Exciting to see a proposal for a gateway outpost! Looks like its technological necessities will father many novel inventions. Does it have to be another module design, though? Aren't we ready yet to build a wheel space station? I wonder if the proven inflatable space station module technology made by Bigelow Aerospace could be a practical way of achieving a wheel space station design.
25th September, 2012 @ 11:57 p.m. (California Time)
At this point, I'd like to see NASA, or any space organization send up something that would incorporate "centrifugal effects" or "centripetal acceleration" to provide astronauts artificial gravity—along with more effective radiation shielding, these are necessary if we are going to have a real, sustained and growing presence in space.
26th September, 2012 @ 4:29 a.m. (California Time)
I'm pretty disappointed by the utter lack of imagination for the ISS components. I also would like to see a station with an artificial gravity design. Any long term stay in space needs to have this important counter measure for the ill effects of microgravity.
26th September, 2012 @ 9:52 a.m. (California Time)
Not to mention look at the size of it! Would you really want to be cooped up in something the size of a bus with a few other people together for time periods probably lasting up to a year?!? (if not longer)
26th September, 2012 @ 10:14 a.m. (California Time)
Wouldn't it be easier to go from Luna to Deimos or Phobos first?
(Earth's moon to one of Mars' moons)
There was supposed to be a colony on the Moon by now and instead we haven't even been back-
the Shuttle made Telecom rich
and now too many people seem to want to just play with their phones or video games...
while many others starve or slave.
I know this is not what was being prognosticated so
optimistically by scientists a hundred years ago.
Claims without specific,consistent unchanging plans are just hype or propaganda.
Old science magazines made fantastic claims-
theirs were more imaginative...
ours have prettier pictures and more details.
Will these turn out any different?
26th September, 2012 @ 11:02 a.m. (California Time)
This assumes that SLS ever flies. That's not a completely safe assumption, and getting worse all the time.
If this is truly intended as a station, why does it have a cryogenic propulsion stage? Does that move the station into position, then serve as a fuel depot?
26th September, 2012 @ 11:27 a.m. (California Time)
This is still too modest. A 'deep space' outpost such as this is an admirable concept, but a Lunar base is also eminently feasible, with exciting prospects for commodity mining and research.
26th September, 2012 @ 12:16 p.m. (California Time)
This station is a bad idea. All it would provide is a tiny fuel savings for deep space operations at the much higher costs of maintain the station in L1.
26th September, 2012 @ 2:44 p.m. (California Time)
The way station should be in LEO where it can catch and salvage expended liquid fueled boosters that still have a small amount of propellant on board. The crew could then build and fuel boosters for deep space operations, and expand the station itself by cannibalizing the expended rockets.
Giving the station a long linear accelerator would give the ability to to provide a little propellant free boost to vehicles but you would have to balance between boosting and deorbiting payloads to maintain your orbit.
A spin gravity section would greatly improve the health of the crew as well.
27th September, 2012 @ 12:57 a.m. (California Time)
The future of the ISS should figure into this concept, and not with presumption of intentional de-orbit so that some new and glitzy program can take over its previous funding stream. From now on, the space program needs to bootstrap and build upon itself by leveraging the existing infrastructure in which huge investments have already been made, rather than simply discarding them in a continued 'slash-and-burn' path of development.
One possibility for establishing a gateway in High Earth Orbit (HEO) or at one of the Earth-Moon Lagrange points that should be considered would involve outfitting the existing ISS with more radiation shielding, then integrating an array of ion-drive motors (used in the Dawn probe now flying from Vesta to Ceres) and fuel tanks (like the Shuttle Orbiter's external tank) into the existing structure. Useful not only for station-keeping in its present LEO position, once the distributed array and initial tanks are fully integrated and complete, the entire orbiting structure could slowly and carefully be lifted into geosynchronous orbit or even to one of the Lagrange points. Resupply of reaction fuel could be accomplished through unmanned transfers using well-proven commercial launch vehicles from the US, Russia, Europe and/or China and on-orbit logistical support by the onboard crew to attach new tanks.
27th September, 2012 @ 9:47 a.m. (California Time)
The farce is that "money" is the handbrake on human potential. We can do anything if we, as a species, decide we want too.
Ponder this scenario, if you will. An asteroid is on a collision course with earth. It will strike in say 10years and destroy everything on earth.
Now how does the human species react?
If we let our current monetary and economic theory continue, then we would simply all die as it will simply to too expensive to stop the inevitable armageddon. This highlights the stupidity of our current system.
Now if we considered money for what it really is, then nothing is too expensive. Money represents a unit of work, human capital. Nothing more, nothing less. Time, man hours and natural resources are the only limit on what humanity can achieve.
I hope we dont have to face armageddon before the system is forced to change, but I know the human race so I expect we will..
27th September, 2012 @ 4:42 p.m. (California Time)
Economic theory does not play in the short term survival response either individually or working together those with rockets and nukes would alter the asteroid path.
