Solid Fuel Possibilities for the New Year

A constant attention to the struggles of the start up companies in the space business will constantly remind you that the critical element of progress is the availability of enough solid fuel to keep things moving. This critical solid fuel requirement is the pacing element of almost all the progress of the last decade, with lack of it being the #1 reason for the litter of failed companies across our various back trails.

This required solid fuel is mostly paper based, rectangular stuff printed out in various denominations with pictures of dead presidents on them, with Benjamin in there just to keep us from making it a rule.

I learned several years ago that I could work for any start up space company I wanted, doing any project that interested me, as long as I could fully fund it myself. That last clause has kept me at my day job of concrete construction. The last several years has been somewhat less than lucrative in my field to put it mildly.

In the last month we tried something a bit different. We did a concrete building structure in one piece from wall onĀ  slab to roof peak. The only cold joint is where the wall sits on the slab, and rebar a foot on center connects them quite well. In the pictures below is a building we poured in 1 hour 15 minutes from pump start to roof top. The single piece construction of reinforced concrete even has the steel door frame poured in place. We are going for a tornado rating on the structure, with a high burglar resistance as a by product.

Interest in a 10’x12′ storm and storage building has been quite good. The idea itself is not new of course. It is our construction technique that should allow us to get the costs down to something our competition will have trouble matching. We are looking to go into a neighborhood and match architecture with the existing structures so that ours will blend in.

With a little luck and a lot of hard work, this might provide the solid fuel I need over the coming years to explore some of the hare-brained ideas that have been posted here, as well as a few that haven’t.

In the best traditions of innovation, we built this one in an agricultural business scrap area. These pictures are right after form removal and before stucco and simulated roof shingles.

One pour concrete structure.

roof section of solid pour structure




The following two tabs change content below.


I do construction for a living and aerospace as an occasional hobby. I am an inventor and a bit of an entrepreneur. I've been self employed since the 1980s and working in concrete since the 1970s. When I grow up, I want to work with rockets and spacecraft. I did a stupid rocket trick a few decades back and decided not to try another hot fire without adult supervision. Haven't located much of that as we are all big kids when working with our passions.

Latest posts by johnhare (see all)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Solid Fuel Possibilities for the New Year

  1. Robert Clark says:

    Thanks for that. Reminds me of recent advances in China allowing hyperfast (not a real word but sounds good) building construction

    Chinese Construct Hotel In 48 Hours, FAST FORWARD.

    Haven’t heard of these in the U.S. Maybe you can get in on the ground floor, so to speak, developing them here.
    Bob Clark

  2. DougSpace says:

    Sounds like a great idea…And, if you can get earthquake rating then you’ve really got my interest as well!

    So Cal

  3. DougSpace says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I hope it works out well for you.

    So Cal

  4. DougSpace says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I hope it works out well for you. Happy holidays.

  5. Eric says:

    This particular tech also plays well with Lunar/Martian ISRU. If one could also develop the means to deploy such a structure remotely using tele-robotics then you have roughly half of the basic tech you would need to bootstrap a Lunar base. The rest being sufficient power generation and closed-loop life support systems.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *