DailyDirt: Moving To Outer Space (Temporarily)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The number of ways to get people into space is at a record low right now, but some projects on the horizon are planning to get more people living in space in the not too distant future. Commercial space ventures are going to be shuttling (or capsule-ing, as the case may be) people to low earth orbit, and some other projects are aiming for more distant journeys. Here are just a few space exploration plans to keep an eye on if you still want to be an astronaut someday.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Companies: bigelow, boeing, mit, nasa, spacex

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Moving To Outer Space (Temporarily)”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Also, from the Mars One criticism article:

The lead author, Sydney Do, a Ph.D. candidate in aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, said via email that in his view “the Mars One Concept is unsustainable” because of the current state of technology and its “aggressive expansion approach” of quickly adding more and more people rather than keeping the settlement at a fixed size for a period of time.

So even with well under a thousand planned colonists on the entire planet, people are warning about overpopulation issues? 😛

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Could We Do A Space Elevator In Low-Earth Orbit?

Just wondering about the practicalities of a shorter cable (say 150km) that isn’t anchored to the ground, but passes through the atmosphere at, say, stratosphere level. Something that can be reached by craft requiring less power than full orbital rockets.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Could We Do A Space Elevator In Low-Earth Orbit?

Because a Space Elevator has its center of gravity out at geosynchronous orbit, it stays at one spot on the equator. A 150km cable would be in very low earth orbit, travelling VERY fast over the ground. The wind drag would rotate around.

But that’s OK. That’s where a Rotovator – a type of Momentum Exchange Tether – comes in:


Roger Strong (profile) says:

Mars One’s 2025 timeline has always been pure fantasy. Their economics for a manned trip are pure fantasy.

That doesn’t mean nothing good will come of it. They’re planning an unmanned lander – paying Lockheed Martin to build a duplicate of their Phoenix Lander.


They’ve raised $544,026 collecting application fees. Now they just need to raise the other 99.9985% of the $350 million needed to build the lander. If they do that soon, perhaps LockMart can have it built by their 2018 launch date.

And assuming they can con a second similar round of would-be astronauts to raise the same amount, then they just need to raise the remaining 96% of the $56.5 million Falcon 9 launch cost.

Rekrul says:

Inflatable modules?

I don’t know about anyone else, but if I were going to be spending time in an airless vacuum, I’d want nice, thick metal around me, not an inflatable bag. Yes, I know space suits are basically an inflatable bag, but they’re also much smaller and you spend a lot less time in them. If a suit gets punctured, one person might end up dead. If an inflatable pod gets punctured, everyone in it might end up dead.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Inflatable modules?

This doesn’t bother me at all — mostly because in terms of protection from impacts, there’s not much difference between one of these inflatable systems and having a hard shell. The things that can hit you in space are going very, very fast and have a lot of kinetic energy. They slice through the hull of a metal spacecraft as easily as an inflatable one.

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