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To understand living in space, study how you'd do it. If you believe living in space is simply not doable, search for what reality makes it so (not to be confused with the difficulties of getting there). You won't find any: space is basically, just another place. The following materials provide an organized introduction to the topic of living in space.
I begin this Set1 file with an over view about settlements locations and their pressure shells architectures and then go on to discussion of a few central subtopics within that over view. The following files, Set2 -- Set4, look at the lifespaces within those shells; at the social and business ecologies that keep Settlements life going Out There; and at the people there.
This file of text with line images included, approximates my Settlement Design Workshop that I do at Conventions. I invite you to understand what a settlement in space might be like by outlining topics to design one. I encourage you to have writing materials at hand. Notes directly from my talk aren't needed: those materials are in this file. Rather, your writing materials are a place to begin to design your Settlement.
Today's challenge is simple and basic. It is, for you to walk out of here with paperwork in hand that could begin the construction off-Terra of a place for some of us humans to live there. The paperwork by you. For this, I'm compressing bookfuls of information and knowhow into a skinny hour, i.e., about 50 min. What gets left out is, in fact, practically everything. But enough is here for you to begin an experience that could become a career, if Washington can forego its wars and dark corruptions, and turn to a badly needed constructive approach to the future.
My text here includes an annotated References section placed at the end of this file. This References section begins with a few pointers to resources I feel are necessary. These necessary References include a book about space suit design; and works by Robert Zubrin and Frederick Turner. After these, in my References, I move on to an alphabetical listing of other resources.
That I don't mention an engineering education and its components here, is because that depends upon practical details of what you can find and how you access it. If you'll actually do anything in Settlements architecture, then you need an engineering education to the Bachelors level, or its equivalent; some graduate work, and (this is very necessary) a great deal of social interaction with others whose education and work parallel and support your own. This universe is an immense, empty, and lonely place, but Settlements Architecture is not a career for loners and hermits.
Do you feel this topic might be not for you, beyond your reach? I've a suggestion. Remember Bacon's rule, "Truth will sooner out from error than from ignorance." Use the work I outline here to develop some of your ideas onto paper where you can see what they amount to, and improve them. After that, evaluate again and I think you'll find you've gone up in your self evaluation.
Today's conservative American culture wants you to feel, "I can't do that," and to deliberately set aside any ideas that aren't TV and mainstream. (I.e., "badthink.") The social consequences of this are, over time, regrettable in the Klingon sense (but that's off-topic here). You do want to understand something of today's American culture, but you don't have to follow all its prescriptions for your life. You can think about Settlements Architecture. In fact, you can start serious work with nothing beyond good-one-side paper and a pen to write on it.
That work begins now. Do throw aside limits set upon you by yourself or by others, and move on with your work. Ready ...Go! What will be the name of your Settlement? Where will you place it in (or near) our local Solar System?
My presentation here is not complete, not authoritative. I've never been Out There; I am not (at this time) working at a project directed to going Out There. Your best use of my following materials is to use them as an organized starting point. Go on from there to re-organize and develop (much further) what I have here.
I think if my topics were completely out of your world, you wouldn't be here. Today's work for you to do is to suspend for the next hour, your usual idea of who you are. For now, you're an engineer and architect designing a Settlement ... for real ... Out There! Inside Mercury's orbit, even, or beyond the Oort cloud.
Now grab up right now what you know today, and let's move along. Work through the following for real, as real as you are able. You don't need to keep notes on what I say. It's all in my personal Web pages. But if what I say intimidates you, how do you deal with that?
After all, you're only working on paper. Your most severe judge is yourself. Listen to that judge, but do not let your inner judge become so severe you step away from the work. You can do this!
For this talk you want an unruled composition book (if you can find one); but there is little calculator and arithmetic work here. Work through the following, and you will come out with some idea of the bases you must touch to accomplish an actual space settlement. My treatment goes deep enough for a fiction writer to imagine a site for a story; or for someone new to the idea, to see that settlements in space are simply engineering and no magical nor theological implications. But I need to put a warning here.