28th September, 2012 @ 3:43 a.m. (California Time)
yeah ok. maybe they should try building a space station themselves first, that isnt based on russian technology. then we can start talking about lack of funds for such an immense project. face it - state sponsored megaprojects in space arent happening anymore, the cold war days are behind us. no country is going to pay for such toys on its own, especially one that is slowly going bankrupt it seems
28th September, 2012 @ 2:44 p.m. (California Time)
The headline implies that this project is real. The article then explains its just an idea in someone's brainstorming session.
28th September, 2012 @ 5:18 p.m. (California Time)
I think that "artificial gravity" spinning space station looks great in movies, but it would have to be an enormous disc or cylinder station in which the entire station spins. The designs here are much much smaller than would be required for a giant spinner. I bet you'd need something way bigger than an NFL-sized football stadium to make any real headway, maybe even 10 times that size.
And I don't think you could make a smaller one and just have one segment of the station moving - what would power that constant movement against the non-moving parts?
30th September, 2012 @ 9:47 p.m. (California Time)
That's true that in order to avoid motion induced nausea, a spinning disc space station would have to be enormous, but that can't scare us off forever. Would a super long tether or tunnel with modules attached at either end work? Maybe the balancing act of keeping equal mass at either end of the tether would be too much hassle?
3rd October, 2012 @ 11:41 p.m. (California Time)
all of this is moot if radiation shielding is not addressed first
Space station radiation shields 'disappointing'
19:00 23 October 2002 by Eugenie Samuel
Radiation levels on the International Space Station are as high as they were on the antiquated Russian space station Mir, in spite of NASA's attempts to clad the ISS with better shielding. If NASA can't protect astronauts, its vision of sending a crew into deep space may come to nothing.
4th October, 2012 @ 9:39 a.m. (California Time)
Something as simple as a Faraday cage can protect from electrons..However, complete protection will only come from imitating the earths own protections.. I can't believe that no one has yet put this forward..Do I have to show them how to recreate the force field..Can't you put together the information that already exists as i have.. Sorry i don't have money for patent or copyright, so you'll have to figure it out for yourself, unless someone would like to colaborate with that Vile paper called MONEY. We are living in satans world, and the group of 3 hold the key to money supply...until we reveal the fraud and deceit about the creation of two religion countries, and then we can move onto the universe. Hmm remember 1929..who caused that depression.. the year of creation of the Vatican state. Ever play Clue!?
11th October, 2012 @ 9:30 a.m. (California Time)
It is a know fact that molecular motion can be slowed with cooling. In fact absorption of gamma/cosmic, x-ray is known to be facilitated by these low temps.. Protons on the other hand, (neutrons i think as well) are broken down, part of these super sub atomic particles, neutrinos enter the earth at slightly faster than the speed of 300kKM/sec..Slowed and reintegrated into matter of the earths core, fusing with atomic structures changing their isotopic construction, i would call it matter creation. Heat is given off in the form of the auroras (825 oC) and photons given off in light show.
Gamma and cosmic rays are 89% protons, which when accelerated towards the pole become superheated and quark breakdown occurs changing the proton into an electron and photons, which appear as the aurora borealis..the electron is then repelled to the south pole, where in collision may gain a quark becoming a proton again and repelled back to the north until all of the particles are broken down at which point the Van allen belts potential decreases and electrons flow off into space..in the solar wind. information is available on nasa sites
11th October, 2012 @ 9:54 a.m. (California Time)
"No manned spacecraft now exists that can withstand the radiation from the Van Allen belts, through which a craft must traverse to make it to the Moon."
-SpaceCast News Service, March 9, 1998
Consider the International Space Station, where a chamber built for the purpose of radiation protection is available. The method works for the intermittent periods when solar radiation is intense (as from major flares), but such a chamber adds substantially to the mass of a spacecraft, BECOMING IMPRACTICAL ON MISSIONS BEYOND EARTH ORBIT
centauri-dreams . org/?p=1232
To put the space weather radiation hazard to human life in perspective, at geostationary orbit, with only 0.1 gm/cm2 of aluminum shielding thickness, the predicted radiation dose (REM) for one year continuous exposure, with minimum-moderate solar activity, is estimated to be about 3,000,000; using 5.0 gm/cm2 of aluminum shielding, the REM for one year continuous exposure would be reduced to about 550. (Note: REM = dose (RAD) x Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of particular ionizing radiation.) Although drastically reduced by shielding, 550 REM for a sample population would cause radiation sickness and about 50 percent deaths
www . fas . org/spp/military/docops/usaf/2020/app-f . htm
16th October, 2012 @ 3:10 p.m. (California Time)
I'm sure they will just use the moon landers for that, they still have them all nicely tucked away in Museums, for getting through that belt. Just upgrade the electronic, a couple of LCD flat-screens and whatnot, and they should be good as new.
25th October, 2012 @ 10:21 a.m. (California Time)
We need to start thinking like a planet that wants to explore space!
First we need to admit the obvious and start looking at rotational modules for human habitat. This would eliminate wasted time on exercising to try and retain bone and muscle mass!
Second, we must start thinking of vehicles which are modular, adaptable to new technologies and multi-generational! This would save a lot of cost, in the long run at least, and make it possible to build something that is shaped to live and stay in space!!
Two wrongs don't make a wright, but two Wrights built an airplane!!!!!
17th December, 2012 @ 7:19 p.m. (California Time)