To The Stars. Asteroid Starships

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posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:01 AM
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We must colonize space in order to survive.
-Stephen Hawking



asteroid starship

Hi guys,

I chanced upon an interesting article today regarding the problems of space colonization. For starters, NASA now has discovered that sex in space is tough! Researchers at the Ames Research Centre in California found that without effective shielding on spacecraft, powerful cosmic particles would most likely sterilize any female embryo conceived in deep space.


Sexual reproduction is likely to be impossible in space due to cosmic radiation bombarding the human body. The DNA which manages the development of all the cells in the body is particularly susceptible to the kinds of radiation found in space.


Considering that travel to distant planets is likely to take decades, centuries or longer, this could make any mission to colonize other planets outside our Solar System a non-starter.

But then Mars, Europa or Titan being neighbors in close proximity, would probably not fall in this category. But there can be no reproduction during the journey!


Dr Tore Straume, a radiation biophysicist at the centre, said: "The present shielding capabilities would probably preclude having a pregnancy transited to Mars."


But once there, underground facilities would prevent bombardment by cosmic particles (Cosmic rays as some would prefer to call it) and solar radiation. So one needs to get an underground facility established first before trying to colonize the planet.

But what about colonizing planets in other Solar Systems in the future where the journey could take decades and some probably centuries? What would happen to the small colony inside conventional spaceships with no possibility of reproduction during the long journey due to cosmic particles and other space hazards?


Reaching for the stars
Royal Observatory, Edingurgh


Colonizing Other Planets

But then, if we are to journey out in order to colonize planets in other Systems, there can be no reproduction for decades. It would be too late by then to produce a colony on arrival. Therefore, the only hope for colonization of planets in other Systems would be to either invent a warp drive or discover some effective shielding techniques against cosmic/proton particles.


If you go at 10% light speed (the maximum most theoretical spaceflight concepts ever project) then at 30,000 km/sec you would need massive amounts of shielding against potential micro-meteoroids. You're covering a distance three times the diameter of the Earth in one second... even a grain of cosmic dust will pose a major hazard. At those kinds of speeds dodging any objects in the ship's path would be inconceivable, and the space between the stars is far from empty.


So how does one get around this problem?

Asteroids As Space Colonies

The evidence is mounting that a substantial fraction, if not actually a majority, of the asteroids are made up of carbonaceous chondritic material. If so, the asteroids contain an almost inexhaustible supply of hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon. So why not hollow out large asteroids and make them self sufficient to maintain a colony of say a thousand ab-initio with adequate resources and space for additional expansion of the colony during its decades long journey to another star system?

A hollowed out asteroid will offer complete protection against cosmic particles and other space hazards. “Regolith is a viable and effective in-situ life support system resource due to its shielding properties, and in the future due to its O2 generating and heat storage potential as well as its shielding properties.” Nancy Lindsey, Life Sciences and Habitation, Hawaii.

Pseudo gravity can be produced by rotation and food grown in hydroponic farms. However, this can be complemented by the soil/material of the asteroid itself.


NASA researcher checking hydroponic onions
with Bibb lettuce to his left and radishes to the right.


The Asteroid Home


Asteroid spaceship
David hardy


Internal Atmosphere

Photosynthetic agriculture has a further advantage in that it serves as an important element in regeneration of the habitat's atmosphere by conversion of carbon dioxide and generation of oxygen. It also provides a source of pure water from condensation of humidity produced by transpiration.

But what about recycling waste? Wet oxidation (Zimmerman process) would be the most preferred as high quality water would result. Such a recycling process could go on indefinitely.

Life In Free Fall

An environment of weightlessness or zero g for a journey lasting many decades is impossible considering the physiological and psychological effects. It is therefore incumbent to have pseudo gravity inside the ‘space ship’ through out the journey so that the residents could live with the same sensation of weight that they would have on the Earth's surface, namely 1 g. Some variation about this figure is inevitable and so it is specified that humans permanently in space should live between 0.9 g and 1 g. This choice of a 10 percent variation is arbitrary, but also maintains conditions as Earth-like as possible.