The warning is, space is immense and unforgiving. Most of space is nearly perfect vacuum and anything in it wants to cool to near absolute zero or warm to hundreds to millions of degrees. This kind of thing is totally life hostile. However, it's nothing a little good engineering cannot cope with. In space, you are required to know the rules and engineering. It's entirely human doable. But if you ignore "all that stuff," if you believe "somebody out there" watches out for you, then you're an early goner.
Engineers may realize dreams, but they work with real, exists-today technology. Stay away from gee-whiz like nanotech and robotics. These will be useful someday but be warned: they are a distraction today. So don't do that! Rather, use the past; use simplicity and common sense; use matured and proven resources. Use what is developed and proven now.
What should space stuff be like? Accessible! Even if your hands are inside spacesuit gloves. Large and simple. Like you'd see on an old sailing ship. I think there's a great future in space for 1890's Victorian technology. Their riveted sheet-iron boilers; their big slow Stirling engines, DC dynamos, and all of that. Victorian chemistry, even?
Finally, I must mention a topic that is not engineering at all, but it looks like engineering. Namely: artists conceptions. Do look around for some of those. When you find one, study it in light of what you know about designing a space settlement. Remind yourself the artist's purpose is to make a work and get paid for it. He is not picturing a place where he's going to work and live. He has no need to picture a viable design. He must picture something he can sell. This imagery is all around in Popular Science Magazine among others, and in impressive productions from space businesses raising money. However, the artist with his whole different perceptions of the work, is very likely to come up with something you can find use for. Just don't confuse it with engineering.
For a recent good example, see the 2008 January issue of Popular Science Magazine, pages 28 and 29. Then work thru the following to design one or two Settlements. It will prime your mind. After that, review the PS image again, and what do you see there that you might choose to do differently?
Any project begins best with an over-view of what you are working to accomplish. This over-view can be a pencil scribble on brown paper. It should not be complex. I've seen beginnings of works that wound up fetching their authors Nobel Prizes. Those beginnings looked nearly meaningless, but then someone went on from there. You can do that too. Here is my over-view of what a Settlement design wants to be:
Now, that's the Big Picture. I'm starting with this, I'll talk about it, and I'll finish with it. Here are the top-level topics you want to think about as you choose your settlement design details. When you have touched all these bases, you'll have a complete idea.
The order in which these key elements appear in my talk, is not the order you must use when designing your settlement. I do these subtopics in an order that works out for my talk.
There's no place like Terra, space is different. It has some very hostile elements in it, some of which will certainly arrive here sooner or later; and then things will change a lot here. There are no dinosaurs today because they didn't have a space program. We need not repeat their error, we must not; so there's a reason for the space settlement you are about to design.
Now let's scout over this once quickly. Then we can go back and look at the pieces, one by one. That's where you'll be filling in details for your own Settlement plan.
Around the outside here we have our three W's. Get those wrong: your Settlement fails. Watts, Water, and Work. Watts to run all your machines and your life space; Water for life and necessary support and industrial processes; Work that provides the purpose and the dynamics that keep your Settlement alive. Without these, your Settlement will fail.
Within that primary economic environment, you have a border, a margin: a shell. It keeps cold hard space out; it keeps your warm lifespace in. (There is a basic here that you may need to work at to get it under your skin: no shell, no life.)
Within that shell is your home, I mean, your lifespace. Your air, water, warmth, people, social organization; it's where you sleep at night, it's your office where you see to the business of your settlement's life. It's where you take a shower. It's where (someday) your children are born and grow up. All that stuff.
Now I want to say something about your industrial base. Take a deep breath, and hold it while I talk. Now, I was talking about 'industrial base.' You still holding your breath? Feeling a little pressed, maybe? Well, when you're off Terra, your industrial base is as necessary there as breathing is here, and for about the same reason. If you're still holding your breath, do start breathing now: I've made my point.
Your 'life support' is part of your industrial base, but different too. Because your life support provides the air that you breathe; the water that you drink; it recycles your organic wastes into usable air, food, and water again: you can see, that's different from the machines that make your Hab walls, that fly you from here to there and back, and all.
And finally, 'social systems.' As few as two people make a social system, and they have to learn how to make it work. There's a local institution, it's often called 'marriage.' In space, where all lifespace must be sealed and it is built on a principle of economy, beware social diesel. Compression ignition. In runaway, it will kill your settlement. Later on, I'll advocate for social workers in space. Stopping social diesel is what the social workers are for there. They will be required for good planning; they will be required on site.
