to start might be 1 revolution per minute since most of us are familiar with the second hand on an analog clock. This would require a radius of 2933.92 feet. Let’s just call it 3000 feet because 1G equaling a 6 thousand foot tether revolving once per minute is easy to remember. The great strength of materials like spectra allow for very long tether systems and the length to get the rotation down to once every two minutes would be 2.22 miles. The trick is to find the rotation rate that will allow people to live comfortably for years at a time. The key concepts being the tether or, later on, the Bernal Sphere. The miles-in-diameter hollow spinning artificial moon where humans can thrive in one Earth gravity.
- The idea that Artificial Gravity is the main problem. The “problem” with space travel is three-fold and the first and most difficult one to solve is not gravity, or, to give it a descriptive term, debilitation. Between dosing and debilitation the problem of radiation dosing is far more serious. The third part of the problem, as Joe talks about, is time. Dosing and debilitation are not a big deal if it only lasts a short period. Unfortunately, a spaceship we have the technology to build right now, using atomic bombs for propulsion and reaching speeds of over 100,000 miles per hour, still takes several years to accomplish two-way missions to the outer planets like Jupiter and Saturn. A small capsule holding a few astronauts requires around 400 tons of cosmic ray water shielding to duplicate a near-sea-level radiation environment. The practical living space for a multi-year mission would likely triple that mass to well over a thousand tons. The big dumb metal plate or folded-up Solem Spinnaker that is the hard or soft “engine” of a pulse-propelled spaceship need not rotate but a kiloton+ cosmic ray shield would spin as the equal mass with a pair of masses spinning at the ends of a tether system. The key concept being the Parker-Dyson-Spudis Continuum which I detail elsewhere on this site.
- The question mark about Artificial Gravity is nonsensical. It is not a question of whether we can do it- it is a question of how we WILL do it since we simply must have it. To infer it is not “achievable” is to infer Human Space Flight is a dead end. There is certainly enough of that defeatist tunnel vision garbage going around and we don’t need any more it. No thank you Joe. I was extremely disappointed when I watched the YouTube video about space solar power since that is almost in the same category as Artificial Gravity as a must-have. Any scenario without space solar power where humans expand into space is highly unlikely. Gerard K. O’Neill, the true prophet of space colonization, believed space solar is the key to the future of the human race (and also cited it as the cure for climate change) and I have to agree. O’Neill is why I am so opposed to the NewSpace scam the Musk Mob endlessly hypes. O’Neill envisioned a kind of green new deal with space solar power enabling the construction of artificial worlds while Musk promotes…a neoliberal alternate reality where all the John Galt and Howard Roark types will settle on Mars. The key concept being O’Neillian space colonization of the 70’s instead of the present NewSpace scam being hyped by Ayn-Rand-in-Space-libertarian nutjobs. Don’t be one of them Joe.