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Spinnin' Space stations

Posted by: SuperShuki - Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:08 pm
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Spinnin' Space stations 
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Post Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:08 pm
When will Bigelow and other companies start building spinning space stations, for artificial gravity? What is keeping such a space station from being built?

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:29 pm
a variety of things. mostly, mass. but also, material strength. it takes a very heavy tether to do it with current materials so CNTs are probably required, and also it has to be really big. like, really big. like, not small at all. i don't remember exactly but it's over a km of tether/radius needed in order to avoid a crippling gravity gradient.

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:07 pm
What gravity do you want? 1/20th?


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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:34 pm
Terraformer wrote:
What gravity do you want? 1/20th?

I want to know what is possible with present technology- all the way up to 1g

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:36 pm
In fact, why not go beyond 1g- Athletes would love it!

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:54 pm
i think the ~1km is for 1/10th g. enough so you don't float basically. not sure what the exact numbers are for different g's, but the faster you spin, the larger radius you need and also the stronger materials you need. no spin-induced gravity is possible with current technology and launch infrastructure, it is a minimum 10-year technology, with 20-50 more likely.

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:12 pm
What about a huge ring? Instead of all the stress being put on a tether, it would be spread around.

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:14 pm
Also, can you be specific about what technologies are needed, and how mature they are?

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:59 pm
Might want to look at the Hilton sponsored space islands project.


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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:02 am
SuperShuki wrote:
What about a huge ring? Instead of all the stress being put on a tether, it would be spread around.


still doesn't address the mass problem. in fact, this is substantially heavier than a tether system. while i personally believe the huge ring is an optimal solution ultimately, i also believe it will require resources on the order of a captured asteroid to construct.

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:43 am
What about an inflatable huge ring? How much mass exactly is needed?

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:41 am
You could string together a lot of Bigelow's in a circle. A few cross wires to keep it circular would be quite light.


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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:08 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
You could string together a lot of Bigelow's in a circle. A few cross wires to keep it circular would be quite light.


The first operational Bigelow module is set for 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BA_330. That's only 2-3 years away. How many of those things would you need to make such a circle? You would also need a bending connection between the modules.

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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:54 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
The first operational Bigelow module is set for 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BA_330. That's only 2-3 years away. How many of those things would you need to make such a circle? You would also need a bending connection between the modules.


Any planning more than 8 years out is Science Fiction, or at best pure speculation. Nearly any diameter vehicle can produce 1g, it's the RPM necessary to produce that 1g that is the issue. Humans don't tolerate above 3rpm well.

300 meter diameter at 2 rpm gets you 1 g. That's station would have a 950 meter perimeter. BA-330 is 13 meters long so that would be 73 BA-330, plus docking mechanisms and tethers power supplies and propulsion.

Internal volume of of 24k cubic meters, cost to orbit on falcon 9s would be 3 billion, plus the cost of the modules themselves (Assuming 100 million per BA-330, which is just a guess) would be an additional 7 billion. Add in propulsion and power systems of some kind for an additional 1-2 billion.

For 12 Billion you too can have a space station with the internal volume of a small shopping mall, full of empty science racks.

Honestly do you not know how to use Google and paper?


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Post Re: Spinnin' Space stations   Posted on: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:35 am
Super Shuki said "What is keeping such a space station from being built?"

Lack of means to get there. The aviation business did not get going till after the airplane. Likewise the "spaceports" that seem to be sprouting here and there.

As to revolving space stations, after the means is developed, why not the Von Braun wheel type? The stress from rotation is not more than that from pressurizing. And they can be built up module by module. It might start with a hub, 2 spokes, 2 modules then rotated then. Additional modules could be "lowered" into place with station rotating.

All this is academic, though, untill good transportation is developed and that ought to come first. Then the best station design may come from some characteristic of the orbiter design.


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