So that's our overall view, and through my talk and your design work, we'll be holding that in mind. That is because every detail must fit in the Settlement's overall design. So you want to check back, check back, do that overall view, frequently. Now, let's examine detail.
From about Venus orbit out to Jupiter or the Belt, we have a region where Sol's heat is most compatible with water based life. This is our local 'Life Zone,' and it's interesting that some astronomers see our galaxy, too, as having a life zone.
Now you choose where your Settlement is, if you haven't done that already. If you choose exotic, like inside Mercury's orbit or outside the Oort cloud, I'm ok with that. However, I think that for a first learning experience, somewhere in the local Life Zone is probably the better choice. Once you get the hang of this Settlement architecture topic, then is a good time to reach for farther challenge.
In the mean time, whatever location you choose, then go with it. If you've settled on a more difficult location, you get more difficult problems. While you're working here on paper, you can cope. Go where your logic and engineering take you, see what problems you run into and what answers you find for them.
On a planetary body, or orbiting freely? The problem with a freely orbiting settlement, like the ISS, is you have nothing there you don't bring there. That gets expensive, quick. If you are on a planetary body, and I include asteroids and comets as planetary bodies, you can get water and carbon and metals and all sorts of stuff right out of the ground there. You're going to be mining anyway, since you want to install your lifespaces with some serious mass between their interiors and the solar and cosmic radiations out there.
If you place your Settlement on Mars, there's a problem about that. Today, nobody knows how to get anything larger than the Phoenix lander down onto Mars at low cost. Mars atmosphere is too thick to ignore, too thin to slow your heavy freight vehicle from interplanetary travel speed if you want to bring in a lot of mass. (For example, seed machinery to begin building your new Martian industrial base.) Rocket braking, a liftoff in reverse, is doable but costly. If you're inclined to serious work on a Mars settlement, then fire up your search systems and scout cyberspace for Mars landing technology. There are some ideas how to do it -- a space elevator seems particularly good for Mars but it's not there now. So a settlement on Mars comes with a serious extra engineering challenge.
If you build your Settlement in orbit, do you want a Trojan orbit, or an independent solar orbit? George O. Smith placed his communication relay station, Venus Equilateral, into a Venus trojan. (I admired Smith's work, back in the late 1940's. If you want to begin a plan to make it real, that's fine with me.)
Whatever location you choose for your Settlement, you can choose another location for your next design project cycle.
OK, you have a place for your settlement. Now let's do some nitty gritty.
In Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, Wilkins Micawber outlines to young Copperfield a management plan of great general utility. The Settlement you are designing will exist within an environment of extremes; this environment will share important aspects with a thermos bottle.
Now, why am I talking about thermos bottles when my topic is space settlements? It's because space is different. Here on Terra you rely upon conduction, convection, and radiation to receive and remove heat. These three mechanisms, conduction, convection, and radiation, are in fact the three basic mechanisms by which heat moves. (Well, moving hot water or steam moves heat, but that's outside the current discourse.)
But then Dewar invented the Dewar flask, which is the original name for a thermos bottle. With no air between the inner and outer surfaces no heat is moved from inside to outside by conduction or convection. The surfaces being silvered, very little heat moves by radiation. So the thermos bottle is ideal for keeping something warm or cool.
But what if heat can get in, but not out? At a recent MIT flea market, I saw some odd thermos bottles: the outer later was unsilvered, and the inner layer was coated flat black. Why? Because with a thing like that, solar heat can pass to the inside black layer and it stays there. You can set one of these things out in the sunlight and it will boil water. It's usable as a solar cooker. In its place, this scheme could be very useful. In a settlement off-Terra, it's not.
That's because everything that goes on in the Settlement releases heat. This heat cannot get out by conduction or convection (no air) nor by radiation (too warm for you is still too cool for that).
The Micawber Theorem is relentless, but modern technology offers a solution. To discard excess heat, you pump it out, somehow.
