Space Manufacturing Facilities 2: Space Colonies
Proceedings of the Third Princeton/AIAA Conference on Space Manufacturing
May 9-12, 1977
Published by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- I. Transport: Rocketry and Trajectories
- II. Transport: Mass Drivers
- III. Material Resources
- IV. Industrial Operations in Space and Large Space Structures
- V. Human Factors
- VI. Products
- VII. Systems
- VIII. Social Systems Interactions
Space Solar Power — The Transportation Challenge. Hubert P. Davis, NASA Johnson Space Center.
Abstract: Within the next two years the Space Shuttle is scheduled to open a new era in the utilization of space for the benefit of humanity. New extraterrestrial roles for men and women as well as new types of space machines will then develop rapidly. As one possible future outgrowth of employing the orbital capability of the Shuttle, significant electrical power may be provided to the terrestrial power grid from a demonstration Solar Power Satellite (SPS). Later, placement of larger commercial stations may augment conventional energy sources at the rate of 10 million kilowatts of useful power output for each SPS placed in geosynchronous orbit. As the concept feasibility analyses of the SPS become more intense, the consequent scope of space transportation tasks are being determined. Of key importance in the 1980s will be the utilization of the Space Shuttle for development of the capability to construct in orbit lightweight structures having kilometer scale dimensions. This paper reviews the response to the challenges and opportunities of the SPS in the space transportation areas and shows that a clear pattern is emerging for the exploitation and growth of the Space Shuttle to fulfill the development and concept demonstration goals prerequisite to the commercial SPS. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Advanced Technology and Future Earth-Orbit Transportation Systems. Beverly Z. Henry and Charles H. Eldred, NASA Langley Research Center.
Abstract: Studies directed toward the identification and evaluation of technology developments which offer potential for high return on investment when applied to advanced transportation systems are summarized in this paper. Advanced technology is shown to be a key element in achieving improved economics in an expanded Earth-to-orbit transportation system supporting future space industrialization activities. Single-stage-to-orbit concepts, which 15 years ago seemed infeasible, are shown to be clearly within our grasp in the 1990s due to significant improvements occurring in applicable technologies. Near term investment in selected technology areas offers both a significant return on investment and exciting possibilities in both expanded capabilities and reduced cost. These effects have been studied in depth on winged SSTO vehicles with moderate payload. Future integrated transportation systems will require a mix of vehicle types, all of which can benefit from advanced technology. Examples of such effects are presented for two applications in the heavy lift category, both winged and ballistic types. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Propulsion Options for Orbital Transfers in Cislunar Space. J.P. Layton, Consultant.
Abstract: The requirements of candidate missions in cis-lunar space for orbital transfers during 1980 to 2000 time frame are reviewed. The various propulsion options that are available or in prospect during this period are presented and discussed and the vehicle applications are identified. Recommendations are made for the use of study and analysis methodologies leading to decisions for undertaking research, technology programs, and timely development of the required propulsion systems.
Trajectory Dynamics in the Earth-Moon System. Thomas A. Heppenheimer, Max Planck Institute.
Abstract: This paper constitutes a comprehensive overview of the main features of the dynamical problems associated with transport of lunar mass to a space colony via a catcher near the L2 libration point. A theoretical treatment is given for achromatic trajectories (those for which the arrival point is insensitive to launch errors), and a method is presented to find them. This method is used in the elliptic restricted three-body problem to generate maps of key parameters associated with mass-catching near L2. Catching strategies are considered, and equations are given for minimum-energy catcher maneuvering. The problem of optimal colony location is treated by consideration of operational aspects and of long-term numerical integrations via Cowell’s method, in a planar restricted four-body problem. Optimal colony inclination is estimated via the method of phase equilibria. It is concluded that a 2:1 or 5:2 resonant orbit is preferable over alternatives of 3:1 or 7:3 resonances, and is markedly superior to L5. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Mass Driver Theory and History. Frank Chilton, Science Applications, Inc.
