Author Topic: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...  (Read 9138 times)

Offline Hymag

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To counter the debilitating effects of micro-gravity and radiation in space we need to develop ways and means of creating earth-like conditions on various destinations in space. Large, shielded and rotating structures in space have been envisioned by many. Why not do the same thing on the moon and mars, or other locations?

Imagine a NASCAR track built on the moon. The track could be sloped to accommodate vehicles moving around the track such that - people inside the vehicles would feel as if they were under the pull of additional gravity - much the same as the rotating structures in space. Constructing the track about one-mile in diameter, and having the vehicles move at between 100-300 miles per hour, earth-like gravity conditions could be created inside the vehicles.

Now enlarge this picture. Instead of a single vehicle, imagine a large train-like system moving at a constant speed around a track. Increase the system again and one can imagine several trains moving parallel to each other. This would allow enough "area" for people to live and work under earth-like conditions. Cover the entire system with non-radioactive local materials for radiation protection and now you have earth-like gravity and radiation protection similar to earth conditions.

Additional parallel tracks can be used to allow smaller vehicles to match velocities with the moving "trains" to offload people or materials. Constructing these types of systems would allow local gravity conditions, and earth-like gravity conditions at the same location. This should be a lot easier to build than constructing large rotating structures in space. If maglev were used the system would require less maintenance, but the system should be scalable to accommodate simple to complex environments - depending on local requirements. Comments please.

Offline ChrisSpaceCH

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #1 on: 02/11/2010 11:31 AM »
It would be far easier (and cheaper) to modify the human body (genetically or mechanically) to adapt to conditions of microgravity and high radiation than to adapt extra-terrestrial locations to become Earth-like. All that is required is overcoming certain... ethical... "obstacles".

Personally, I believe that, unless we go along this path (in essence, fusing Man, genetic engineering and machine), there is no way we, as a species, will ever conquer space. In that case, we should, in fact, abandon human spaceflight, and focus on robotics and artificial intelligence, until AI are self-aware and self-replicating, then release them on the galaxy in our stead...

After that, there would be 2 possible outcomes:

"We are the Borg, resisitance is futile"
OR
"the Humans are our Creators"

Either way, homo sapiens would be doomed to extinction, but we will at least have the chance to be remembered as Gods...

(Of course, if we go along with the first option of tweaking humans, homo sapiens will also go extinct, to be replaced by homo v. 2.0 and so forth...)
« Last Edit: 02/11/2010 11:33 AM by ChrisSpaceCH »

Online rklaehn

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #2 on: 02/11/2010 11:37 AM »
This should be a lot easier to build than constructing large rotating structures in space.

The basic idea is sound. But I would not call building a one mile diameter smooth bowl with railroad tracks on top easier than just spinning two habitat modules with a 1 mile long tether. In fact it would be a huge construction project that would cost billions even on earth.
Try the ISS 3D visualization at http://www.heavens-above.com/ISS_3D.aspx

Offline Hymag

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #3 on: 02/11/2010 12:01 PM »
 In fact it would be a huge construction project that would cost billions even on earth.
[/quote]

Most Cities, and even small towns have at least one paved or dirt track that people race on all the time. These tracks don't cost $ Billions, and are certainly a lot cheaper than trying to build a large rotating structure in space.

Offline Nascent Ascent

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #4 on: 02/11/2010 12:03 PM »
Quote
It would be far easier (and cheaper) to modify the human body (genetically or mechanically) to adapt to conditions of microgravity and high radiation than to adapt extra-terrestrial locations to become Earth-like. All that is required is overcoming certain... ethical... "obstacles".

Easier? All that's required is overcoming ethical?

We don't know how to genetically alter the body to adapt to microgravity or high radiation at all. We're not even sure of what really happens to the body in zero-g in the long term.  Perhaps the gravity of the moon or mars would be adequate to prevent any problems.  We just don't know yet.

Yes, we're just starting to be able to genetically modify certain things but we certainly don't know how do something this specific. What gene(s) would you splice or replace that would provide this protection?  How would you know or test?

The racetrack approach, while impractical in my opinion is certainly doable as far as an engineering project.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2010 12:08 PM by Nascent Ascent »
“Why should we send people into space when we have kids in the U.S. that can’t read”. - Barack Obama

Offline Hymag

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #5 on: 02/11/2010 12:33 PM »
If mankind is to spend long periods of time in space, working, playing and raising families. In my opinion, we will need earth-like environments. That includes protection from radiation, and near earth-like gravity. I would not want to raise my kids conditioned only to lunar gravity. They would not even be able to stand up if they went back to visit their home planet Earth. Would anyone be able to adapt to a gravity 6-time as strong as the Earth's?