Your settlement requires heat pumps and something, probably radiators, to dispose of the heat you pump out to them. Then you run the heat exhaust pumps some of the time, as needed. On and off, it's called 'dithering.' But first, where do you get those watts from, when you're out there in space?
Energy is to your settlement like your blood is to you. This will usually be electric energy; but we have already been thinking about heat energy. When I talk about energy, I'll consistently talk about its quantity in watts, where one watt is one volt-ampere per second or one joule per second.
Just as a matter of slightly irrelevant interest, what's the Space Shuttle's energy production when it lifts off? Its three SSME's run about 4.89 GW per each for 15,000 megawatts total (Thanks, W.M.). No wonder it makes a lot of noise when it lifts off.
Your Settlement will run on a much smaller wattage. I've heard a few numbers around and I think that for openers, you want to think of around 100 Kw, at least half of this expended within your Settlement shell. So now I'm going to say a few things about where you get those watts from.
1) Solar. Use the sun. You can do this as far out as Pluto, if you can deploy really big concentrator mirrors. I think solar cells win for watts per kilogram of mass; but the Stirling engine is good over the long run.
2) Nuclear fission. There seem to be ideas around for nuclear power plants, up to 100 kW or so, that can run unattended for 30 years. I'll come back to that '100 kW.'
3) Geological heat. Not available everywhere, but there are regions on Mars and on Luna which may offer usable amounts of geological heat.
Now, unlike down on Terra, in space you must regulate your watts out as carefully as your watts in, or Thermos Bottle Effect will get you. I.e., your lifespace will get hotter and hotter, or colder and colder, until something breaks. To get that just-right temperature level you need, you must have machinery to make it happen for you.
Now, about waste heat. If your settlement wants 50 kW in, it discards 50 kW out. Simple. So how do you unload 50 kW waste heat, from your lifespace temperature, out into space?
1) Boil off water as heat.
2) Dissipate heat as thermal radiation.
3) Dump it into the ground.
4) Maybe you can get energy from this waste heat, since you're dumping it from a (relatively) hot environment into a colder one.
Choose what systems provide your electric power; what systems dispose of your waste heat.
Now let's work on Water. xx% of you is water; some industrial processes use water; your garden that provides food and oxygen requires water; don't even think of having a baby and raising it to adult without lots of water in your tiny Settlement space; water provides a generic i.e., probably necessary reaction mass for your rocket propulsion system. Where do you get water?
1) If you're on Luna, you probably import your water. Nobody to date can point to water on Luna, which is a pretty good sign it isn't there. The cost of cooking ppm's of water from shaded regolith will not compete with importing it from asteroids or Terra. But the cost will kill you so you'll be a champion water recycler.
2) If you're on Mars, there's good indication of large amounts of water under the surface. And maybe not very far under. However, this water is thought to be a strong brine as it comes up in its natural form: it will want refining.
3) If you're on an asteroid, there may be lots of water there already, as ice. You principally need to mine it out and refine it.
4) Recycling! In space, you will always recycle your water in a 100% closed loop. That is because water is too scarce to discard; and because waste water will usually carry needed recyclable organic materials.
Devise a water management plan that is plausible for the place you've chosen for your Settlement. Off Terra, recycling will always cost less than finding new water.
Now we come to the point where artists conceptions get vague. They picture settlements but all you see people doing there is moving dirt and tractors around. Not evident in the picture is, what do the people there do there? What is the economic reason that settlement is a settlement and will survive there for a long time?
A popular Work topic is, tourism. I don't warm up to this: tourists come -- and they go. Another popular topic is Research. Astronomy technology here on Terra has made great strides lately, in how to look up through a turbulent and hazy atmosphere and identify detail. Not mentioned so often, is however good the technology is here on Terra, it will work simpler and better in space. Space is the natural region to explore space from. Terra, isn't. Further, the largest telescope arrays we can make here on Terra, will be miniature compared to what we can do in space.
The problem with astronomy is, have you bought a can of astronomy lately? Have you furnished your livingroom or your library with an astronomy? Astronomy is centrally valuable because it studies this universe we live in. We want to study astronomy against the certainty that sooner or later, some of it will come to call; and we'd better be ready. But astronomy is not a marketable product, not to most people. People who live in space will certainly take a more lively view of it than we do here; but they aren't there yet. I do not see astronomy as something that keeps many Settlements alive.