Abstract: The mass driver as a linear electromagnetic machine is described in the context of its purpose for space industrialization. The basis and history of magnetic levitation and related linear machines that lead to natural design choices for the mass driver are reviewed. The double-sided-rectangular and coaxial geometries, which are the two most promising, are described along with their relevance to lunar mass drivers and mass driver engines. Some remarks are made on reliability and safety considerations essential to the design process. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Basic Coaxial Mass Driver Reference Design. Henry H. Kolm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Abstract: The reference design for a basic coaxial mass driver is developed to illustrate the principles and optimization procedures on the basis of numerical integration by programmable pocket calculators. The four inch caliber system uses a single-coil bucket and a single-phase propulsion track with discrete coils, separately energized by capacitors. An actual driver would use multiple-coil buckets and an oscillatory multi-phase drive system. Even the basic, table-top demonstration system should in principle be able to achieve accelerations in the 1,000 m/s2 range. Current densities of the order of 25 kA/cm2, continuously achievable only in superconductors, are carried by an ordinary aluminum bucket coil for a short period in order to demonstrate the calculated acceleration. Bucket current is supplied through contacts sliding along tubular guide rails. Ultimately the system can be lengthened and provided with a magnetically levitated, superconducting bucket to study levitation dynamics under quasi-steady-state conditions, and to approach lunar escape velocity in an evacuated tube. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Basic Coaxial Mass Driver Construction and Testing. Kevin Fine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Abstract: A basic coaxial mass driver has been constructed by a group of students to verify performance predictions in the acceleration range envisaged for the first lunar device. The bucket is guided by four copper tubes which also supply direct current excitation for its single aluminum coil, and is accelerated by twenty coaxial coils along a 2 m track, followed by a deceleration section. The coils are individually energized by electrolytic photoflash capacitors triggered by solid state switches on the basis of bucket position. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Mass-Driver Reaction Engine as Shuttle Upper Stage. Gerard K. O’Neill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Abstract: Optimization has been carried out on the design of a mass-driver intended for upgrading the Shuttle to geosynchronous and lunar-orbit capability. The machine (four to six Shuttle payloads) accelerates 2,100 tons/yr. of external tankage, in 14-gram segments, to exhaust velocities of 8,000-10,000 m/s. The resulting reaction force raises 1,700 tons/yr. of Shuttle payloads to high orbit, in two round trips. Exhaust velocity and thrust can be optimized for each mission segment. For a mission requiring an exhaust velocity of 8,000 m/s, or isp = 816 seconds, thrust is 560 new-tons, power is 2.9 megawatts, and efficiency is 75%. Total electrical component mass including power supplies (at 5 tons/megawatt) and waste-heat radiators (at 20 tons/ megawatt) is 89 tons. To insure that reaction mass does not constitute a hazard, segments may be in the form of powder, electrostatically dispersed after acceleration, and/or thrust may be vectored. This mass-driver reaction engine (MDRE) is usable for any large-payload slow-orbit freight mission, but applied to space manufacturing appears capable of reducing to 300 Shuttle/Shuttle derived flights the requirements for reaching 600,000 tons/yr. of manufacturing in space from non-terrestrial materials. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Lunar Materials for Construction of Space Manufacturing Facilities. David R. Criswell, Lunar Science Institute.
Abstract: Development of industrial operations in deep space would be prohibitively expensive if most of the construction and expendable masses had to be transported from earth. Use of lunar materials reduces the needed investments by a factor of 15 to 20. It is shown in this paper that judicious selection of lunar materials will allow one to obtain hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, helium and other specific elements critical to the support of life in large space habitats at relatively low costs and lower total investment even further. Necessary selection techniques and extraction schemes are outlined. In addition, tables are presented of the oxide and elemental abundances characteristic of the mare and highland regions of the moon which should be useful in evaluating what can be extracted from the lunar soils.
Demandite, Lunar Materials, and Space Industrialization. David R. Criswell, Lunar Science Institute.
