The comments on the torus station post made it clear that I had skipped steps in suggesting a specific station type. One step is the investigation of exactly how many RPMs are acceptable for a working orbital facility. The acceptable RPMs dictate the length of the station arms to achieve a given gee level. The required arm length or torus diameter needs to be known before design starts, and long before construction starts.
I suggest that an initial investigation on the ground could be a 10 meter radius unit with a 3 meter inclined floor around the circumference. There would be a bit over 190 square meters of available floor area when the unit is spun up. The floor area would be divided into offices, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and other requirements as needed.
The unit would be spun up to the design RPM for that particular design. There would be one acceptable RPM for any fixed floor angle with several different units for different investigations. This would be terrestrial construction and relatively cheap compared to anything launched which would make multiple units on the ground affordable compared to launching sub-optimal stations.
The unit is spun up to design RPM with the intention that it will spin continually for several months at a time. Several shifts of investigators work in the facility on short and long term ‘missions’. Some works 8 hours plus lunches and go home at night exiting through the hub without stopping the unit. Entry, exit, and transition through the spokes would be part of the experiments. Others stay for 30 days straight, while yet others do business visits of minutes to hours.
The purpose would be to determine whether 10 or more RPM can be adapted to in a working environment. I would see the experimenters as being perhaps one department of a company or government facility totaling between 20 and 100 people on a near continuous basis plus many visitors. The quality of an individuals work compared to their normal performance in regular environments would be a good baseline to prove/disprove the possibility of very short radius stations for people in high stress and workload environments as during a space mission.
The long term investigators would exit fairly often for family functions and such which would be the spin equivalent of going to the microgravity sections of the station or an EVA. The ability to conduct the investigation without missing the kids recital or your wedding anniversary would make it possible to get long term volunteers.
After determining the acceptable RPMs for people in a real working environment it wold be much easier to design a real working station. A 5 meter spin radius in orbit is a totally different animal than a 1000 meter radius. If the ability to adapt to high RPMs eliminates 99% of the population, then there would still be about 3 million people in this country to select from plus several times that number world wide.
Latest posts by johnhare (see all)
- The Rivers of Progress - December 3, 2017
- Early Testing and Demonstrations on the Depots and Rotovators - November 25, 2017
- Lunar Hoverslam - November 25, 2017