Pseudo gravity can be achieved at the periphery by rotation of the asteroid. The decision to provide 1 g to the colonists means they must reside in a rotating environment; the most feasible way to generate artificial gravity. There would however be forces acting other than the centrifugal force which supplies the pseudogravity. Thus, although the inhabitant at rest in the rotating system feels only the sensation of weight, when he or she moves, another force, called the "Coriolis force," is felt, which I will not labor upon. At low velocities or low rotation rates the effects of the Coriolis force are negligible, as on Earth, but in a habitat rotating at several rpm, there can be disconcerting effects. However, the colonists would need getting used to this, which would not be much of a problem.

Internal Security

Maintenance of order and of internal security initially falls to the Earth-based sponsoring organizations and then to the organized community which is expected to rise early in the colony's history. The small size of the settlement, combined with a rather precarious manufactured environment, may emphasize a concern for internal security.

Any individual or small group could, in prospect, undertake to destroy the entire colony by opening the habitat to surrounding space, by disrupting the power supply, or by other actions which have few corresponding forms in Earth-based settings. Whatever organizational form the colonists evolve, it must be able to assure the physical security of the habitat and its supporting systems and this need for security may infringe upon other desirable features of the colony and its operation. This has been well described in Arthur C Clarke’s mind boggling Rama sci fi series.

What Would A Space Habitat Look Like Inside?

Here’s a rendition of what a space habitat would look like, though this one is far too big - more like a hollowed out mini moon, a giant Noah’s Arc! But who knows, a few thousand years from now, this would no longer be science fiction. By then we would probably have graduated to a Type I civilization with technology that would seem like magic by today’s standards! (To enjoy this vid you would need a fast broad band connection. And see it in full screen!)



It is hoped that scientists would one day start thinking of making use of the natural resources like asteroids and small moons to construct large cost effective spaceships to house space colonies to explore and colonize strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before!



More:
www.telegraph.co.uk...
en.wikipedia.org...
www.astroscience.org...
www.exploremarsnow.org...
www.sciencephoto.com...
edit on 16-2-2011 by OrionHunterX because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:28 AM
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Nice find, s&f



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:30 AM
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reply to post by OrionHunterX
 


Good concept but how do you hollow out an asteroid?

You can't stop it because then it's mass would require too much energy to get moving again, especially up to very high speeds..

Why not tag behind or even anchor on to an asteroid?
You'd get the benifit of forward shielding still..



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:31 AM
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aha , asteroid ships...
makes me think of panspermia ...


www.panspermia-theory.com...
like a dissease through galaxy ...



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:43 AM
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reply to post by OrionHunterX
 


why not colonize a chunk of the moon - inside it, then set charges and blow off the chunk you have colonized inside and chuck propulsion on it, could even add sum spinning rims!
edit on 16-2-2011 by byteshertz because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:47 AM
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Why even consider these as possibilities? We all know that once they reverse engineer all these 'anti - gravity' 'disks' like Bob Lazar talked about that these ideas will be vastley outdated!........that is if they even happen to exist!



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by OrionHunterX
NASA now has discovered that sex in space is tough!


If having sex in space is tough, then you might as well go oral. In fact go beyond that and have a little fun by shooting your own "space comets" if you catch my drift haahaha



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 05:52 AM
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So cool!!!

I would so volunteer to be on one of these


Personally though I don't think we need to colonize any planet or asteroid, cool idea but our planet is just fine. We just need to learn to take care of her better and respect Earth.

Now dont get me wrong I would be the first one to go live on Mars



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 06:19 AM
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Originally posted by backinblack
reply to post by OrionHunterX
 


Good concept but how do you hollow out an asteroid?



A large tunnel boring machine. Many such and larger machines
may be employed to tunnel into the asteroid.
Pic: Jacobssf



You can't stop it because then it's mass would require too much energy to get moving again, especially up to very high speeds..

Nuclear propulsion would be ideal to get it moving. And to attain very high speeds - about a tenth of light speed within 1 year of acceleration or thereabouts.

Why not tag behind or even anchor on to an asteroid?
You'd get the benifit of forward shielding still..

But the problem of radiation from cosmic particles etc would remain if you aren't ensconced within the protective layers of the asteroid. This kind of protection is impossible within a conventional metal casing.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 06:27 AM
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Originally posted by clintdelicious
Why even consider these as possibilities? We all know that once they reverse engineer all these 'anti - gravity' 'disks' like Bob Lazar talked about that these ideas will be vastley outdated!........that is if they even happen to exist!

Anti grav is a method of propulsion and has nothing to do with colonization! You could have this installed in an asteroid to achieve near light speeds. But then for colonizing a planet you would need to take along thousands of people in it traveling over hundreds if not thousands of years. It's a big big universe out there, after all!



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 07:12 PM
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Excellent post Orion! I love BIG ideas like this. And it does seem to be a viable method to help get us over the hump, so to speak.



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 08:01 AM
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I'm just a bit curious about that Rama video that something of this immense scale and hypothetical beauty why one would want to construct a copy of New York City? The cesspool of everything wrong with the U.S., besides Chicago is by far a much better model of urban sprawl.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
I'm just a bit curious about that Rama video that something of this immense scale and hypothetical beauty why one would want to construct a copy of New York City?


That's because the makers of that vid as also nobody else knows what an alien city would look like! Could it resemble this...



or this...



Or this...


All images courtesy: Bernard Bittler

Well, it sure would have been better though to have made something like these in the vid!!



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 02:30 AM
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It seems that mankind is never destined to leave this solar system, Makes me feel alot more at ease now knowing were not going to screw something up, that could end up costing billions and wasting valuable minerals and resources



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by backinblack
reply to post by OrionHunterX
 


Good concept but how do you hollow out an asteroid?

You can't stop it because then it's mass would require too much energy to get moving again, especially up to very high speeds..


Forget about getting it moving again how would you actually stop it in the first place?

maybe?




posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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I imagine we will build colonies like this in the outer solar system long before we even seriously consider trying to take one to another system.
In my opinion this is actually a very pragmatic and realistic approach to space travel but the boring truth of the matter is that it's becoming incrasingly obvious that unless technology takes a massive leap forward in a very short space of time and we find ourselves at the helm of the starship enterprise, warp drive and all, it will be a very very long time before humans travel to the stars.
Right now I think it's important that we turn our attention to terraforming mars, not just for the obvious reasons but also because such a project would drive the development of technology that will one day allow me to seize control of the empire and begin construction of my death st....ahem.....I....uh...mean...... boldly go where no man has gone before to seek out new life and new civilizations.

On this subject, what would we do if one day a vastly more advanced alien civilization made 'peacefull' contact with us but only to announce that we have been weighed, measured and found wanting and are forbidden from leaving our own solar system? Do people feel that we actually have an inherent right to the stars?
How would humanity react if after thousands of years of growth we tried to expand into the universe and found that it was already occupied by older more powerfull races that weren't hostile but had no interest in contact with us or allowing travel through their space?



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by Versa
Forget about getting it moving again how would you actually stop it in the first place?

There are a number of ways this could be done. For eg:

1. Strap Rockets to it to slow it down and stop it. This would act as a RCS (Reaction Control System) like the ones used in spacecraft to change speed and direction.

2. Strap Solar Sails to it by sending a spacecraft to attach giant solar sails to the surface of an asteroid. This structure, once unfurled, would reflect solar radiation and gently slow an asteroid to a halt. The sail would even be adjustable to provide a certain degree of control for maneuverability.

3. Use the 'Tug Boat' method whereby the asteroid is attached to rockets by steel chords. The rockets would be pulling the asteroid in the opposite direction to its path, slowing it down to a stop.

There are more ways to do this, but remember, we're talking of a time line of several hundred years in the future which by then, we would have invented other methods of propulsion (ion, plasma etc) which could be used to stop an asteroid to zero velocity.




posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 06:52 PM
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Why not just use antimatter/matter annihilation drives???





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