I have some other ideas about Work, but I'm leaving this tough matter up to you. What is the Work that happens in your Settlement? That keeps it alive and healthy over at least a couple of centuries?This finishes treatment of the three core basics your Settlement must acknowledge and meet.
Your settlement requires a shell to keep your lifespace air and water in; and space out. Bigelow's expandable space-hotel structures are based upon fabrics, but Bigelow's structures don't look to me buildable from a simple industrial base.
I have seen some very nice looking masonry structures; but I don't feel confident in masonry in space. I propose my 'pickle jar test.'
Take a small jar of pickles, and a can of soup or evaporated milk. Stand on a concrete floor and drop these simultaneously from shoulder height. Observe the consequences, and understand why I think masonry is not suited to building off-Terra lifespaces.
I think the remaining candidate, metal, is really pretty good. Soft iron can absorb a lot of deformation; you can assemble by rivets or welding. The old Victorian technology. I think sheet iron is the way to go. Iron carbonyl technology seems to offer a method to make soft sheet iron, flat and curved, at moderate energy use and without a rolling mill.
I'm going no further with this shell topic: you'll have to guess or choose your own way on that. So now we come to ... what's in the shell, the lifespace. What's it like in there?
I've noticed a tendency in settlement proposals, to make the place look like an upper-class leisure resort. I think you want to look at old pictures of frontier settlements. Also, see the movie, Outland.
This lifespaces parameters outline gives you complete freedom as to how you make it exist. How do you do that? You do it from your industrial base.
This is the first of your Settlement's three major systems. There are places on Terra where a knowledgeable person can find food for the taking: no farming, no commercial systems. Just pick it up. That will not happen around your Settlement: Everything there will be made of very basic materials found in space, refined, processed or gardened, and used. The food, the water, the shelter, even the people!
The system where this all happens, is your industrial base.
We start with the industrial base, because without that, we have nothing.
If someone says at this point, "But your life systems are part of your industrial base," I'll agree with that. However, if you will just sit there and hold your breath for about two minutes, I think you will quickly believe life systems are a related but another topic.
Subset of industrial base, but for specific purpose of life. Recycling is a part of this.
How many people must you put into your Settlement to have a social system? Answer: one. More people will give you more complexity. Thus the first reason you need to think about social systems is that your Settlement will contain several to many social systems, with an overlying system you will think of as "the" social system there. What will be the character of this overall social system?
You need to think about your Settlement's social system, because even before economics, the social system is your most vulnerable point. A military submarine with its military hierarchy is not a good social system model because it must function only for several months max at a time; and then the people in it are allowed to "escape" and decompress for a time. (They call it "leave.") In a permanent space settlement, there isn't that option; there isn't even a particularly good option to go out and take a walk.
It's easy to observe that a small number of people in a large room, interact very differently from those same people at a small table or in a much smaller room. Now take this observation out into space where there is no lifespace except within the shell that holds the atmosphere in. I call the result 'compression ignition,' diesel effect; and it's something you want to think about for your Settlement design.
For this reason, as soon as you have progressed beyond the beginning of any serious work, you want to scout around and find social-work support. A social worker. Not a psychologist, nor a psychiatrist, nor any such professional with just one string to his bow. A social worker, because social workers are the people who work on the front lines of a world you have probably never seen. And since that is the reality you'll have in your Settlement, it's a real good idea to bring in someone early on, who knows of such things.
I think this "small" detail is, in fact, central to the survival of Settlements off-Terra. To send out some "professional"is like sending a really good academic expert in military history to manage an active battle front. He's not prepared to cope with such complex dynamic real-time processes with serious consequences. In a very parallel way, the social worker's expertise is exactly with intense realities usually involving groups of people, often of various cultural sorts. In a difficult environment. Over the short run we may see some Settlements with social workers and some without. Over the long run, we will see Settlements with social workers.
Where you have people, you have social systems. Here on Terra you can cope with things by getting out and taking a walk. Off Terra, the same shell that holds your lifespace sets a hard social limit on space. We cannot wait for things to evolve in that environment. We must think it through as best we can, in advance. Somehow, the social systems we have in a space settlement, must help the people in it to cope with this kind of life. This is one of those areas where Zubrin's analog research projects are likely to pay off.
