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Space Launch Costs Will Become Increasingly Irrelevant

Historically, one of the greatest impediments to the process of humanity moving out into space has been the extreme costs of launching payloads out of our gravity well. There are two factors that will contribute to a dramatic decrease in the affect of launch costs on space migration. Space elevators will greatly reduce the effort […]

Navigation in the Asteroid Belt

Navigation requires time and position data and the ability to calculate and plot a course. Historically, we have used “fixed” points like stars and buoys and beacons and landmarks and we plotted courses to fixed destinations. More recently we have learned to use a network of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The satellites move constantly […]

Building Space Habitats

While we may use the Moon and Mars as stepping stones in our migration into space, the real end target will be the asteroid belt. Once we have spent the resources needed to accomplish the steep climb out of a planetary gravity well, it makes sense to stay there. The asteroid belt suits this purpose. […]

Building a Mining Base on the Moon

A base on the Moon will more useful to supply construction materials to building projects in space that it will be for any other purpose. Supply of raw materials for building in space will need to come from locations that are not deep inside a gravity well. That means from asteroids or from moons will […]

Synthetic Gravity in Space Habitats

Human bodies have evolved inside a gravitational field that provides a constant downward pressure as long as we stand on the surface of the planet. Healthy operation of the body depends on this state. In the zero-gravity environment of space, we will need to synthetically reproduce this condition. The term, “centrifugal force” describes the inertial […]

Private Industry is Driving Space Exploration

Space exploration was once the exclusive domain of national programs with strong connections to military objectives and resources. While those programs still exist in many nations, the front edge of exploration is being taken over and driven by private industry. Currently, their primary missions are the development of lift propulsion devices and re-usable craft to […]

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. […]

Living In Lava Tubes on the Moon

Still just a theory, the idea of huge lava tubes existing on the Moon has taken a big step toward becoming a reality. A team from Purdue University recently presented some work on models based on lava flow channels visible from the surface. The models suggest that lave tube caves on the Moon could be […]

The Moon as a Fuel Depot

There are good reasons to mine the Moon. Ice will supply water and oxygen for life, and hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. Aluminum and other metals can be extracted and formed into basic building block materials for construction. But both the ice and the building materials will be mostly thrown out into space for use […]

Refueling in Space Means Staying There

Our future lies in space, not pinned down on the surface of a planet at the bottom of a gravity well. Once we have managed to climb out of that dark hole, we will have little reason to go back down into it. Most of the fuel required for space travel is burned up in […]