Post by Dorothy J Heydt Post by James Nicoll Post by J. Clarke
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 19:22:58 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire Post by J. Clarke
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 17:57:55 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire Post by James Nicoll
Sorry to Crush Your Dreams, But We're Not Colonizing Space Anytime Soon
Post by J. Clarke Post by Lynn McGuire Post by J. Clarke Post by Lynn McGuire
All we need is a fuel source like the imaginary Squeezer*. Until then,
space is going to be for the ultra-rich.
* The Squeezer is the infinite compression / gravity less device from
John Varley's splendid _Red Thunder_ books.
Once the cost has been reduced to fuel and crew time it will get a lot
NASA never tried to make it cheap, they just bought and continue to
buy overpriced throwaways.
Ah, the participants will change from the ultra rich to the very rich ?
I just don't see a trip around the moon costing less than, $10 million a
SpaceX is shooting for 10 million all up for BFR. Not per person, per
launch. Capacity around 100 passengers.
Sounds way too low a cost for a single trip. I'll bet that I would barf
the entire time that we were in weightlessness.
The BFR has 40 cabins. That is 2.5 people per cabin for a one week trip
around the moon ??? I wonder if each cabin has a potty or if you just
wear a diaper.
I understand there's a sort of vacuum attachment.
Although in _2001_, there was the zero-G toilet, which (if you
were able to read the fine print, was a self-contained centrifuge
that imparted some illusion of gravity inside the toilet while in
use. It ended, "Please wait until spin has ended before
The movie and the book differ here. The movie, for comic effect, briefly
shows elaborate instructions describing equipment that functions
in free fall:
In the book, Clarke describes a system where the entire washroom rotates when
in use to provide enough centripetal acceleration for Earth-type fixtures to
function as they do on the Earth or moon:
A whole generation of research by heroic but unsung volunteers had gone into
the design of the washroom, and it was now considered to be more or less
foolproof. Floyd investigated it soon after free fall had begun. He found
himself in a little cubicle with all the fittings of an ordinary airline
toilet, but illuminated with a red light that was very harsh and unpleasant
to the eye. A notice printed in prominent letters announced: MOST IMPORTANT!
FOR YOUR OWN COMFORT, PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY!
Floyd sat down (one still tended to do so, even when weightless) and read
the notice several times. When he was sure that there had been no modifications
since his last trip, he pressed the START button.
Close at hand, an electric motor began to whirr, and Floyd felt himself moving.
As the notice advised him to do, he closed his eyes and waited. After a minute,
a bell chimed softly and he looked around.
The light had now changed to a soothing pinkish-white; but, more important, he
was under gravity again.
Only the faintest vibration revealed that it was a spurious gravity, caused by
the carrousel like spin of the whole toilet compartment. Floyd picked up a
piece of soap, and watched it drop in slow motion; he judged that the
centrifugal force was about a quarter of a normal gravity. But that was quite
enough; it would ensure that everything moved in the right direction, in the
one place where this mattered most.
He pressed the STOP FOR EXIT button, and closed his eyes again. Weight slowly
ebbed as the rotation ceased, the bell gave a double chime, and the red warning
light was back. The door was then locked in the right position to let him glide
out into the cabin, where he adhered as quickly as possible to the carpet. He
had long ago exhausted the novelty of weightlessness, and was grateful for the
Velcro slippers that allowed him to walk almost normally.