Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Mon, 12 Jun 2000 20:58:58 +0800


        Sorry for the delay, but I was trying to think up a witty response
to this. =)

At 19:27 06/09/2000 -0700, -Z- wrote:
>Ah, but the colonies are NOT at the Lagrange points. They're in halo
>orbits AROUND the Lagrange points, from 45,000 km (28,00 miles) to 90,000
>km (56,000 miles) away from the actual libration point.

        Arggghhhh.

        I guess by this you mean the chances of a rock exiting the Lagrange
points towards a gravity source will have a minute chance of hitting a
colony cylinder? After all, for a rock to hit a target 32km in length at a
distance of, oh, about an average of 67,000 km away, will be a wee bit
difficult, yes?

>My books are stilled packed away, so I can't say to which shoal zone it
>referred.

        Mine aren't readily at hand either, so I can give you a reference
either.

>Louvers. Although the "windows" are always drawn as being open to the
>light, the actual design called for them to be covered with periscopic
>louvers, thus:

        Arrggghh.
        
        Very interesting ideas -- in fact, I think I dimly recall some
discussion on this some time back?

        But it still doesn't quite answer my question. So let me rephrase it:

        AFAIK, the farmsats look somewhat like this:

          ____
         / __ \ The inner circle is the farmsat proper,
        | | | | The outer the farmsat mirror.
        | -- | Viewed from the sun.
         \____/

        So, the front of farmsat proper is going to be exposed to the sun,
right? Hence it should be recieving radiation, both solar and cosmic.
(Referring to hard radiation, not light.)

        What I am basically asking is whether the *hull* of the farmsat is
sufficiently thick enough to absorb enough solar/cosmic radiation so that
the workers of the farmsat can work without the need for Normal Suits..

>On Earth, we have tornadoes, typhoons, heat waves, blizzards, killer smog,
>floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, lightning, sinkholes, acid rain, red tides,
>plagues of locusts, and vast stretches of desert. I think the colonists
>can count themselves as lucky that they only have to worry about hard
>radiation, hard vacuum, and hard water. (^_^)

        So, what you are saying is that they traded all the "soft" hazards
for "hard" hazards? (^_^)

>Once the Energy Crisis abated, alternative energy was put on the back
>burner and the cost was deemed prohibitive with no immediate or quick
>return on investment.

        That wasn't terribly far-sighted, but this is with the benefit of
hindsight, I guess.

>As it was, it took nearly ten years to get the "Space Truck" off the ground.

        No knocks against the space shuttle engineers, but that particular
vehicle has never struck me as particular efficient. Expanding so much fuel
just to get a vaguely aerodynamic box up into the black to put a tiny little
satellite -- soon to be space junk, too -- isn't exactly my idea of far future.

        (^_^)

>It's not in the interest of any government on Earth to colonize space and
every
>reason for them to block it, as they have done my nationalizing every program
>ever proposed.

        At present, the threat of overpopulation isn't sufficiently great
for the governments to really start a colonization project, and mineral
reserves still seems to be sufficent enough for near-future use.

        My guess is, the first true step beyond will be a permanent base on
the Moon for scientific purposes and later, mining. Maybe a base on the far
side of the Moon will become the launching point for Side 3? =P

>But if, instead of lobbying or pushing for government funding, someone were
>to just go ahead and do it, every government on Earth would scramble to get
>up there and take over -- they can't afford to let anyone put a Sword of
>Damocles over their heads.

        Either that, or every goverment will spend money trying to knock
said someone down. Just as a theortical study, how powerful must an energy
weapon be in order to strike the surface of the Earth with sufficient power
to say, destroy an average building block?

        I've read of other simpler idea, such as a metal crowbar which would
reentry on command and aim itself at a target...

>It could happen in our lifetimes, but only if someone like you or me Just Does
>It.

        Quite a while more, I think. While computer power has improved to
the point where mere mortals like us can calculate the proper trajectory,
etc. etc. to aim for, commerical propulsion systems and other construction
systems have still, IMO, quite a ways to go.

>A sphere would be best only if you made it large enough to have gravity and
>built your habitats on the OUTSIDE.

        Oh, right. The gravity generated by the spin of such a sphere would
mean only certain regions near the equator would be at 1G, but nearer the
poles, it would be less than 1G (log falloff?). Hence you are wasting
real-estate, and may as well build a cylinder or a torus..

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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