Abstract: Terrestrial industry consumes a wide range of elements in producing the outputs which support and make industrial societies possible. “Demandite” is a conceptual or synthetic molecule which is composed of the weight fractions of the major elements consumed by industry. Demandite needed for mature industrial activities in space will differ from the terrestrial composition because solar energy must replace hydrocarbon-energy, lunar and asteroidal bulk compositions are different from mineral deposits on the earth, and the major bulk processing in space will be the creation of radiation shielding for human habitats to provide real estate in space complete with water, atmosphere and life-stock elements. Demandite cost may be dominated by earth to deep space transport cost of minor elemental constituents depleted in the lunar soils unless careful attention is given to substitution of materials, searches of the moon (polar regions) and asteroids for the depleted elements, and continuing lowering of earth to deep space transport costs.
Lunar Resource Surveys from Orbit. James R. Arnold, University of California, San Diego.
Abstract: The chemical composition of lunar soil and rocks is known now for nine surface sites, by analysis of returned samples. Three classes of silicate material, mare basalt, KREEP, and highland material (sometimes called ANT) have been identified as major components. Gamma-ray and X-ray instruments have mapped the Apollo 15 and 16 ground tracks for major elements, K, and Th. It is hoped that the Lunar Polar Orbiter will carry instruments capable of producing a chemical map of the entire moon. The most exciting possibility is that ice may exist in shadowed regions near the lunar pole. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Mineralogical Characterizations of Asteroid Surface Materials from Reflectance Spectroscopy: A Review. Michael J. Gaffey and Thomas B. McCord, University of Hawaii.
Abstract: The quality and quantity of asteroidal spectral reflectance data has increased rapidly in recent years. This data can be either (a) classified into spectral, polarization and/or albedo groups (e.g. ‘C’, ‘S’, etc.) which should tend to lump together grossly similar materials, or (b) interpreted utilizing laboratory and theoretical understanding of spectral features (e.g. absorption bands, continuum shape and slope) which are diagnostic of mineralogy or mineral chemistry. Mineral assemblages have been identified on asteroid surfaces which are comparable to most known meteorite types or which have undergone the types of processes (e.g. melting and differentiation) necessary to produce the meteoritic assemblages. The majority of Main Belt asteroids have surface materials similar to C2 (CM) chondritic assemblages (unleached clay minerals plus carbon — approximately 2.5% H2O and C by analogy to terrestrial meteorite specimens of this type). Metal-rich surface materials (30-90% nickel-iron metal) are relatively common on asteroids of the Inner Belt. The ordinary chondrites (2-20% metal plus mafic silicates, no significant H2O or C), which dominate the meteoritic flux reaching the Earth’s surface, are very rare or absent on Main Belt asteroids but appear common on the small asteroids which approach or cross the orbit of the Earth. The present interpretations of asteroidal spectra are not yet quantitative enough to permit the evaluation of specific asteroids as the sources bodies of particular meteorite specimens in terrestrial collections. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Mass Driver Retrievals of Earth-Approaching Asteroids. Brian O’Leary, Princeton University.
Abstract: Mass drivers can be designed to move Apollo and Amor asteroids at opportunities of low velocity increment to the vicinity of the Earth. The cost of transferring asteroids through a velocity interval, delta-v, of 3 km/sec by mass driver is in the range of tens of cents per kilogram amortized over 10 years, about ten times less than that required to retrieve lunar resources during the early phases of a program of space manufacturing. About 22 per cent of a 200-meter diameter (107 ton) asteroid could be transferred in high Earth orbit through a delta-v of 3km/sec by an automated 100 megawatt solar-powered mass driver in a period of five years for a cost of approximately $1 billion (aside from development costs). Estimates of the total investment of a space manufacturing program could perhaps be reduced twofold by using asteroidal instead of lunar resources; such a program could begin in the near future with minimal concurrent development if asteroidal search programs and mass driver development are immediately accelerated. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Lunar Resources and Their Utilization. William C. Phinney, NASA Johnson Space Center; David R. Criswell, Lunar Science Institute; K. Eric Drexler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and James Garmirian, Hope College.
