The immense size and power and cost of a launch vehicle to put a person in space is due to the need to lift off the ground with all the fuel needed to make the trip, and most of that fuel and engine size is needed to lift the bulk of the fuel itself. What if there were a way to distribute the kinetic energy needed to lift a person to space all along the path to space?
And what if that led to a way that a substantial part of our civilization could be located comfortably and pleasantly high in earth orbit, in the relatively near future, would that enable civilization to continue to expand while also taking the load off the earth's ecosystem which our civilization now imposes on the earth?
So again, what if there were a way to supply the kinetic energy needed to lift vehicles from the ground to space, distributed all along the path of the vehicles, so they need not carry any fuel with them? While we are dreaming, let us make this an electrically powered transportation system, so reaction engine exhaust products are not spread into the atmosphere during the launch process. And make it an inherently low wear, long lasting transportation system, able to last for centuries with minimum maintenance. And make it a transportation system conceivably expandable to lift people and their household belongings from the ground up to new homes in earth orbit, at the rate of an incredible 1 million people per day, potentially?
The kinetic energy of a continuous stream of high velocity electric motor armature segments continuously circulating around the earth from the ground at the equator, reaching geosynchronous earth orbit at it upper height before continuing semi-elliptically on down around the other side of the planet to its earth terminal re-acceleration site again, could inductively couple part of its upward-bound immense stored kinetic energy to vehicles traveling alongside it, thus avoiding the need for the vehicles to carry fuel.
These armature mass streams would travel in low friction magnetic lift tracks along the underside of the giant electric motor's stator which provides the path between the equator and geosynchronous earth orbit, 22,3000 miles above the opposide of the planet. Contra-rotating armature mass streams provide upward-bound lift energy along both sides of the stator structure. The armature mass streams travel much faster than orbital velocity along the underside of the stator, the excess velocity providing centrifugal force opposing the force of gravity on the stator structure, largely suppporting the structure and the live loads it carries.
Some more of the high velocity kinetic energy of the armature mass streams is inductively tapped off by the vehicles travelling along the outer side of the stator structure between the ground and GEO.
Electrical power on the ground inputs the energy to speed up the armature mass stream segments as they whizz past the equatorial site, electromagnetically thrusting against the mass of the earth to get back up to speed to compensate for the energy given off to support the structure and to lift vehicles to space along the way. Thus it is an electrically pwowered transportation system, as we postulated initially above.
Much of the sustaining electrical power to run the system can come from Solar Electric Power Satellites lifted by the transportation system to GEO, from where it beams electrical eneergy back down to near the equator re-accelleration terminal site, thus supplying its own power. And additional solar electric power satellites can beam down more energy to power civilization's electrical power needs, thereafter preserving our precious fossil petrochemicals for future materials applications.
Magnetic levitation bearings used by the armature mass streams during their endless circuits of the earth on the underside of the startor structure, and the magnetic levitation bearing on the top side of the structure in which the vehicles slide, are low friction very low wear bearing surfaces, potentially there for the centuries of use, potentially low maintenance and high reliability.
And as for the lift capacity being enormous, consider that the armature segments composing the mass streams centrifugally balance their own weight along the path, and if going at twice the orbital velocity will support or lift a mass equal to their own, and if at three times orbital velocity along the path, can support twice their mass against the force of travity, or lift comparable mass to space while giving up some of that velocity to transfer kinetic energy to lift vehicles along the structure to space. It depends on the limits with which the magnetic levitation bearings can provide separation.
Yes, the length of the path around the earth and up to GEO on the farside is great, yet is quite small compared to the distance to the moon, and consider that if all the aluminum beverage cans we use per year were placed end to end they would reach to the moon and back, this structure is small.
Building the earth like artificial gravitied plush homes in earth orbit is another part of the adventure. These large space habitats would be built mostly from raw materials from the moon, eventually some from asteroids and later yet from volatiles from the outer planets' moons. Plenty of raw material out there. The known asteroids alone, converted into such space habitats, would provide the surface area of 1,000 times the whole earth's land surface, if it were all used for this purpose.
Electrically commuting between the ground and GEO puts people at an energy level of 90% of the earth's so-called escape velocity. The earth's gravity well would no longer be the limiting factor in exchange between the earth surface ecosystem and the near part of the rest of the solar system. Bring in fresh raw materials, and dump unrecyclable nuclear materials and chemical toxins into the vast solar furnace that is our sun. And plenty of new living space in earth orbit, eventually more living room even further beyond.
The people challenges are vastly more difficult than the technological challenges, in the effort to get this project going. If it is going to happen, people will need to make it happen. And it is much easier for me and everybody else just to let each day slide, just get by in an overpressured lifestyle, no new challenges invited. Life is difficult enough already, thank you, let the future take care of itself, it always has. And the technologies in this transportation system are far from the present-day beaten path, even from paths of contemporary innovation in space flight. This whole thing is "way out in left field" to use the old baseball terminology, as far as present day space industry is concerned. Nothing is going to happen on this project unless the majority of people desire it, and that is not happening yet: I put the framework of this concept on a public computer network in 1988, and have continued to spread the word since then every way I can, but was opposed and ignored despite my best efforts. I was not able to get it formally presented to the scientific community in the form of a peer-reviewed, conference-presented published technical paper until March of this year (2000).