Historically, lots of social systems. Those without feedback seem to decay more quickly than those with feedback. For this reason, I view developments in Washington with some dismay. America is based upon some good ideas, but I must stay on topic here.
Bring in social workers at the end of this section.
Designing a settlement to go off-Terra and survive there, is a very large challenge. You can break it down and work at the parts, one by one; partialize and prioritize. Here is my Overview diagram again.
When you've worked thru these design topics as I've outlined them, it's good to graphically summarize your ideas into your own Overview. Yours might be like the one I started with -- here it is again -- but I suggest a larger piece of paper and more detail and notes on it. You need your Overview to see your design project as a whole.
As you work, my original will grow and become your own. And who knows: maybe someday you will stand somewhere far from here, looking at something you imagined today, and over decades, it became real.
If you've outlined your new space settlement plan during my talk, that's great. Over the next few days, fill in moderate detail and save questions that occur to you into your Workbook.
A sort of 90/10 rule applies here. You get 90% of the good from your architectural design experience, in the first 10% of the time you spend working at it. Don't get compulsive, Do Not force yourself to always completely finish your plan. Rather, build it up to a rough completeness and then go on to make a new plan, saving your old for reference later. When you have gained enough practical experience, you can develop more detail to your plan, but I think that by the time you are there, you will believe such a project that is done in any large way, wants to be done by a group not a single person working alone.
Meanwhile, whatever you may have Got Wrong in your project, there will always be something you Got Right in there and you'll want it later. So save old work, manila folders are very good,
Finally, a word about working on a computer. Actually, you work in the computer, and when you finish for the day and step away from the machine, your work in it seems to vanish. Not a trace. You can lose things that way. The remedy is in two parts:
The first part is to analyze your work, break it down into several loosely defined projects. Then, although you're using a computer which can remember all that stuff, make up a manila folder for each of your projects. Do this always. Always!
Then save related notes and materials into that manila folder. Included in those notes is a list of pointers or addresses. These show where is every node that has some of your project in it. Every! Actually, you'll probably only need three or four nodes; if you find you have developed a long list of nodes, you probably can reduce it by organizing your stuff into small trees.
And when you've done that, backup your files and keep your backups off-site somewhere.
This finishes the talk part of my hour here.
The remaining minutes are used for questions & answers, leaving people time to get to next event.
Settlements architecture is a large topic. It's well fitted to semesters of graduate work. As I sweep across this topic in my one hour talk, I omit nearly all reference to intellectual resources. Here is an annotated list of a few deep-core resources that I think want study by anyone who begins to feel serious about the topic.
The following books require serious reading by anyone who wants to think to any useful effect about human settlements in space. Anyone off Terra will find that space is different from here. Children grown to adults in that environment will understand it well; us people down here on Terra must learn about it by reading about it. That reading is necessary to do.
That's because to engineer a thing, a machine, an environment, you need hard engineering knowledge and information. A second reason is entirely as compelling.
Namely, us humans are dreamers. We look to the future to be better than now. Thinking about the space environment, we easily imagine that yes, it's different, and it's better than here. Easier in significant ways, and all that. Which is, in fact, a self-deception upon the dreamer. Those studying human character call this inner process "projection;" a placing something inside the self as part (or all) of something outside the self. A helpful antidote to this projection problem, is a close and immediate knowledge of the following resource materials.
Harris, Gary L., The Origins and Technology of the Advanced Extravehicular Space Suit. American Astronautical Society, 2001. Suggested supplier: Univelt, Inc., P.O. Box 28130, San Diego, CA 92198.
Gary Harris writes from very close to his topic so when you study his text, you're In There, not away outside looking from some distance at a topic. Anyone with a little engineer in her won't easily set this book down again after opening it.
My second reason for recommending this book is, off Terra, you're going nowhere without first installing yourself into a space suit or into something that can pass for one short-term. And once you're in your space suit, it's an excellent working model of that larger thing that concerns you intensely once you're off Terra: the lifespace where you can peel off the hardware, sit there in shorts and a top, and participate in all the usual human activities with and without the company of others. The space suit, like a hab, requires power, requires appropriate reckoning of heat and cold; etc and etc including a plan early-on for how to deal with natural body wastes.
