Centristation: Building a residential/agricultural near-earth-normal interior habitat in LEO using wet-launch technology

Also see Centristation V .

by James Edward David Cline SSN# 525-82-1047

The possibility of building a true fully functional space settlement in the near future is improved if there is a way to build it cheaply, safely, and with the potential of being a vast step toward solving many of humanity's looming problems. By backtracking over old technological ground which was passed by in the heat of the race to a different goal, one can then re-assemble the technological building blocks toward the subject goal.

The proving-out of the long accepted concept of a nearly self-sufficient, nearly earth-normal interior space habitat is a necessary milestone toward large-scale expansion of human civilization off-planet; there are at least three easily envisioned scenarios for large scale expansion of civilization off-planet. Such a proving out could be done in upper LEO to avoid need for massive radiation shielding. A one-centrepetal-g-interior rotating toroid of 1 mile diameter, research home for 1,000 people, could be built of segments consisting of pre-assembled modules each 100 feet long and 30 feet in diameter. These segments could be emplaced on site in LEO docked end-to-end through designing them as both a pre-assembled habitat module and also as its own fuel tank during launch, eliminating most of the airframe and tankage penalty. The engines used during the launch of the module could be built into just enough airframe to glide them back to the launch site after each module's launch; the flight and docking would all be teleoperated from the ground. A strap-on airbreathing booster module would also return after each launch. The entire assembly of the prefabricated toroidal space habitat could thusly be built on site in LEO prior to the arrival of the first human presence there, greatly lowering cost. and increasing safety. Before launch of the modular prefab segments, the entire set of segments would first be tested in the toroidal configuration while yet on the ground to harmonize the myriad interacting systems, of electromechanical and living natures.

Three forms of large-scale near-future space colonization include the original L4 and L5 locations of habitats built largely of lunar materials, requiring a strong lunar infrastructure first. Conversion of near-earth asteroids into space habitat represents enormous resources on site, although needs to be done by highly sophisticated robotics or by human presence at high initial risk. A third scenario would offer involvement of every human being on Earth, by utilizing active kinetic structures continuously linking earthsurface equatorial sites with the synchronous Clarke Belt, where millions of the subject space settlements could be built, housing tens of billions of people with their agriculture and light industry. All of these scenarios hinge on the functionality of the near-earth-normal-interior space habitat concept, proveable by this project.

For a paper I wrote and presented on this concept, see Wet-Launch of Habitat Modules . See also correspondence with Rockwell regarding this project.

Copyright © 1995 James Edward David Cline

I'd appreciate any comments and suggestions at earthlink.net , and would be happy to answer any questions.

I can also be contacted at: Dave Cline, 9800-D Topanga Cyn Blvd #118, Chatsworth, CA 91311, USA Telephone 818/886-8059 E-mail also at: j.e.d.cline1@genie.geis.com