So, if you have any interest in such a project or happening for mankind and our planetary ecosystem, I invite you to read on into the more detailed technical descriptions here on my webpages. Along the way you can find concepts for cheaply building a low-risk 1,000 person reasearch space habitat of the traditonal wheel-like design but in low earth orbit at first, to iron out the myriad man-machine interactive systems upon which long term life in space would need to thrive. And a ground commute system concept. And innovative transportation system from the moon to the earth or earth orbit. Explore among the concepts, pick and choose for your own recipie and see what you can cook up!
Creating a massive expansion in a civilization's transportation technology enables a similar expansion of that civilization. The main broad path of the expansion of mankind into space is envisioned here as changing away from rocketry toward Civil Engineering projects creating large scale electricallypowered, kinetic energy supported, transportation bridging structures between ground and geosynchronous earth orbit altitude. With adequate transporation facilities thusly obtained, there in the Clarke Belt this Civil Engineering project can expand into the construction of the large Solar Electric Power Satellites which will thereafter power the system, as well as provide the electric power for the world's energy needs; also can be built the great space settlements to ring the earth in the Clarke Belt, for a robust expansion of real estate for mankind's civilization, removing much of the burden of mankind's civilization from the earthsurface ecosystem, enabling the ecosystem to be restored and rejuvenated.
On this website are shown these conceptual designs for such massive expansions in civilization's electricaly powered transportation technology and its many applications.
As pointed out in my recently published paper "Kinetically Strengthened Transportation Structures" in the proceedings of ASCE's Space 2000 and Robotics 2000 conference in Albuquerque NM, we need to start the development of what could be called "Sliding Armature Energy Transfer Technology", using it to centrifugally strengthen and stiffen a masive transportation structure (KESTS) physically connecting the earth's equator with earth's synchronous orbit, then using that transportation system to raise huge solar-electric power satellites up to there, to power that transportation sytem thereafter and to provide electric power to the world's electric power utility grids, thus enabling the preservation of oil reserves to be kept for petrochemical resources instead of burning them to merely provide energy.
When this massive transportation and electric power system is in place, the way is open to enable people to commute to new real estate which can then be built in the Clarke Belt, much as were the luxurious 10,000-person space settlements originaly designed in detail in the mid-1970's for construction at the L-5 site in space. There is room for over a million of these 10,000-person luxurious earth-surface-like space habitats in the Clarke Belt, 20,300 miles above the equator, comfortable room for more people there than are now on our whole planet, along with their built-in agricultural and industrial base, with material resources of both the earth surface and lunar / asteroidal resources within relatively easy reach from there.
And from the Clarke Belt, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, which is 90% up out of the earth's gravitational well, so reaching out from there to material resources of our moon and other solar system resources will be much easier.
So now let's look in more detail at these conceptual designs for this large-scale civil engineering project to create the electrically powered kinetically supported transportation structure between earth surface and the Clarke Belt, and also to initially build a 200- to 1,000-person research space settlement in upper LEO using efficient wet-launch technology, in preparation to building the rings of 10,000 person habitats in the Clarke Belt.
The potentials of a civilization's transportation systems define much of the potentials of its range, energy resources, ability to reach and distribute material resources, and sheer ways for people to get around. Conceptual designs of expansions of a civilization's transportation systems provide a wavefront preparing the way for creative engineering design and analytical development, blueprints for the tools of adventure into greater vistas for mankind. Outlines of several such conceptual designs can be found here, the product of over 40 years of my conceptual design hobby, for your entertainment and hopefully real action of yours to get things physically manifested. Enjoy! Stir your imagination and let some beautiful pictures settle out! And invite all of humanity to be with you on these projects.
For example, Electrically powered ground-to-earth-orbit mass transportation systems, supported by stored kinetic energy, could possibly be the key to greatly dropping costs of getting an enormous continuous payload transfer into earth orbit, making near-future large scale comfortable habitat living space colonization a conceivable event... after all, the energy cost, at the current rate of 10 cents per KWhr, of electrically putting a pound of mass into GEO from the equator is theoretically only $0.72 if 100% efficiency were possible! That is an energy cost of only about $110 for a 150 pound person, transported from the ground up to GEO! (Note that this is "energy cost", not overall cost.) Electrical motors run at 80% or better efficiency, and this concept is similar to an enormous electrical motor, for starters. Is it really incredibly impossible, thinking about the many thousands of dollars it now costs to launch a pound of payload into space using chemical reaction engine propulsion?