Offline khallow

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #6 on: 02/11/2010 01:12 PM »
If mankind is to spend long periods of time in space, working, playing and raising families. In my opinion, we will need earth-like environments. That includes protection from radiation, and near earth-like gravity. I would not want to raise my kids conditioned only to lunar gravity. They would not even be able to stand up if they went back to visit their home planet Earth. Would anyone be able to adapt to a gravity 6-time as strong as the Earth's?

Why should we go through all that trouble just to raise kids on the Moon? I agree with the idea that's it's easier in the long run just to adapt humans to low gravity environments rather than the other way around. And not being able to visit Earth without mechanical assistance? Doesn't sound like a big deal to me.

Even if you don't know how to do it, you can breed animals to the environment and then figure out how it's done. For example, start by breeding rats in low grav. Then when you get something that works well, move up to pigs. Then when that works, you should have a number of good ideas for humans. It might take a while, say a few decades, to work out the details.
Karl Hallowell

Offline Hymag

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #7 on: 02/11/2010 01:47 PM »
Even if you don't know how to do it, you can breed animals to the environment and then figure out how it's done. For example, start by breeding rats in low grav. Then when you get something that works well, move up to pigs. Then when that works, you should have a number of good ideas for humans. It might take a while, say a few decades, to work out the details. (Quote)

If your logic is correct, then the question becomes: Do we want to remain Earth Humans, or become creatures adapted to whichever planetary environment a specific colony is on at the time. I would opt that we try to remain Earth Humans. We have enough problems with race differences here on Earth as it is. Anyone else have an opinion on that?

Offline Jim

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #8 on: 02/11/2010 01:54 PM »

Most Cities, and even small towns have at least one paved or dirt track that people race on all the time. These tracks don't cost $ Billions, and are certainly a lot cheaper than trying to build a large rotating structure in space.

Incorrect.  This would be more complex and therefore more expensive than a orbital station.  An orbital station doesn't need very much power to rotate it.  Any orbital station doesn't need a suspension system

It is non viable   

All the utilities (power, water, gases) would but required to go through a slip joint to allow for rotation.

The parallel transfer train is complex

Offline ChrisSpaceCH

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #9 on: 02/11/2010 01:56 PM »
If your logic is correct, then the question becomes: Do we want to remain Earth Humans, or become creatures adapted to whichever planetary environment a specific colony is on at the time. I would opt that we try to remain Earth Humans. We have enough problems with race differences here on Earth as it is. Anyone else have an opinion on that?

Yes. My viewpoint is exactly the opposite.

I believe we should, if we want to conquer space, shed our Earth Human skin and become "Homo astralis" or whatever you want to call them. I believe Homo sapiens is doomed to extinction anyway.

I guess that makes me a transhumanist.

As for racism: I don't think thats going to be a big problem. Homo astralis will diverge and conquer space and not care a whiff about Earth: "A backwards place with crushing gravity, atrocious weather, pollution and primitive Neanderthals".

Homo astralis won't bother contacting Earth, and the "primitive Neanderthals" will be too busy killing each other to worry about their space-born descendants...
« Last Edit: 02/11/2010 01:57 PM by ChrisSpaceCH »

Offline dmeche

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #10 on: 02/11/2010 06:07 PM »
Why not simply have a weighted suit to compensate for the gravitational differences.  In space a floor magnet could be used to anchor feet to the floor and a restrictive suit for the upper body.  Bulk would be the only obstical in that the suit would mimic 1G.

Offline 93143

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #11 on: 02/11/2010 06:35 PM »
Inertia would also be higher.  Swinging your arm would be a very high-stress maneuver if it had six times the mass it does on Earth, even if it wasn't any harder to lift in a quasi-static scenario.

Offline GraphGuy

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #12 on: 02/11/2010 08:25 PM »
Forget one g.  Go Von Braun with an inflatable cylindrical habitat with a rigid frame and get it up to 1/6th or 1/3rd of a g.  Coat the habitat with spray on solar cells so that it can generate power in any orientation.  Dump excess heat by Putting radiators along the axis (pointing downward in the artificial gravity) and give them the ability to swivel so that they can orient their surface area to be mostly parallel to incoming sunlight.  Anyone have any info on how large a diameter a hab would need in order to generate 1/6th gravity and yet to minimize any disorientation caused by the Coriolis effect?

Offline Hymag

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #13 on: 02/11/2010 08:50 PM »
The goal is to create a "safe" place to live outside the Earth's atmosphere. In my opinion, the only "feasible" way of doing that, in our lifetime, is build the one-earth-gravity center on the moon. It can be done with today's technology. No new science required.

