-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Wed, 19 Apr 2000 20:21:54 -0700


At 09:20 4/19/2000, you wrote:
>I really like this idea, this seems a little more realistic. I've always
>wondered about all those gees acting on the end of those three mirrors.
> How would you generate "night", by rotating the mirrors or prisms on the
>rings?

According to O'Neill, the mirrors would be skewed or warped a few degrees,
just enough to deflect the light off of the skylights. Personally, I think
that shutters would be a better way to go. Less likely to fail and easier
to fix if it does.

>How would giving someone directions work. How would the streets be named.
> I could see a lot of newcomers getting lost and not able to find their way
>around on a hexagonal layout. Wouldn't it just be easier to rotate the
>standard geodesic grid by 45 degrees.

I assume that you meant to say "Cartesian grid" and that you mean orienting
the streets NW-SE by NE-SW instead of N-S by E-W. That would moderate
Coriolis, yes, but then you lose the longitudinal staightaways -- the N-S
run in the conventional layout -- which aren't affected by Coriolis.

In the geodesic grid I proposed, you'd have all the N-S streets as before,
but for each E-W cross street you'd have an intersecting pair of WNW-ESE
and ENE-WSW cross streets. You'd refer to these as simply NW, NE, SW and
SE -- North Main, NW Main, NE Main, South Main, SW Main, SE
Main. Intersections could be either "six-points" crossings or hexagonal
"roundabout" traffic circles. I favor the latter, as they would help
moderate Coriolis forces even more, but the N-S street might still go
straight through on main boulevards, perhaps with overpasses that
"leapfrog" the roundabouts for through traffic.

It's impossible to get lost on a properly implemented grid system -- every
intersection is a unique coordinate set. The problem here on Earth is that
we have more paved-over cow paths than actual planned thoroughfares and
have to build around hills and valleys and other natural features. This is
not the case in a space colony, where the streets come first and the
greenery gets laid down after.

-Z-

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