Archive for Asteroid Belt

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A Mass Migration into Space

A great migration into space is beginning. As space exploration evolves from the control of national space programs to commercial enterprise, the nature of the effort is changing. There is a German word, “zugunruhe”, that describes anxious, restless movement, often associated with migration. When a change comes, some species feel the urge to migrate. They […]

Animation of 100,000 Asteroids

Asteroids can be identified in SDSS imaging because they change position during the course of an 8-minute exposure with the SDSS camera. The SDSS has identified and measured colors of more than 100,000 asteroids and other Solar System minor objects. The video to the left shows the orbits of many of the asteroids that the […]

Some of Us Need to Get Off This Planet

There are too many ways for the existence of our entire species to be threatened without good recourse as long as we’re all on a single planet. We need to diversify our locations and provide alternative responses for survival. An asteroid strike, a gamma ray bombardment, a super volcano, an accident from bio-genetic tinkering, a […]

Gamma Spectroscopy for Asteroid Mining

Asteroids are constantly awash in a bath of cosmic rays which produce neutron showers when they collide with atoms in the material of the asteroids. The neutrons in turn collide with other particles, giving off gamma rays in the process. Spectrum analysis of the gamma radiation can determine which elements were involved in the collisions […]

Space Habi-Craft

Space Habi-Craft

[artist conception from] The drawing above shows how a habitat-craft wheel can be built using materials extracted from an asteroid. The most likely configuration for both space dwellings and space craft is a rotating wheel. The rotation of the wheel provides an outward force that replaces gravity, which is essential for long term health. […]

Things That Work Better in Space

THINGS THAT WORK BETTER IN COLD Infrared/heat sensors Superconductors Semiconductors Power converters Magnets Cryogenic hardening Cryogenic milling/grinding Cryosurgery Freeze drying THINGS THAT WORK BETTER IN A VACUUM Vapor deposition processes (chemical and physical) Carburization of steel Electron beam welding Freeze drying Dry etching Distilling High speed devices (ultra-centrifuges, flywheel energy storage) Pressure driven machines (positive […]

Asteropolis Cities in Space

An Asteropolis city is a giant rotating wheel parked in an orbit somewhere in the asteroid belt and providing a safe habitat for several million people. In space, clusters of these giant cities will form the beginning of the future of humanity, like stepping stones toward distant stars. And new concepts of freedom and commerce […]

Homesteading in the Asteroid Belt

Soon, there will be opportunities to move out into the asteroid belt and begin a new life there. Just as pioneers migrated across America, building homesteads and establishing a new beachhead of civilization, so will a new wave of pioneers build homesteads in the empty space of the asteroid belt. GROUP Assembling a group begins […]

Asteroid Belt Economy

University of Alabama graduate students ponder building necessary infrastructure for space exploration. There are two missing pieces in their thinking: Instead of building outposts on craggy, randomly shaped rocks, it makes more sense to fabricate whatever you want (a space habitat) and spin it to create internal gravity-like force. With very cheap energy, plentiful building […]

Asteroid Belt Oasis

A new theory suggests that an asteroid belt, positioned at just the right place in a planetary system, can help promote the development of life. In order for life as we know it to evolve, a planet must have some water and the organic, carbon based building blocks that form the needed chemical stew. There […]