Is a hab an oversize and specialized space suit? Is a space suit an undersize and specialized hab? Answer: both are true, and Harris is where you want to start. That's why this entry is at the top of the list, disregardless of tidy alphabetical ordering. Lane, Helen; Richard Sauaer, Daniel Feeback, Isolation, NASA Experiments in Closed-Environment Living. American Astronomical Society, 2002. Suggested supplier: Univelt, Inc., P.O. Box 28130, San Diego, CA 92198.
I've taken exception elsewhere in Adra, about NASA not doing analog experimental research to study how humans can live off-Terra. This in fact, isn't quite true, and here is a book outlining some useful work NASA has actually done. Like Harris (above), this book is a necessary component of a working library for whoever wants to think about off-Terra human settlements.
Frederick Jackson Turner, about 1893. Here are two options among many to find Turner's seminal paper about the frontier in American history. Namely, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/turner/, and, http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/225turner.html.
Turner's Frontier paper, in its time, opened a new academic field of frontier studies. Some academicians disagree with Turner's thinking, but if you're designing an off-Terra settlement, then read Turner. You need some over-view of frontier character, and frontier is what space is today (when people get there). As you read Turner, translate his scheme for frontier development into that future that has not happened yet. I expect you'll be very surprised how well this translation works. And, of course, the translation will prove very helpful as you think about how things will go in that future.
Robert Zubrin with Richard Wagner, The Case For Mars. Paperback. Simon & Schuster Touchstone, 1996. ISBN 0-684-83550-9. LC QB641.Z83.
Zubrin is a genuine prophet today. He sees what the future could be. I admire beyond words his persistence at a theme too many people, especially in Washington, refuse to hear. (Rant suppressed.) Whoever thinks today's fumbling and erratic NASA efforts are modern and visionary, wants to go read Zubrin. (Which information had developed for some years before Zubrin wrote this book. If you believe we are thinking about the future, well, that's not wholly true. Amazingly much of this topic is history that was set aside and trashed. For what?)
Outland. 1981. Video, starring Sean Connery, The story takes place on one of Jupiter's moons. Jupiter being about 5.2 au from Sol, vs Terra at 1.0 au from Sol. Meaning, our solar constant of about 1400 watts/m^2, becomes about 52 watts/m^2. Thus one may view the gardens there with a slight skeptisim. However, the character of the mining station and of the people there, offer great utility and imagery for anyone thinking to design something comparable.
Private communication from Martha Adams. The following are a few design notes from thinking about Settlement architecture.
 Machinery for the settlement, its industrial base, must be built up from components that are simple, large, and robust. If you need watchmakers tools to maintain your stuff, then for practical purposes you're dead. This is one of the reasons why anyone looking at settlement design, wants a practical familiarity with Victorian technology.
 The basic Settlement unit is the single Hab, a node. It is sized to support about 120 people max. As the Settlement develops, several of these nodes, their tops about 2 meters under the surface, are set out in a hexagonal pattern. A node usually has 3 or 4 tunnels out to adjacent nodes, each tunnel with air doors that close with pressure on the hab side.
 Assume 27 m^3 per person. Then, 3240 m^3 required. If dia = height, then unit dimension is about 52 ft dia x 52 ft high. There is a central shaft 2 m dia, its volume thus is about 16 m long x 2 m dia, = 48 m^3.
 That's a little small. Go to r = 8.5 m; V -> 3856 m^3; the central shaft volume -> 53 m^3.
 The shell could be made of soft iron. (Does soft iron become brittle at cryogenic temperatures?) How much iron to make this shell? It works out to about 121 tons (2000 lb/ton). That's a lot of iron. I have an idea for an iron plate maker that uses iron carbonyl technology. You cannot import a rolling mill with its power source from Terra. If not carbonyl, then, what?
 There will be a lot of internal framing and floors and etc, which uses up volume. Thus, maybe go to r = 9 m? Gives 59 feet dia x 59 feet high.
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