Offline GraphGuy

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #14 on: 02/11/2010 09:12 PM »
The goal is to create a "safe" place to live outside the Earth's atmosphere. In my opinion, the only "feasible" way of doing that, in our lifetime, is build the one-earth-gravity center on the moon. It can be done with today's technology. No new science required.

1/6th or 1/3rd g isn't safe?  It certainly would be easier than a full g.

Offline Hop_David

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #15 on: 02/11/2010 09:13 PM »
To counter the debilitating effects of micro-gravity and radiation in space we need to develop ways and means of creating earth-like conditions on various destinations in space. Large, shielded and rotating structures in space have been envisioned by many. Why not do the same thing on the moon and mars, or other locations?

It is unknown how much gravity is needed to keep us healthy.

If 1/6 is sufficient, there's no reason to build rotating habs on the moon. If we found 1/6 is sufficient that would lower the expense of making freefall spin habs with enough gravity.

But as I said, how much gravity we need is still unknown.

Offline Hymag

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #16 on: 02/11/2010 09:27 PM »
1/6-g is easier than 1-g, yes. The moon already has 1/6 g. We don't need to build another moon. We need to build a place that is safe for people to live.  If a family can live there, and raise kids there, and later return to Earth with no ill effects, then I would say it is safe. Any system that can be constructed in space that would not be safe for kids, would probably not be safe for adults either. If we are going to seriously go into space to work and live, we a need a safe place to do it.

Offline khallow

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #17 on: 02/11/2010 09:55 PM »
Even if you don't know how to do it, you can breed animals to the environment and then figure out how it's done. For example, start by breeding rats in low grav. Then when you get something that works well, move up to pigs. Then when that works, you should have a number of good ideas for humans. It might take a while, say a few decades, to work out the details.

If your logic is correct, then the question becomes: Do we want to remain Earth Humans, or become creatures adapted to whichever planetary environment a specific colony is on at the time. I would opt that we try to remain Earth Humans. We have enough problems with race differences here on Earth as it is. Anyone else have an opinion on that?

I don't see the point to staying Earth human on another place with a radically different environment. I think even on Earth, people are going to figure out how to become a number of things very different from what we are today. It is better to just let it happen and not flip out at people who are a little different from us.

1/6-g is easier than 1-g, yes. The moon already has 1/6 g. We don't need to build another moon. We need to build a place that is safe for people to live.  If a family can live there, and raise kids there, and later return to Earth with no ill effects, then I would say it is safe. Any system that can be constructed in space that would not be safe for kids, would probably not be safe for adults either. If we are going to seriously go into space to work and live, we a need a safe place to do it.

Why the reason for the "return to Earth" criteria? Is this some sort of variation on the pillar of Islam (one of the official five), called "Hajj"? Hajj is the requirement that every Muslim at some point in their lives goes to Mecca during a particular week of the Muslim year. Similarly, are you thinking that every human should at least one time during their life return to Earth?

I think the combination of the two above remarks, implies some sort of desire for Solar System-wide cultural coherence overriding the pragmatic needs of a colony. I think it is unnecessary and counterproductive.

For example, a likely reason for space colonies is some degree of sovereignty, including the ability to have a culture separate from those of Earth. If the colony doesn't have to conform to a near Earth-like environment, including gravity, that creates a difference which can help the colony create its own unique character (which could be a driver for colony creation). And attempting to conform closely to an Earth-like environment may drive up the cost of the colony to where it transitions from viable to nonviable.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2010 09:56 PM by khallow »
Karl Hallowell

Offline Hymag

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #18 on: 02/11/2010 10:06 PM »
It appears you desire to be something other than human. Just because humans want to go into space doesn't necessarily mean they want to give up their human heritage. I for one do not - not in this lifetime anyway. You seem to be talking science fiction - not science.

Offline marsavian

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Re: Creating One-Earth-Gravity Habitats on the Moon, Mars...
« Reply #19 on: 02/11/2010 10:32 PM »
It appears you desire to be something other than human. Just because humans want to go into space doesn't necessarily mean they want to give up their human heritage. I for one do not - not in this lifetime anyway. You seem to be talking science fiction - not science.

If you believe in evolution we are all descended from fish anyway. Those fish that left the sea to walk on land wanted to go and adapt to a different environment, should they have been stopped to do so by the other fish ? ;) Have you seen how high you can jump and how high you can throw on the Moon ? ;) 1/6g may not be such an impediment and will probably lead to much bigger massive humans if they spent all their lives there and procreated there if that is what they choose to do. If there is a demand for a 1g environment then it will be built but most I guess will prefer the difference of 1/6 g.

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