Sixteen and Sixty Feet

I have been spending some time trying to refine my speculative concepts on Space Colonization and have had some new thoughts! Going back to the most basic requirement of humans in space and proceeding from there is pointing me at an old project from the first space age: the Chrysler SERV from 1969.

The Flow Chart in my head has followed this path, step by step:

  1. What is the critical requirement for human beings to survive and work off-world?
  2. Define as Human Space Flight (HSF) Beyond Low Earth Orbit (BLEO).
  3. The critical requirement is a Near Sea Level Radiation 1 Gravity environment (NSLR1G).
  4. What is required to provide this NSLR1G environment?
  5. To provide this environment a “Parker Minimum” 16 foot thick Cosmic Ray Water Shield. (CRWS) and Tether Generated Artificial Gravity system (TGAG) are both necessary.
  6. What is required to provide the CRWS-TGAG/NSLR1G for HSF-BLEO?
  7. The most practical construct is a double-hulled “wet workshop”, a “Fat Workshop“.

A double-hulled sphere between 60 and 90 feet in diameter would appear to be likely lower and upper limits for a Fat Workshop. Under 60 feet and the inner sphere volume becomes diminutive in comparison with the outer envelope. Over 90 feet and any vehicle configuration to lift the stage into orbit becomes impractical. Lunar water would fill the empty envelope and a pair of these workshops, or an equal mass at the other end of a tether, would create the TGAG system and thus enable the critical NSLR1G habitat.

If a single pressure-fed booster is necessary, this would be in the center of the workshop projecting out of the bottom. The main engine modules would be fixed near the bottom of the sphere in a ring with the resulting vehicle resembling the Chrysler SERV launch vehicle project. As the vehicle climbs first the pressure-fed drops out of the bottom and then engine modules separate from the vehicle in opposite pairs and return for reuse. The last two detach after leaving earth orbit and would loop around the Moon on a free return trajectory back to Earth.

The first payloads would all be Robot Semi-Expendable Landers (RSEL) which would carry enough propellent to insert the Fat Workshop into a Frozen Low Lunar Orbit (FLLO) and then descend to the Lunar Poles for In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of ice deposits. Once propellent has been processed and a load of water stored each lander will shuttle the water up to the orbiting workshops and eventually complete filling of the CRWS’s. Some of the workshops will be used as in-orbit fuel processors and water depots.

When enough robot landers are available, the majority of workshops will begin arriving carrying heavy payloads and fewer robot landers. These arriving workshops will be intercepted by the robot landers which will dock and perform FLLO insertion burns. These first payloads will be TGAG systems to attach pairs of workshops with full CRWS’s together. With two Fat Workshops equipped providing a CRWS-TGAG/NSLR1G environment in FLLO, these “true” Space Stations will enable HSF-BLEO.

While crew capsules could transport astronauts to FLLO it would be a better option to transit complete space stations across the cislunar sea to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and then send up astronaut crews. As GEO is populated with these space stations some will initially transit back to FLLO while others will be modified into Lunar Cyclers. Once a fleet of Lunar Cyclers begin entering service the stage will be set for operations on the Moon, or rather, beneath the surface of the Moon, to begin.

Spacecraft launched from Earth and from the Lunar surface will be able to intercept and transfer their passengers to the Lunar Cyclers providing transportation between the Earth and the Moon. As the Moon landings begin there will be three initial goals:

First- Set up a Sub-surface Lunar Industrial Infrastructure (SLII) to allow for manufacturing of components supporting a permanent human presence in cislunar space.

Second- To begin manufacture of Space Based Solar Power (SBSP) satellite components.

Third- To begin manufacture of metal alloys for use in nuclear reactors as part of a “Nuclear Moon” program, and for discs used in Nuclear Pulse Propulsion (NPP).

The three initial goals will then enable subsequent programs:

Fourth- To begin the assembly, testing, and deployment of Nuclear Pulse Propelled “true” Spaceships with the express purpose of basing nuclear weapons in deep space away from planet Earth where they can be used to deflect comet and asteroid impacts.

Fifth- To expand the industrial base to large scale alloy production to eventually be used in the manufacture of Bernal Spheres.

Sixth- To expand SBSP to include utilizing the energy for Beam Propulsion, to allow for large scale migration into space from Earth.

And Seventh- To eventually, possibly, launch Interstellar Missions using Beam Propulsion to send Cryo-preserved Humans in Bernal spheres at a small percentage of the speed of light to other star systems using NPP to slow down upon arrival.

Instead, after Apollo we ended up with the mess we are in now. I wrote a comment on Scott Manley’s channel on it: “When the SRB’s caused the loss of Challenger, they should have spent the money on the originally specified pressure-feds. When the side mounting caused the loss of Columbia, they should have made a recoverable engine module, as had been proposed many years previously for a cargo version and put the orbiter on top of the stack. And since the orbiter sucked up so much mass and did not have an abort system, just go back to a capsule with escape tower. What you have then looks alot like SLS. If the SLS had pressure-fed reusable boosters and a reusable escape tower and capsule (or just reuse most of what is in the capsule since the shell takes the beating) then what we have is what the Space Transportation System should have been in 1980- a Saturn V class launch system that only expends one big tank. But instead, the politics made it a football.”

Published by billgamesh

Revivable Cryopreservation Advocate

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