Question Construction in orbit

Page 4 - Seeking answers about space? Join the Space community: the premier source of space exploration, innovation, and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
Apr 28, 2021
7
7
15
The question to me is more of Construction vs Assembly in orbit.

I'm of a mixed opinion on construction in orbit. In the short term, the idea of construction in orbit is problematic. I own a small property out in the middle of nowhere. To me building a house on my property is much like trying to build something in orbit. Out in the boonies, every step of building the house was difficult. Planning was far more important, as one missing part delayed construction by days ( even worse delayed until the next trip out there, since I didn't live there). The same would be true for construction in space. There's no Wal-Mart or Home Depot around the corner so small mistakes would be costly to the construction timetable.

So my answer is until we have a presence in space, assembly in orbit is the way to go. The larger the pieces we can send to orbit prebuilt the easier the process will be. Starship will help by allowing for larger pieces, but even after Starship is operational I think we will see many years of assembly in orbit before there is sufficient human presence in space to allow for construction to become more efficient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Clovis
Jan 29, 2020
136
10
1,585
At this point, we give up on aluminum because we take it out and fold it into the upholstery
I like sapphire as a ship hull better than carbon sp2 alternatives. Hopefully for ion probes if I learn university level design. I see the same getting started problem everyone has. With nanotech, I will use lasers to melt a sample. I need 12.5% of the sample to be usable (justify laser costs). I can use volatiles and aluminum for synthetic sapphire. I can melt up to 2000C. The remnants will be there for anyone to harvest. Others will need NEO asteroid assets to reach the 12.5% RoI. I might be able to capture it for the Cis Lunar system with Ion engines landing and docking from months-yrs away from Earth and closing. Laser spectroscopy and small drilled explosives seems the best ways to sample it for assay. Also, picking up pebbles. Maybe we need an manned assay infrastructure somewhere in the Cis Lunar system.
I will step up Ion probes and observatories next decade using nanotechnologies. I suggest we get started by capturing good NEOs. Past getting started, I can learn how to crack open the Niobium nuggets. Um, this stuff will be toxic to astronauts. From there for my interests, to raid Enceladus with ion engines to make VASIMRs near Saturn. I suggest Russia pick the outer system physics and China fit tech level to Mars to Uranus and one specialty is more useful to everyone else.
 
Last edited:

iconoclast

BANNED
Dec 3, 2021
66
14
35
Having established the idea, do you think it is helpful to go into the minutiae?

Cat :)
Well, the devil is in the details. What is the overhead of having a large crew with a lot of equipment. The ISS is more labor intensive but does not have the "big iron" for heavy assembly and is a $100 billion project of roughly the right magnitude, you can buy a lot of big rocket for that.
 
Aug 14, 2020
718
126
2,060
Stage one is as it has been, assembly in low Earth orbit, and stage two to come, on the Moon.

From there, stage three: Construction small (ships and multi-functional stations and facilities) and large (custom structured colonies) in Lagrange point orbital space using raw material resources from the Moon, near Earth asteroids, along with a salting as necessary of Earth elements. The one thing we do not want is bulk mass raw materials being brought and built up too close to Earth, especially not landed / dumped on Earth. And there will be no need of it. Money is a token of energy, and growing energies in space, especially including migration to space, means two growth frontiers, not one. It means growing wealth and activity at both ends of the pipelines, and at all points in between, of frontier opening (an opening system (if you notice the universe, as well as the spread and evolution of life on Earth (particularly mankind), an opening system -- an opening frontier system -- is inherently, intrinsically, a creatively energizing system at all points of it)).

Sheesh, what did I just say?! "An opening system -- an opening frontier system -- is inherently, intrinsically, a creatively energizing system at all points of it"!!! ("If you notice the universe"!!!)

This belongs in Cosmology as well as here.
 
Jan 29, 2020
136
10
1,585
Stage one is as it has been, assembly in low Earth orbit, and stage two to come, on the Moon.
From there, stage three: Construction small (ships and multi-functional stations and facilities) and large (custom structured colonies) in Lagrange point orbital space using raw material resources from the Moon, near Earth asteroids, along with a salting as necessary of Earth elements.
It is tricky to figure what will work. Doping ceramics turn covalent bonds into metallic ones, bypassing ionic on the continuum. A little oven is maybe better than an assay satellite.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY