A2S2 Slide Show Notes
Ann Arbor Space Society, Chapter of the National Space Society
By Tihamer "Tee" Toth-Fejel (who will eventually scan in the rest of the slides, and clean up the text)
It's always a good idea to start where we are. Here is a satellite image of Ann Arbor, processed by ERIM, the company I work for, here in town. Can you find your home in this image? Does anyone know about how many people have seen this sight? About 300.
It's also good, when you want some perspective on an issue, to back a bit. (half of Earth)
Earth – This picture was taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts on their way home from the Moon. How does this picture make you feel? Really advanced technology (for the time) was used to take this picture, and it had a tremendous effect on everyone. Until this point, if someone said, "Look at the Earth", people would look down at their feet, look around from the top of a mountain, or maybe, out the window of an airplane. You could think of a globe, but it would only be a model, sitting in the library, or on your teacher’s desk. This is the real thing. And all of a sudden, you realize that everyone is your neighbor. Your realize that if you dump garbage or poison here, it can make it there. Everything is connected, and for the first time in history, large numbers of people felt it in their hearts, not just in their minds. So, the environmental movement and the peace groups really took off. Until the Apollo missions, if you wanted to say that something was impossible, you said, "You might as well fly to the moon." Though in 1930, about when your grandparents were being born, the president asked some scientists how difficult it would be to fly to the moon, and they did some calculations and estimated that it would take half the entire gross national product. We landed on the moon using less than 2% of the government’s budget. Unfortunately, it still costs about $10,000 for each pound to get into Low Earth Orbit. What does that mean? Who is the lightest person in the class? How many families would have to sell their houses to get this person into space? About 5 people would have to become homeless (for $100K houses). Oh, by the way, would you like to breathe? Let’s see that means oxygen tanks. What about food and drinks. Oh, and we need a bathroom, too. So that totals out to be $10 million dollars, please. Actually, that is what the Russians charge. Anyway, the ideas about developing Space that I’m going to show you today started out as dreams about five years after the lunar missions stopped. We were thinking, "You just can’t go to the moon, plant a flag, and then forget it. What if Columbus would have done the same thing?" Would the representative democracies and free markets so prevalent today around the world today exist? I don't think so. Anyway, when I got out of college, a number of people tried for ten years to get NASA to do more in space, but nobody could afford it. Finally, a few people figured out, around 1990, that if we don’t do something about how expensive it is to get to orbit, we’ll never get to go. We were all a bunch of dreamers and engineers, so it took as that long to think of it. We tried to figure out why it's so expensive. How many people have flown somewhere in a jet? A Boeing 747 has 6 million parts, it has a top speed of 92% of the speed of sound, and you can buy a used one from BrightWorks Aircraft Sales on the web, for a mere $96 million dollars. Imagine if every time you flew to California in a jet, when you got there, they would dump the jet into the San Francisco bay. How much would it cost for a ticket? 100 -600 people, $158.5 - 176.5 million dollars. ($150,000,000 / 500 people = $300,000). That’s almost as much as going to orbit! But it only costs about $400 to fly to California – and back! So, if you want to go into orbit, what do you have to do? Build a rocket so that it gets used like a jet. Anyway, when my son Thomas was about two or three years old, we went on vacation to Washington DC. While he played with some friends we had known from Ann Arbor, I put on a coat and tie and went to visit some Senators, Congressmen, and the people who help them make decisions. About 50 other people did the same thing, and I’m happy to report that right now, we’re only "this close" to making getting to orbit only $1000/lb, and eventually $100/lb. It will be your job to get it down to 35 cents a pound, but skyhooks and elevators to geosynchronous orbit are a whole new technology that needs to be developed. Anyway, let’s keep backing up.
Earthrise. How many people have seen this sight? Only 24 people, and that was almost 30 years ago. Thirty years! It reminds me of Captain Zhen He, of the Chinese Imperial Navy, back in 1368, over a hundred years before Columbus. He undertook at least seven voyages of exploration, rounding the Cape of Good Hope, and making it all the way up to the Ivory Coast. But then the Mandarin class -- these were the bureaucrats who actually ran China, convinced the Emperor to stop further exploration, and to make it a capital crime to build ocean-going ships… How does this photo of Earthrise make you feel? Earth looks a lot farther away, doesn’t it? It doesn’t look like some large thing that completely fills your view and commands your attention, but something small. From the Moon, you can hold up your gloved thumb (you are wearing a space suit I hope), and completely blocked out the Earth. That is when your realize how fragile, and important Earth is, because everyone you know is on it. What happens when you back up some more?
