I wanted to put one of these images on my wall, but they were niche enough that I couldn't find anybody selling them. I printed one myself using Zazzle, but then I started thinking that it would be cool to create a place where anybody could share cool niche images they found and have them automatically be available as a poster. I built my site - https://postercoop.com - over a couple of months at the beginning of last year.
Per probably the second-most common fate of hacker projects (after not getting finished at all), I lost interest before doing much marketing or figuring out any sort of product/market fit, but it definitely an empowering experience to at least see a project through to going live on the internet and learn for myself that "build it and they will come" is for the most part a wishful fantasy :D
Thanks for building and sharing your project.
"The artist’s share of profits from sales of this poster will be donated to NASA."
How, Though? You can't donate to NASA
The rules are just a rule of thumb that we can apply evenly at scale to avoid corruption. When there's legitimately no corruption happening the rules get more flexible. If it ever becomes an issue HR will frown (because rules) but legal will apply the duck test and conclude that ~$10 pizza/person paid for by someone who doesn't need/want/isn't in a position to benefit from preferential treatment is not corruption.
Details of the NASA budget can be found at the inevitable Wikipedia page:
I sourced the images for printing from the NASA space colony website - https://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/70sArt/art.html.
Apart from the ones depicted in these images I'm more in favour with starting with cheaper techniques where we could wire up an initial station to a wire/tether, and put a weight (or another small station) at the other end, have them spin around to reproduce gravity.
Then we can move these pieces closer to asteroid belts to get resources.
A planet on the other hand is a gravity-well: it will always cost us energy and money to get out of such wells. My point is that we should start in pieces, and not necessarily put all our efforts to reach a planet. There can be many other steps in between.
You still have to maintain the floating city like you would an orbital one, but you get the extra added benefits...
Venus makes the most sense to me... You get the benefit of gravity similar to earth, 70~ deg f temp and gases that allow you to maintain pressure and possibly harvest for fuel...
The stations would need to be rather large, but that's just an engineering and motivation problem. But with a little extra shielding (lot's of water in the hull - could be obtained from asteroids) they'd be very useful as living space (especially after climate change ravages our home planet).
They'd also be much better staging places for solar system exploration and have an advantage in trade (refueling, low energy requirement to get anywhere, excellent target for asteroid refinement without having to bring stuff into a gravity well and back up).
Not having to fight the atmosphere for solar energy is also a plus.
But humanity still clings to traditional gravity wells like the images in the OP show. Old Italian land-house style dwellings in an orbital ring station..
What's the purpose of the water? If a micro-asteroid punctures the hull, does the water freeze to stop the leak?
Its a feasibility problem mostly.
The up-front costs are way bigger, because you have to manufacture a reinforced floor (which, in case of a planetary colony, is the planet itself) and spin up the station (to provide "gravity"). But operational costs should be much lower, because there is 0 delta-v to get to and from the station (except syncing orbits, which you need to do with a planet as well). Start with two modules tethered in spin, then add additional ones gradually.
If we transport the materials from Earth, the cost of initial material is similar to settling on a planet. Once we develop technology for off-world manufacturing, you can literally fly your manufacturing plant to an asteroid, build the station there (with plenty of resources available) and then reposition it however you want.
The only kinds of planets that it makes sense to settle, is ones with a magnetosphere - and even that only until we develop other ways of shielding (there are companies working on that - e.g. Talos http://spacetalos.com/ )
Expanse is neat, but spinning asteroids isn't realistic. The idea is that the acceleration at the surface of Ceres is 1/3g, pointing outwards (i.e. you fall "out" into space). That would imply that the ground/rocks etc literally floats away in space. Unless the surface is structurally strong enough to resist that (unlikely with most asteroids, many of which are literally rubble piles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubble_pile ) the whole things would just disintegrate.
> but spinning asteroids isn't realistic
Ceres isn't an asteroid. It's a dwarf planet. It's not a pile of rubble. It's big enough to be round from its own gravity. The only object in the asteroid belt with that status, actually.
> That would imply that the ground/rocks etc literally floats away in space
Yea, but they considered that and planned accordingly. The entire station is underground and the surface is heavily reinforced.
I.e. "the crane cable you would use to lift the module under normal, 1g, earthly circumstances"
The reason it has to be so massive is that otherwise the difference in the G-forces between your head and your feet can make you sick.
I love the expanse, such an amazing series of books
Don Davis: http://www.donaldedavis.com/PARTS/allyours.html
Rick Guidice: http://rickguidice.com/nasaart.html
Roy Scarfo: http://www.royscarfo.com/
Note while Musk advocates settling Mars Bezos has indicated a preference for space colonies such as O’Neills.
None of these Arks are going to support billions.
Anywhere intended for long-term habitation needs to be surrounded by 5m of metal or 10m of dirt (or a proper magnetosphere), and even a small amount of gravity can make life a lot more convenient in terms of having an up and down direction, not having to sleep next to a fan etc.
