-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Wed, 07 Jun 2000 21:15:35 -0700

At 01:24 6/7/2000, you wrote:
> The workers might not live on the farm, but logic will dictate that
>they will live near the hubs..

In zero gee? Not very healthy. On the other hand, if they work in 5 to 10
gees, as they might if the farmsat ring is spun at the same rate as the
colony proper, then maybe it all balances out.

In any case, living at the hub still puts you 32 km (20 miles) from the
nearest farm, where one of the three connectings tube intersects the
ring. A farmsat midway between the connecting tubes would be 60 degrees of
arc or 1/6 the circumference of the ring further away -- an additional 16
km (10 miles) or a total of 48 km (30 miles) distant.

>>There's no hint of anything residential in the few illustrations -- it's a
>>big, glass greenhouse, really.
> Question: Most pics show the farmsats being connected to one another
>by a ring -- is this ring a solid construct, or does it contain tunnels and
>conduits for power supply and movement of goods and people?

No details, but the ring always appears to have a cross-section equal to
that of the three connecting tubes and they all appear sufficiently large
enough to run a car through, which you'd need to get the produce into the
colony proper.

To get from the farmsat ring to the base of the "mountain" that represents
the northern (sunward) endcap, you'd have to travel a minimum of 35.25 km
(22 miles) -- 32 km (20 miles) up the connecting tube to the axis, across
whatever portion of the axis you must traverse to get from the hub of the
ring to the entry port to the colony proper (call it 50 meters or feet),
then 3.2 km (2 miles) down to the hull -- and a maximum distance of 51.25
km (32 miles).

That's just to get the little piggy to market at the first hot dog
stand. Add another 32 km (20 miles) to get to the other endcap -- 83.25 km
(52 miles) in all.

>>The colony sizes are fixed in one dimension: the diameter is determined by
>>the number of revolutions per minute.
> So you are saying that there is a fixed minimum size.. but what
>about a maximum size? What will be the diameter of a cylinder designed to
>rotate at 1/4 RPM?

It doesn't have to be a cylinder. It can be any of four shapes:
cylindrical, dumbbell shaped, spherical, or toroidal. The cylinder and
sphere both have circular cross-sections. The cross-section of a torus is
a dumbbell shape: circles separated by two parallel lines.

In any case, a habitat with a rotation of 1/4 RPM (1RP4M) that produced one
gravity at the circumference would have be about 22 km (13.6 miles) in
diameter. A cylindrical habitat with the maximum 10:1 length to radius
ratio would be 110 km (68.4 miles) long.

I think you might be able to support half a billion people it something
that large.

> (BTW, you might want to include this -- it's not obvious that there
>is a correlation between RPM and cylinder diameter..)

I'll consider it, but I've got to draw the line somewhere and that's pretty
basic stuff.

>>The only problem is that there's a fixed ratio of length to width in
>>a cylindrical habitat..
> Uhm.. is there a particular reason why the length must be of a fixed

My bad. What I meant was that there's a fixed MAXIMUM length to which the
cylinder can be extended, which is ten times the radius or five times the
diameter. Make it any longer than that and the Coriolis force at the
equator will be enough to turn it into a sphere -- the hard way. A
cylinder 45 km (28 miles) long would have to be 9 km (5.6 miles) in
diameter, but Tomino only specified an increase in length, not diameter.

>>All the critters that kept Old MacDonald in meat, eggs, and dairy
> Fish? Since it's a gravity environment, it's possible to grow fish
>in the farmsats too, right?

Fish live in water. Water masses one gram per cubic centimeter or one
kilogram per cubic decimeter (AKA liter) or one tonne (metric ton) per
cubic meter. Fill a farmsat a meter deep in water and you'd increase the
mass by about 1.3 million tonnes.

> As for beef.. wasn't the Texas colony designed as a Wild West kind
>of theme park? (Theme park might be a bad choice of words..) Cattle will be
>common there, logically.

Yes, but as tourist attractions, not as foodstuffs. There might be a diary
industry and a local Texas Colony brand of cheeses, for both the tourists
to nibble and for export, but the critters would be there mainly to pull
the covered wagons or to put on a show in the rodeo, like the horses. If
any of them ended up on the menu, they would probably be hideously
expensive and only affordable by rich tourists or Federation bigwigs.

> Maybe each cylinder in a side is specialized to breed certain
>livestock beyond its subsistance level. This would promote trade -- and
>hence movement of population -- between colonies and Sides, right?

Some colonies, like Texas and Francheska, seem to be set up as resorts more
than as habitats, serving as R&R for other colonies that are purely

The possibilities seem endless.


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