Galaxy – You realize that Earth is insignificant. So then you start asking yourself, "Well, then what are we here for?" Those are questions that philosophers and theologians have been thinking about for centuries, so keep thinking. In the meantime, lets go back to Earth, but instead of backing up in distance, let’s back up in time.
Playing dinosaurs The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for millions of years -- a lot longer than we have. But why did they die out? Because they were stupid. They were too stupid to have a space program that was advanced enough to detect and prevent asteroids from hitting their planet. They had brains the size of a walnut. I don't know what our excuse is.
Dinosaurs on the beach. Here is the dino family sunning themselves on the beach. "Look, Mabel, Up in the sky! It's a bird (I mean Archaeopteryx), it's a plane (oops! No technology yet), No, it's a 10 mile diameter meteorite about to wipe out life as we know it!"
The energy of one asteroid, ten miles in diameter, traveling at ten miles a second = 50,000 times all the nukes that ever existed.
Impact. This explosion was heard three times as it traveled around the Earth. Though actually, everything with eardrums probably didn't here it more than once. Why not?
One second after impact - Most of the asteroid would just bounce back into space, but a lot of it would go ballistic, that means it falls back down to Earth as micrometeorites. What would happen if billions and billions of micrometeorites landed at the same time? Close your eyes and imagine it. Yep, that's right -- a thousand suns lighting up sky. Actually, it probably wasn't that bright because most of the energy was generated in the infrared -- so it got hot! It's like the entire Earth was in an oven with the setting on "Broil" for four hours. The top layer of the oceans started steaming, and forest fires started drying up. By the time the micro-meteorites had slowed down enough to stop emitting heat, there were forest fires everywhere. These fires pulled a lot of a lot of the oxygen out of the air, and a day or two, when the rain started condensing out of the steam, the acid rain started, and when the water all flowed back to where it started, the acid practically killed off everything in the oceans. Then, after all this, the remaining dust in the atmosphere blocked out enough sunlight to cause a three-year-long winter.
Dead dinosaur. Frankly, I'm amazed that anything survived. Interestingly enough, there is some evidence that this has happened fairly often, about every 30 million years or so.
Magnetic image of Lake Huron - rather close, isn't it? Actually, the K/T asteroid landed just off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, so this a different one, significantly smaller.
Apollo-Amor Asteroid orbits
Asteroid prospector 2
Asteroid prospector 3
Asteroid retrieval with ion engines (same as television set)
Mass Driver in Leo
Mass Driver returning
Mass Driver Schematic
First Mass Driver - I saw this demonstrated went I went to Washington to lobby my congressman, and it was made out of junk parts by college students. And it was fast. Does 30 gravities mean anything?
Third mass driver – 200 Gs
Commercial Break – NSS Big stretch, run to the bathroom
So what do you do with all this astroidal material? Where do you put it?
L-5 Is the surface of a planet the best place for an advanced civilization? Can you control the length of day? Can you control gravity? Can you get rid of excess heat? Where do you get energy?
O’Neill Cylinder – exterior
O’Neill Cylinder – exterior 2
O’Neill Cylinder – side
O’Neill Cylinder – eclipse
O’Neill Cylinder – SF bay, or Mac bridge
Stanford Torus (donut) schematic
Stanford Torus painting
Stanford Torus model w/ mirror
Stanford Torus cutaway view
Stanford Torus interior
Stanford Torus under construction
Keep the cosmic rays out with chevrons
Bernal Sphere exterior
Bernal Sphere Agricultural bicycle tire-like tubes – NASA experiments – lettuce to maturity in 18 days
Bernal Sphere interior
Bernal Sphere pool – Are these colonies useful? Well, it’s a frontier, and it’s kindof like asking, of what use is a baby?
Energy – Hydro
Coal - dirty, and radioactive even when its working properly
Nuclear Power – much cleaner than Coal, even when things go wrong. But in only takes 15 pounds of reprocessed nuclear fuel, and a little knowledge about shaped charges, and you can really ruin someone’s day.
I like nukes, but I like them at a safe distance – like 93 million miles.
SPS and Earth
Beam Builder and Trusses
SPS and city
Need silicon – SPS lunar/L2 Scenario
Lunar processing - if you were in college, I’d explain this complex chemical engineering schematic to you
Lunar mass driver
Mother and Zero Gee baby
Mother and Child at Tranquility base
Mother and baby w/ Earth toy
Don’t put all your eggs on one planet
Space Shuttle Launch
Last updated 7-3-99 by ttf