To my mind somewhere like Phobos makes the most sense for the first space colonies - enough dirt available to build things, not enough delta-v cost to matter.
IMHO though we live in a "post scifi" age now (2019!) and should rather discard most of the mainstream utopian/dystopian fantasies already. At least until we manage to envision some pragmatic solutions to the very real and pressing problems we have on this planet right now.
We need to work together if we want to even have a slight chance to survive the next couple of decades collectively. We need some genuinely new utopian thinking if we want us all to survive.
Most of these billionaire "backup" plans as well as middle class "prepper" movements are dangerous distractions (and unlikely to "work out" for the cohorts pushing for them anyways).
If we like it or not we are in this together.
Insects may disappear by 2100: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/why-are-...
Phytoplankton has nearly halved in the oceans since 1950: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/phytoplankton-pop...
Wildlife is becoming paralyzed and diving because of vitamin deficiencies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196476/
We have already knocked out the base of the food chains we depend on- we cannot consume our way out of this hole. The future of this species is already in question, we can't afford these fantasies.
I think it is more likely that our biology will be forced to adapt to space than the other way around. I can imagine a future where humans live in individual pods while hooked up to virtual reality systems that can simulate all the necessary needs of the person within the pod, while the pod traverses shared space near lagrange points to collect necessary resources. It'd be a sort of "cell" in a larger multi-cellular collective surrounding our local star; much like endosymbiosis lead to mitochondria when eukaryotes first evolved, humans will merge with machines to become space-faring cellular life.
His Mitusbishi Dragon-Scale Mirror design cannot be ignored.
Just a teensy little upfront investment is required, but with SpaceX it might not be so crazy someday soon. If the cost per kilo into orbit drops enough, a lot of sci-fi could become real; not the Dyson swarm, but orbital habitats and industries sure could.
There's also a few problems with Halo sized rings.
A book could never mean as much again in this age.
As a kid, I would look at those pictures and imagine my life in the future looking like this. Instead, in the real future, I play video games where I can wander around these kinds of spaces virtually.
NASA's own "visions of the future" poster series: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/
Futuristic concept artists like Syd Mead: https://www.google.com/search?q=syd+mead+art&tbm=isch
"Never Built" series based on city building proposals, starting with Los Angeles: https://www.google.com/search?q=never+built+los+angeles&tbm=...
Was this something they were seriously expecting in the coming years?
I'm mindful of the fact that man had basically gone from just achieving orbit, to landing on the moon in a decade, so anything could have seemed possible at that stage.
I started high school a few months after the last time anyone walked on the moon. If you'd told me then that no-one would ever again walk on the moon in the following fifty years, I'd have told you you were nuts. The general mood in the 1970's was that humankind would start to inhabit space over the following decades, and space colonies like these would be orbiting the Earth. Instead, the only humans publicly known to be in space right now are the 3 aboard the International Space Station.
Edit: Also noticed the dramatized mission has a "free-return" trajectory, no maneuver required at the moon to get back to Earth.
We got Skylab, the Space Shuttle, lots of fascinating probes to other planets, and satellites themselves of course, but those were rather less "grand" in scope. No doubt budget driven.
To be fair though, if NASA can't dream big, who can? :)
Back in the 80s and 90s Malthusianism was the dominant thing. Most people believed the global population would keep expanding beyond what the world could sustain giving the impetus for things like space stations and ocean colonies. And population graphs in the 70s and 80s and even the 90s suggested that this was true.
Also in the 70s the idea of the green revolution wasn't fully cemented in the public consciousness. Nobody had any idea that it would double wheat yields between 1970 and today so people were projecting slow linear growth, or worse static farm yields and available resources against a growing population. The projection for the future was a dark one back then, and things like these space stations, along with things like ocean colonies were seen as a desperate way to prevent that fate.
Fortunately, nobody seriously believes that wasting trillions of dollars on moving a few people off the Earth is a serious solution to this problem. Unfortunately, nobody is actually pursuing any serious solutions to this problem.
An online version HTML of the book is here:
That one caused me to consider a 2001-style rotating space station — would it be possible to ride your bike counter to the rotation of the wheel and cancel the centripetal force?
I reasoned that you could but that your direction of travel, tangential to the inner surface of the wheel, would still keep you "grounded".
A simple ramp though should allow you to launch yourself "hub ward".
Am I missing something?
That can either be seen as a flaw or as a feature depending on which side you look at it.
It’s archived online here: https://archive.org/details/Usborne_Book_of_the_Future_1979_...
These visions of gigantic space colonies were fantastic. I don't know if I could bear to live on one in RL, I'd be too worried about the micrometeorites.
Also, how did we get from this cool stuff to zombie apocalypse, dystopian society and barren wastelands in our sci-fi?
A sunny beach is nice. But all day, every day?
I like to travel. I like to see new things, experience new situations - a small space station where I would have to live forever, I would consider a hell in prison.
Unless that space station travels around the planets ... where you can visit and explore them ..
I often use some of the book cover art pictures as my phone wallpaper.
Sadly reality is never that good
Ban me if you want