Freitag, 26. Januar 2018

Escape II-X... let’s get out of here...

(Pix: Escape II-X)
by Martin L. Reiter translated by Malte Forstat

>> but first you should read: There is just one way to go – we need to conquer space now – Deep Space Industries

Escape II-X is the logical conclusion of the project Escape II that sees taking over the universe as a long-term survival strategy. The concept is based on the same basic assumptions as Escape II, but this time it is not about attaining eternal life for the individual and spreading human DNA into space. Rather, based on considerations motivated by immediate present-day politics, E II-X is conceived as a non-abstract perspective for settling the human race in the observable universe.

The multigenerational space ship Escape II-X is 3.5 to 5 kilometers in length. Three cylindrical habitats revolve around a core element that houses engineering – humans cannot exist without gravity. There is room enough for approx. 10 to 15 thousand [root]humans, the habitats are separate, connected only through the zero-gravity core unit. This is necessary because it is to be expected that there will be violent conflicts among the spacers and it needs to be possible to ‘have a war’ without destroying vital hardware.

This ship of generations can only be built in stages. It begins with decades of construction in Earth orbit. In addition to sending material up from the Earth using conventional rocket systems, it would be prudent to develop a droid for gathering space junk. This would automatically search for space junk in low Earth orbit and add it to the production materiel of the orbiting Escape shipyard.

Construction will require a long time, but it does provide an opportunity for developing innovative technologies, for preparing generations of people for the journey and, most of all, for cleaning the Earth’s orbit in order to make it usable in the future. Given current developments of the space junk situation in low Earth orbit, motivated by market-driven and short-sighted considerations, it is to be feared that without the Escape shipyard, the Earth would be surrounded by a layer of junk that will render any further space exploration impossible.

Using space junk as a building material will help reduce the number of necessary transport flights from the surface of the earth and act as a driver of innovative for basic research into automation, process design and materials. Once the basic structure is complete, Escape II-X will be able to depart from Earth and start on its voyage into infinity. For the travelers themselves, this is the beginning of their new existence: They will never again return to Earth. The first few generations will be able to keep in touch with their home planet, but as the project progresses, the link will begin to ‘stretch out’ and, in the worst case, fail altogether.

But a few decades will yet go by before we can escape our solar system. Escape II-X is only the small beginning to a great adventure. This multi-generational ship is only a skeleton that accommodates a construction crew. This will eventually set down on an asteroid and reshape it into a viable space vehicle. Radiation, meteorites, gravitational anomalies are just some of the hazards that the curious traveler of the universe has to face. And to survive the regrettable inclination of nature to favor the totalitarian, additional reaction mass is required.

The Asteroid 433 Eros seems to have been made to be reshaped into a space ship. Escape II-X sets down in the crater Himeros that has a diameter of 10 kilometers. The asteroid makes a full revolution in five hours. In that time, the temperature fluctuates between 100 degrees Celsius on the sunny side to -150 degrees Celsius on the night side. This rock traveling in space has enough water on board – but angling for comets is also a viable alternative. Either way, a simple heat exchanger power plant, along with the obligatory thorium breeder reactor of the E II-X, will generate enough power to reshape Eros.

The major challenge will be attitude control and the propulsion of the asteroid ship. The space inhabitants, who have by now already been adapting to life in space over generations, will have to develop a propulsion system capable of moving a mass of 7.2 times 10 to the 15th kilograms. It is currently unclear if that would be a nuclear pulse drive or other ideas, such as ion wind pipes.

With the Eros propulsion system, Escape II-X will, after centuries in the making, be able to set off into infinite space. The descendants of the original crew will undergo physical and psychological changes. The initial crew will have had to overcome massive mental obstacles, whereas their descendants will know no other world and adapt to their environment.

Of course, this idea seems far-fetched in our highly reactionary early 21st century. However, under close scrutiny, it is a more real prospect than our common search-and-destroy idea of what we call civilization(s). Put another way: “Those not out of here by a few centuries from now only have themselves to blame.”

Wenn Angst und Bösartigkeit zur Vernunft wird, ist Widerstand Pflicht.

Rinks und Lechts - ist nicht die Frage.

Kritikdesign am Leben erhalten / Donate for Kritikdesign now:
Im Falle einer Überweisung bitte immer "Kritikdesign Spende" angeben - DANKE
Martin Reiter ... Berliner Volksbank
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