Wednesday, 16 July 2014

#Apollo45 message - 45 years from Apollo 11!

This is a message for the #Apollo45 campaign started by astronaut and moonwalker Dr Buzz Aldrin! Join in and create your own video as well :) It's about remembering and honouring the Apollo moon missions at the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. What are your memories of or reflections on Apollo? And how has it inspired you?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Space Habitat images from Steve Gunn

The following are images from Steve Gunn, a colleague from the British Interplanetary Society, as part of Project SPACE, the Society's ongoing study of space habitats. Click on the images for a larger view.

This is a view of Island One, one of the space habitats proposed by Dr Gerard O'Neill.
There is a manufacturing area at the sunward side and docking facilities at the rear.

This is a variation on Island One using a cylinder instead of a sphere.
The three main mirrors are static to save wear and tear, with a loading at their outer edge of 3g at 1.9 RPM (Earth normal gravity in the cylinder. Day/night lighting is achieved by polarizing the windows. The cylinder measures 500m in diameter and is 500m long. Subtracting the area taken up by the windows, this gives a surface area of 635400 square meters (not including the farm areas).

This is an image of Marina, a habitat constructed using an asteroid.
Access to the rotating area is gained in two ways. To dock new modules, the wheel is de-spun. This would be an infrequent event. Crew and cargo transfer are done from the asteroid-based docking facility. A ‘train’ mounted on the rotating portion of the inner ring can slow down to mate with the docking area, then accelerate to match velocity with the wheel.

A different view of Marina.
Seen around the outer edge of the wheel are modules attached to the extensive docking facilities. The smaller of these are sized to fit a Skylon payload bay, some of which house cabins for the small crew. The rest are ‘customer’ modules of various types and uses, being provided a docking berth, power and life support services.

A close up of the habitat of Marina.
The asteroid, docking facilities with attached spacecraft and the inner ring do not rotate. The outer ring, spokes and a small, ring-shaped, section of the inner ring, form the ‘wheel’, which rotates around the rest on the inner ring along a track, probably electro-magnetic in nature to reduce friction.

It's great to have images to help visualize the concepts involved in the study. Steve is a talented computer graphic artist and used Bryce to create these images.