Abstract: Lunar surface materials offer a source of raw materials for space processing to produce structural metals, oxygen, silicon, glass, and ceramic products. Significant differences exist, however, between lunar surface materials in the highlands and those in the maria. In the highlands the soil depth is at least an order of magnitude greater, Al: Fe is ten times greater, the content of plagioclase (CaAl2Si2O8) as a source of clear glass is three times as great, and the content of Ti is at least an order of magnitude lower. Bulk lunar soil can be utilized for fiberglass and ceramic products, evaluation of the extractive metallurgy and chemical operations associated with carbothermic and silico-thermic refinement of lunar regolith suggests that Fe, Al, Si, Mg and probably Ti, Cr and Mn can be recovered, while oxygen is produced as a by-product. The existence of multiple paths and of analogies to past industrial practice give high confidence of feasibility. A conservative plant design yields its own weight in oxygen, silicon, and structural metals in less than six days. Power requirements for a throughput of 300,000 tons per year is less than 500 megawatts. The processing is done more economically in space than on the lunar surface.
A Factory Concept for Processing and Manufacturing with Lunar Material. Gerald W. Driggers, Southern Research Institute.
Abstract: A conceptual design for an orbital factory sized to process 1.5 (106) metric tons per year of raw Lunar fines into 3.0 (105) metric tons of manufacturing materials is presented. A conservative approach involving application of present Earth based technology leads to a design devoid of new inventions. Earth based counterparts to the factory machinery were used to generate subsystem masses and lumped parameters for volume and mass estimates. The results are considered to be conservative since technologies more advanced than those assumed are presently available in many areas. Some attributes of potential space processing technologies applied to material refinement and component manufacture are discussed.
Environmental Impact of Space Manufacturing. Richard R. Vondrak, Stanford Research Institute.
Abstract: The natural environments of the Earth, the Moon, and cislunar space can be affected by the construction and operation of large manufacturing facilities in space. Environmental impact occurs when gases, dust, and electromagnetic radiation are introduced into those regions in quantities exceeding those occurring naturally. In addition, various components of the natural environment in space and on the Moon (e.g., gases, dust, electric fields, and magnetic fields) will influence the construction and operation of manufacturing facilities. Potential environmental interactions are identified and some of the consequences are evaluated. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Microwave Energy Transmission. William C. Brown, Raytheon Corporation.
Abstract: The basic features and characteristics of free-space power transmission by microwave beam and how they relate to applications in aerospace are reviewed. Special attention is given to how the technology can be better comprehended and confidence developed in its application to the satellite solar power station (SSPS) by “learning curves” that are generated by sending increasing amounts of power over increasing distances by microwaves and which may have highly-visible and instructive intermediate benefits. The “learning curves” are based upon an earth-based transmitter which is first used to supply power to an airborne vehicle, then enlarged to perform experiments upon the ionosphere, and enlarged again to transmit large amounts of power at useful power densities to synchronous orbit. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Controlled-Environment Agriculture and Food Production Systems for Space Manufacturing Facilities. John M. Phillips, University of Arizona.
Abstract: A fundamental assumption of existing design studies for space manufacturing facilities is that their living and agricultural environments will be relatively earth-like in character. Therefore, we should be able to extrapolate certain knowledge derived from earth-bound experience to the problem of designing food production systems for space manufacturing facilities. An existing terrestrial technology known as controlled-environnent agriculture (CEA) may serve as a meaningful data base for the design of food production systems for extraterrestrial human communities. In this paper, the terrestrial experience with CEA systems is reviewed, and probable adaptations of this technology to the problem of designing a food production system for O’Neill’s model I space settlement are discussed. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Vapor-Phase Fabrication of Massive Structures in Space. H. Keith Henson, Analog Precision, Inc., and K. Eric Drexler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Abstract: Vapor deposition may be an economical approach to processing and fabricating metals (especially aluminum) in space. This method, which uses to advantage the sunlight, vacuum, and zero gravity conditions of space, is found to have advantages when considered from metallurgical, physical and cost viewpoints. A design for a large scale (250 ton) solar powered deposition apparatus with a throughput rate of 10 kg/second and the associated physical and chemical material problems are described in detail. Strength and fracture mechanics considerations may favor silica fiber reinforcement of seamless aluminum pressure vessels vapor deposited on inflated forms for space habitats. [SECOND PAGE from AIAA website]
Fabrication and Assembly of Large Composite Structures in Space. F. F. W. Krohn and D. L. Browning, General Dynamics Corporation.