Although this is proving to be a sociopolitically unacceptable idea, since it would involve major changes in where and how people live. But dare to think about becoming responsible for life, do your best to think about the possibility of restoring our ecosystem's health while also greatly expanding civilization into a comfortable livingplace. Come see for yourself....
What is Technological Inspiration? It is conceptual seed which can inspire new technological designs.
Here are some conceptual seeds for your technological designs:
Conceptual Design Synthesis - Space Transportation Technology Conceptual Seeds - Large Scale Space Colonization Technology Conceptual Seeds - Ground Commute Technology Conceptual Seeds - Space Transportation and Colonization Concepts
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Honoring the past
listing one's achievements - favorite sayings - my employment history- volunteer work done - a technician's patent - interesting electricity in 1752
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Tuning up the human being
artificial REM sleep - positive affirmations - recycling emotional energy- Clark's Zapper technology - healing by spontaneous dance - wellbeing assisted electrically - Cilantro chelation research - Air Cleaning Houseplants- Could grow a house
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experiential viewpoints - Another four-function experientiality diagram - kinesiology - psychosynthesis subpersonality confederacies - kinesiological goal balancing - Could Life Be Better? - links to some great holistic sites -
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surviving as a pawn of big business - saving civilization and the planetary ecosystem - What's the pgsf?
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The Inscribe creative writing process - A New Kind of Space Program - Our Gifts - Some of my favorite quotes - "Magnetic Footprints": an experimental technological poem - Regenerative Experientiality - A snapshot writing process- An Inspirational Technology - Model Theory Imaginative Knowing and Being
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Space Transportation and Colonization Concepts
The Mooncable: Gravitational Electric Siphon in Space - Long transportation structures in space - Centristation - Energy-strengthened structures bkgnd: R Hyde's Starbridge concept - Kinetic Energy Supported Electrically Powered Transportation Structures - Clarke Belt Orbiting Habitat Ring - The theoretical very low energy cost to space - Momentum transfer transportation technology - KESTS to OHR - 2-body skyhook - My testimony to the National Commission on Space - List of my space technology files in the GEnie network Space and Science Library - KESTS to OHR Business
We can use the equation for the universal law of gravitation to calculate the force of gravity at the altitude of synchronous orbit, 22,300 miles above the equator. Knowing that something in that synchronous Earth orbit travels around at the same angular rate as does the planet, taking 24 hours a day to go around once, an object in GEO traverses the circumference of the circle in that 24 hours. Dividing that circumference by the 24 hour day rotation, we calculate the orbital velocity there in GEO. Knowing the force of gravity at GEO altitude above Earth, it is the centrepetal force of an object orbiting in GEO, so we can find another way to calculate the orbital velocity in GEO. We can use the Arthur C. Clarke -described equivalency for determining how much energy it takes to lift mass from the Earth surface to distant space, and then calculate that this is the same energy it takes to accelerate the mass to escape velocity. We can use the same equivalency to calculate the energy from GEO to far distant space, subtract this from the energy to lift from the ground to far distant space, thus the energy needed to go from the ground to GEO. And we can calculate this energy again in a different way, again using the universal law of gravitation, integrating it between the ground and GEO. Then consider the energy of the velocity at the equator and at GEO, to find the overall theoretical energy needed to move from the Earth equator to GEO, the Clarke Belt. The cost of this energy, at contemporary cost of electrical power, is surprisingly small... 7.15 KW-hr, at an electrical cost of 10 cents per kilowatt hour.... average electrical rate cost to light a bulb in an American home... makes the theoretical electrical energy cost from the equator to GEO, of a mere 72 cents per pound lifted from the equator up to GEO. Check over these linked calculations yourself.
Some relatively easy calculations can provide some numbers for starting points for transportation calculations between the Earth surface and space
Just as taking a flight in an airliner costs more than just for the fuel energy to make the trip, so would the actual cost for electrically powered transportation between the earth and GEO. The cost of the development of the airplane, even of aviation leading up to it, the construction of the aircraft, its maintenance, the cost of those who operate and fly it for you... all this adds to the cost of each individualÕs trip in the airplane. An interesting form of electrically powered transportation from the ground to GEO, called KESTS (Kinetic Energy Supported Transportation Structures) is basically an electrical motor; electrical motors can be built for over 80 percent efficiency. But this motor must not only lift vehicles to GEO from the ground, it must also support its own weight and swing itself around with the planets 24 hour a day rotation. Explore more on the subject of KESTS and the potential for enabling large scale space colonization in GEO, even in the near future if mankind were to devote itself to the task.
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More about me
My Holistic Interests - about me - my achievements- family and friends - man needs woman - employment history - Volunteering - What's life really like for me now, you ask?
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What are your first thoughts about this stuff??
Passionate Joy! and Blissful Peace to You.
Thanks to Don Watson for permission to start writing this page with his source code! See his all-encompassing theories about the important concept of Enformy at http://www.sunflower.com/~dewatson/
This page by
James Edward David Cline; updated on 2000 05 07, from Glendale, CA.
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Copyright © 2000 James E. D. Cline