3DWannabe Blog

The Station

by on Feb.19, 2011, under General, Science

So, what’s this space station going to look like. Since humans are pretty sensitive to Coriolis forces I’m going to use a maximum of 2 rpm. I need a disk 170m in diameter at that spin to simulate Mars’s gravity.  The intermediate rim for the moon crew has a diameter of 72m.  Let’s set the width of both at 5m and the roof height at 4m. Gives you a meter above and below, right and left for duct work, wiring, counterbalance system etc. The picture below shows the wagon wheel station and a 747 for a size comparison.

USA_SS_747.jpg

To big? You’ve decided only to worry about the moons gravity and use that data to make a Mars decision? Probably a good choice, now you only need to build the inner ring and hub. The inner ring and hub is actually smaller than the current ISS and would probably mass about the same. (You have the option of revising the spin to 3rpm at some point, that would give you Mars’ gravity)  Another couple hundred billion and 10 more years? No, not if we use our heads and not leave it to congress this time. The current ISS was way over budget and behind schedule. NASA incompetence? Not quite. The original assumptions were based on the approval of a shuttle derived heavy lift vehicle, the C vehicle circa 1987. Boeing quoted $500 hundred million to develop it, congress canceled it. (Wasn’t that expensive because it was never intended to be man-rated, just move cargo in to orbit.) Each launch would have put 150,000 pounds in to orbit. The final weight of the ISS is 800,000 pounds.  That would be 6 launches. About 2 years worth and much cheaper to build since you could put more together here on earth and have less space assembly.  A few years and your done. Cancel the heavy lift, break it in to tiny pieces, have manned launches to put it together and you get what you currently have. Since that time, the heavy lift concept has been revised to the J232, which is 230,000 pounds per launch. Four cargo launches and you have everything you need in orbit.

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