Abstract: Future space programs will require structural systems two to three orders of magnitude larger than present systems. Their characteristics will be driven by the need for long life, low life cycle cost, and a high degree of structural compatibility with satellite system deployment and operation. Attendant structural requirements are: high packaging efficiency for boost; low weight; structural simplicity; high stiffness; thermal stability; and maintenance compatibility. Construction methods involving either direct deployment of pre-assembled systems or on-orbit assembly of earth-manufactured elements fail to fully satisfy these requirements for large systems. To overcome these deficiencies, a method is presented for on-orbit fabrication of space structures from continuous graphite/thermoplastic composite strip. The material is preconsolidated in the desired lamination orientation/thickness and compactly stored on reels for boost. On-orbit it is heated, formed into useful structural cross-sections, and cooled, in a continuous process called “rolltrusion.” This process is integrated with element assembly/joining operations in a beam fabricator capable of building up to 28 kilometers of uninterrupted beam from Shuttle-compatible material reels. A conceptual approach to construction of a photovoltaic solar power satellite is also presented and the status of current technology development is reviewed. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Fabrication Methods for Large Space Structures. Richard L. Kline, Grumman Aerospace Corporation.
Abstract: Space fabrication has a major impact on the development of ultra large space structures. The structural design and materials selection are significantly affected by automatic space fabrication, assembly and orbital transfer of major structural elements as well as by the mission operations in orbit. Development of an automatic facility used to fabricate a structural building block element is reviewed and its application in the construction of larger assemblies examined. Problems related to the construction and operation of large space structures are presented. Structural verification and quality assurance techniques are some of the many technology issues which require further definition; these are explored for possible solutions. The long service life requirement expected for large structures makes their maintenance and refurbishment a key economic issue; methods of repair and replacement of components are reviewed. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
The Long Duration Exposure Facility — A Test Bed for Space Technology Development. John D. DiBattista and Lenwood G. Clark, NASA Langley Research Center.
Abstract: Longer term, more complex, and more demanding space missions are under consideration by NASA and the DOD for the 1990-2000 timeframe. As some of these missions will require substantial investments, environmental tests will be required to verify the new technologies needed for the success of these missions before commitments are made. Ground-based space environment simulation facilities are inadequate or non-existent in many cases and in situ testing in the space environment will be necessary. The Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) can provide this capability. Planning has been initiated for a 10-year LDEF mission in the early 1980s for materials environmental testing. Participation in the early planning by the engineering and scientific communities is being solicited to help define the mission requirements. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Space Industrialization Studies — An Overview. C. C. Priest and R. Bradford, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
Abstract: An overview of NASA’s current planning for a space industrialization program is described as an introduction to the papers on Space Industrialization being presented by Rockwell International Corporation and Science Applications Incorporated. Background information is presented that outlines the integrated planning process which resulted in specific long range goals and objectives being formulated for NASA programs in technology, environment, resources, Earth science, communications, space exploration, aeronautics, and an expanded application of space called space industrialization. Program objectives for NASA’s Industrialization of Space and studies on potential near term supporting elements (Space Platform, Large Space Structures, Orbital Operations Capabilities Development, Space Manufacturing Module) are discussed. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Physiological Parameters in Space Settlement Design. John Billingham, NASA Ames Research Center.
Abstract: All existing space settlement designs developed by O’Neill and his colleagues have used conservative physiological requirements. The habitats have near-ideal terrestrial environments, with the single exception of the angular velocity required to produce artificial gravity. Physiological design requirements for these existing settlement concepts are reviewed. In some physiological and biomedical areas, both optimum and limiting characteristics of the physical environment are well known. In other cases, they are still poorly understood, particularly in connection with those peculiar to space. The long-term effects of weightlessness, high energy heavy particle radiation, sustained rotation and sustained variations in atmospheric composition are cases in point. The conservative design overcomes the problem of specifying environments different from the normal terrestrial milieu. But some attention should be given to the effects on settlement cost and design of varying the physiological requirements, to a reasonable degree, in those areas where our knowledge is poor. Such a sensitivity analysis is discussed. It would probably be a useful asset in the planning of future research and development activities in space physiology and medicine, and also in engineering. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Ecopsychiatric Aspects of a First Human Space Colony. Jay T. Shurley, Kirmach Natani, and Randal Sengel, University of Oklahoma.
