It's certainly an interesting idea, and thinking about the requirements helps to identify (I hope) the path we need to take as we build our first rotating space stations.I've been working on a design for a 1st generation rotating space station, so I've been giving a lot of thought to the various issues involved, but my assumption is that a 1st generation rotating space station would require a robust supply chain, which is not a surprise. But I have been anticipating that there will be enough "land" available that some agriculture could be happen, which would decrease the amount of food supplies required.As far as the Worldship goes though, based on the size you outlined it's going to require a lot of structural mass, which isn't a bad things considering the radiation shielding it would provide. But that also means you would need to devote a lot of manufacturing resources to build such a fleet.Even though they may be independent, and able to operate indefinitely, I would assume that taking in raw resources along their journey would still be a requirement since it would be impossible to not leak vital material along the journey, and some material may not be able to be recycled perfectly enough to keep from running out. Which would require a fleet of service vehicles that would be needed for gathering the resources along the way.Out of curiosity though, what would be the purpose of such vessels? Why would the inhabitants, and their off-spring, want to spend all their lives traveling though space if it isn't to get to a destination? Just curious what the thinking is...
Out of curiosity though, what would be the purpose of such vessels? Why would the inhabitants, and their off-spring, want to spend all their lives traveling though space if it isn't to get to a destination? Just curious what the thinking is...
That diagram is far too simplified. 1) Enclosed biomes with plants trend toward instability, not stability - see Biosphere 2 as an example. You need to be able to make everything that either humans, plants, or both need, in order to be able to account for deficiencies on one end, because sooner or later, they will arise.2) Every process has consumables. Every device has parts that can break or wear out. You need to be able to make them. Chemical production dependency chains can be long. Just to pick a random example: look up Vectran, a popular fabric for space applications. Start tracing back its dependencies all the way back to basic Sabatier synthesis. Or worse, PBO (Zylon - popular for high temperature applications), or even worse, its amorphous relative PIBO.Don't get me wrong, humanity will get there eventually. Learning how to do this is a fundamental part of colonizing planets, meaning that colonization will inherently eventually lead to such "Worldships". But it's no short road, and that diagram gives a misleading impression.
Maybe the way to use World Ships is to look for an object already going in the required direction and then building a colony on that.There are many stars and objects which have been pushed into strange high speed paths, probably by collisions of galaxies.As these will need to maintain life for possibly thousands of years , looking for a star with planets that has been pushed on to a path maybe the way to go.
Those with the vision and drive to see humanity as a multi planet species would be the type of people that would set out on such a voyage knowing that they and generations of their offspring would never set foot on a planetary body. The threat of a planet killer asteroid on a highly probable collision course would be another incentive. Or, if you are like me and think that this world is rapidly going down the toilet.Just waiting for RAMA to break into orbit.
I actually tend to think that any Worldship that was truly successful might reach the "destination" star and have cause to wonder what was so great about planetary surfaces, anyway? Go down a deep gravity well, only to deal with all this uncontrolled weather and seismic activity. Why would you bother?
Any suggestion what could be added, while retaining readability?I draw your attention two three grey boxes: Stores, recycling and industry, that I hope address some of criticism.
I guess I should add an arrow to supplement the stores from time to time, since the worldship is an open system, operating in an environment where asteroids and comets are likely to be the primary ressources
Quote from: lamontagne on 02/13/2017 12:35 PMAny suggestion what could be added, while retaining readability?I draw your attention two three grey boxes: Stores, recycling and industry, that I hope address some of criticism.That's like adding a box that says "technology". It means nothing.QuoteI guess I should add an arrow to supplement the stores from time to time, since the worldship is an open system, operating in an environment where asteroids and comets are likely to be the primary ressourcesHuh? I thought your point was ships that would be traveling between stars - a process that can take hundreds or even thousands of years for relatively short hops. No stopping en route when you're doing semi-relativistic travel, if you can even find anything en route to stop at.
As has already been stated, replenishment of consumables of all types, is a necessity for the Worldship concept to work.
While some have suggested stopping to utilize various comets and asteroids
it occurs to me that an alternative, which also resolves an energy issue, as well as thrust, does exist, in theory. The Bussard Ramjet.
A Worldship is going to be a lot more leaky than Earth, so new resources are probably required much faster.
Quote from: lamontagne on 02/13/2017 04:18 PMA Worldship is going to be a lot more leaky than Earth, so new resources are probably required much faster.Indeed. Every few hundreds of years, it will need to stop in a suitable Oort Cloud