Thursday, September 22, 2011

Asteroid to Habitat: The Transformation Begins

Credit: Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA under Creative Commons License

My blog post Saving the World From an Asteroid Strike  discusses the means for herding asteroids into orbit around Earth. This would be done using what I call “smart film” which, in reality, is a flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode film - basically the TV screen of the future. The latest CES had a 65" TV screen that rolls up "like wrapping paper".

This is only one scheme. There may be other ways to successfully change asteroid orbits so they wind up in orbit around Earth.

The Space Mirror Hack is another post where I introduce the technology of the inflatable, adjustable mirror in orbit around Earth. With it we can begin to go to work on that asteroid we have parked between the Earth and Moon; the one we've stripped all the goodies out like cobalt and palladium. We begin to melt down the rest of it. By focusing the power of several mirrors onto the asteroid, it is melted into a liquid form. In this state it assumes a spherical shape just like those globs of water or juice we see the astronauts snag from midair. A ceramic tube is then inserted into this molten mass, and gas is introduced to the center, inflating this mass like a glass blower would inflate a glass bauble. Ideally, a hollow sphere of rock is created with walls about six feet thick. This protects against even high-energy gamma rays. Now we must outfit this sphere, making it habitable. In a post called "The Space Egg" we explore one possibility for a functional space habitat.

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