Abstract: This paper considers the potential psychosocial problems facing the first technology satellite crew. These include anxiety, depression, hysteria, ineffectual performance, substance abuse, etc. These inferences are drawn from a relevant data base which includes sensory isolation experiments, Antarctic research and others. However, little data is available that bears directly upon the deployment of heterosexual space colonies. A conceptual approach, based on general systems theory, is presented to organize what data is available and to generate hypotheses to guide the investigative process. From this conceptual approach and from the above data base the authors address possible strategies to deal with anticipated problems. The authors conclude that a full-scale simulation prior to launch and deployment is the best method to test hypotheses and to discover new and emergent behavior patterns. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Assessment of Satellite Power Stations. Robert A. Summers and H. Richard Blieden, ERDA; and Charles E. Bloomquist, Planning Research Corporation.
Abstract: An important consideration in the long-term potential for solar electric power generation is the provision of a baseload capability, i.e., essentially continuous operation, with the exception of the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion System, terrestrial solar power systems lacking substantial storage capacity do not provide baseload capability as a result of unalterable variations—cloud cover and the day-night cycle. A Satellite Power Station (SPS),however, offers the possibility of significant solar-powered baseload without major meteorological, geographical, or diurnal constraints, or significant storage requirements. In this concept, satellite power stations in geostationary orbit convert solar energy to microwave energy for transmission to earth where it is transformed into electricity for distribution and use. This approach has been under study by NASA for some time. In early 1976 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested that ERDA consider the SPS concept as part of its solar energy program. An ERDA Task Group on Satellite Power Stations reviewed the NASA work and recommended a three-year study program to answer certain key questions concerning the potential of this approach. A joint ERDA-NASA program, taking account of the Task Group recommendations is now in the final planning stages. This paper reviews the SPS concept, summarizes the recommendations of the Task Group, and briefly discusses the joint ERDA-NASA program plan for future SPS activities. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Space Manufacturing Facility — Base for Exploration. Larry Jay Friesen, McDonnell Douglas Technical Service Company.
Abstract: One of the developments which can contribute most toward making benefits from space readily and widely available will be to reduce transportation costs for space travel. This paper demonstrates some advantages that may result for interplanetary exploration and commercial transport by constructing spacecraft at, and launching them from, orbital colonies. Mission propellant requirements have been compared between spacecraft sent on interplanetary voyages from an orbital base whose period is 3/2 that of the Moon, and spacecraft launched on corresponding voyages from low Earth orbit. Specific missions studied were trips to Mars, to asteroids, and to Titan. Spacecraft propulsion systems considered were: hydrogen/oxygen chemical rockets, nuclear- or solar-heated rockets, linear-electric-motor mass drivers used as reaction engines, and the use of beamed energy from power satellites to heat oxygen or hydrogen propellant to plasma temperatures. For all propulsion systems considered except nuclear- or solar-heated rockets, construction of spacecraft from lunar materials and launching from the 2:1 resonance orbit has been found to be less costly in propellant than construction from terrestrial materials and launching from low Earth orbit. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Systems Analysis of a Potential Space Manufacturing Facility. Gerald W. Driggers, Southern Research Institute.
Abstract: Results of a preliminary design study of the system elements comprising a manufacturing facility in Earth orbit are presented. The elements discussed include cis-Lunar transportation. Lunar base, materials transport, factory, living facilities, construction support and energy supply. An evolutionary path of development, production and deployment is presented and step-wise interrelationships discussed. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
The Economics of Space Industrialization: A Phased Approach. Klaus P. Heiss, ECON, Inc.
Abstract: The total systems cost of the first L-5 unit, comprising 10,000 people, with the function of generating 17 Quads/year net energy output (equivalent to the total U.S. electricity production in 1975) is conjectured to be about $500 billion. This estimate is larger by a factor of 2 to 5 than hitherto estimated. Nevertheless, even using these high cost estimates, the system can be proven to potentially break even economically by 2075, and regenerate itself thereafter with large potential cost reductions. No use of lunar bases or materials is made for the first L-5 unit. If the economic break-even point indeed is reached by 2075, then an irreversible point for essentially unlimited expansion will have been crossed. It is furthermore pointed out that the technology base and necessary funding to bring an L-5 unit about by the year 2075 may be the simple outgrowth of the current and foreseeable U.S. space program. Five phases of space industrialization are outlined, that will lead to a space habitation capability, where each phase has economic merits all its own, i.e., not requiring large-scale and very long term, risky commitments.
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Space Manufacturing Facilities. Mark Myron Hopkins, Harvard University.
Abstract: The paper updates the author’s previously published economic model by incorporating the results of the 1976 NASA/Ames summer study of space manufacturing facilities (SMF’s) as well as other data which have recently become available. The analysis reveals that the economics of SMF’s are substantially better than the favorable results found for space settlements (colonies) using this model in previous studies. The DDT&E costs are $75.3 billion and the benefit cost ratio is >2.1. After some discussion, it is decided that the funding organization should be the government during the DDT&E phase of an SMF program and, for the most part, private enterprise during the commercialization phase. Comparisons are made with the ongoing ECON, Inc., study of earth-launched satellite power stations (SPS’s). It is found that the SMF option for producing SPS’s may be less risky than building them on and launching them from Earth. [FIRST PAGE from AIAA website]
Economic Management Systems: Growth Prospects for the U.S. Over the Next 50 Years. William F. Thompson, Philadelphia Electric Company and K.D. Wilson, Southern California Edison Co.
Abstract: This paper reviews a large socio-economic study of the prospects for economic growth in the United States over the next 50 years. Computer models and judgmental forecasts were used to examine alternative futures for the nation with emphasis on family incomes, energy demand, capital funds, and relations with the rest of the world. The study concluded that moderate economic growth is desirable over the next 25 years; i.e., 3.5%/ yr. growth of real GNP, 2.8%/yr. growth in energy use and 5.5%/yr. growth in electricity use. Adequate capital and raw material resources exist to achieve such growth rates and to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources. National policies must accelerate the shift in energy use from oil and gas to coal and nuclear power. Results of the study are compared with other recent studies. Energy price trends are evaluated.
Technological Innovation and Social Exploration in Economic Growth and Energy Development. Luther P. Gerlach, University of Minnesota.
Abstract: Convention leads the USA to seek resources for economic growth through technoeconomic operations which are increasingly intensive, extensive, organizationally complex, and concentrating: or BIG. An example is strip mining of lignite, converting this to electricity in mine mouth plants for transmission by high voltage lines to distant use centers and integration into large grids. Increasing citizen resistance to this forces consideration of alternatives. Some are small-scale, localized, independent, non-centralized energy production and resource recycling systems using sun, wind, waste and biomass: or SMALL. An opposite alternative — HIGH — is to orbit solar installations in space, not only to produce and transmit energy to earth, but also to launch a new era in social-cultural evolution. BIG, HIGH, and SMALL approaches will be debated a public policy and local conflict issues, together with growth and no-growth scenarios. Our research enables us to explore social factors which influence resistance to, or innovation and acceptance of these approaches.
International and Legal Considerations. The Honorable Peter Jankowitsch, Austrian Ambassador to the United Nations.
Abstract: Some of the guiding principles of international space law are outlined and then is considered how they might apply to the question of space colonization.
Anthropological Considerations. Arthur Harkins, University of Minnesota.
Abstract: Current hardware technologies allow for the development of large, off-planet “convivial” ecosystems, emphasizing symbiotic human-machine interactions in the space environment. Potential numbers of humans that could be involved in such projects range from hundreds to many thousands. Possible roles to be played by applied and theoretical anthropology in such ventures are examined. Among the difficulties in joining anthropoligical traditions to the creation of space communities are: 1) the lack of a universal ethnotheory amenable to cultural design and policy formulation; and 2) an apparent disinterest among many anthropologists in advanced hardware technologies. Suggestions are offered for the selective employment of new trends in anthropology which could cope with 1) and 2).