Essay: Space settlement

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  • Space settlement
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Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 What is space settlement?
‘ A space settlement can be treated as a permanent home or habitation of human beings in a pre-set location of Space.
‘ In each settlement we have to create independent biosphere which will support the life of humans inside the space settlement.
‘ All oxygen, water, wastes, and other materials must be recycled endlessly so that we can have regenerative life supporting inside the space settlement.
1.2 Why do we require a Space Settlement?
The Survival of the Human Race: We all know that Earth is facing mass destruction. We no longer can depend on earth as our permanent place for us to live. We can prove this by observing our Earth.
For example:-
Earth’s resources are going to be used as our daily needs are increasing day by day; we need more and more resources for the same.
As for our daily needs, we build factories and industries which use natural resources for producing many things. These factories and industries also release toxic waste which is bad to the nature as well to us and which managing is very difficult. For example, some factories and industries which produce carbon-di-oxide, carbon-mono-oxide etc. which are harmful to the environment.
We use many dangerous weapons like atom bombs in wars which release radiation which is not good for any living organism. As per now, we have totally produced enough atomic weapons to destroy the whole world.
Our race may become extinct by natural forces like massive earthquakes, large hurricanes, and huge floods caused by earthquakes or even by Global Warming.
We can also be hit by asteroids and result extinct like the dinosaurs and even be vaporized by the sun when it turns into a red giant after thousands of years.
Through even biological means we need to leave, as by various dangerous and fatal diseases and virus strains which may result in our extinction. For example, diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Ebola etc. have killed thousands of people.
To avoid these catastrophic events we need to make a permanent settlement somewhere in space. These settlements are known as space settlements. We can extract or mine various resources from space which helps to fulfil or daily needs.
We will have to leave earth and settle somewhere in space to avoid our extinction. Even the great scientist Stephen Hawking has stood up for space settlement is a way of saving the Beauty of Humanity. Even many scientists told that our species may become extinct in some thousands years, if we don’t build and establish space settlements. So for all these reasons many people either privately or government organizations are making many plans for future space settlement.
As far as we know space has a hostile environment for us to live, but future technologies would help us to live in space and make colonies or permanent space settlements. But as for now there are only plans being made of space settlement for the survival of humans.
These self-dependent, reliable space settlements could be the place where we would live in the future to avoid the extinction of our race on Planet Earth.
To use the vast Resources of Space: Space is very large, and also contains loads of resources like cobalt, nickel, iron, manganese, gold, molybdenum, palladium, osmium, rhodium, rhenium, ruthenium, tungsten and platinum, found in space in planets, moons and even asteroids.
Our Solar system has so much resources and energy, that it can support the daily needs of humans for the next million years. Scientists say that elements required for our daily needs which include antimony, tin, phosphorus, zinc, lead ,silver, indium, gold and copper, could get used up within 50’60 years.
We could extract these important resources from many asteroids which are close to our location which we will learn in the next chapter. Actually most of the resources extracted from the Earth’s crust, and that are economically and technologically useful for us, is caused by many asteroids which hit the earth when it just formed. Due to the Earth’s gravitational force, the metals like iron and other resources were pulled inside the crust and where covered by layers of soil, because of all these reasons space settlement is essential and required.
1.3 Pros and Cons of Space Settlement?
“I do not know what I seem to the world, but to myself I appear to have been like a boy playing upon the seashore and diverting myself by now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay before me all undiscovered.” Sir Isaac Newton
When we are thinking about space settlements first we must have a look into the challenges of space settlements.
‘ Life Support: Providing the sustainable conditions for humans inside the space settlement is really a great task for us while we are discussing about the space settlement. Life support includes creation or simulation of Artificial Gravity, Providing sufficient Food, water for the people who are accommodated in the space settlement. Supporting the human life inside the space settlement with sufficient Oxygen which is essential to the survival of humans and Energy.
‘ Radiation Protection: The biggest and toughest task one can take while discussing about space settlement is Radiation Protection. As we know when we are in space we will have 24 ?? 7 Galactic Cosmic Radiation in and around us. We have to take utmost care when we are choosing the materials used for the construction of space settlement in the space.
‘ Transportation: Transport requirements will be high and complex. It must be clearly said that during the construction and development phase need for transportation (Transportation includes Transportation of Humans to whom we are giving accommodation, Transportation of materials used for the construction of space settlements ) will be more as the requirements will have to be met on a day to day basis when the colony is running.
‘ Communication: Compared to the other requirements, communication is relatively easy. Communication between humans inside the space settlement and communication between a settlements with the other space settlements have to be taken into consideration. Much of the current terrestrial communications are using satellites.
1.4 Why Elpis?
‘Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.’ ‘Jonas Salk
One of man’s wildest dreams, a hope against hope is settling in vast and endless space. With a hope that leads to wildest imagination and with courage to turn dreams to reality, we present our project ‘Elpis’ (The Greek spirit of hope). To make space as an inspiration to mankind we have made the planning of Elpis, which holds the key to mankind’s future. We just HOPE, that our project Elpis will succeed, secure and survive the mankind’s future.
Chapter 2: Construction Sequence
2.1 Thrusters and Boosters:
For our space settlement we will use an electric thruster which is Variable Specific Impulse Magneto plasma Rocket (VASMIR) and sometimes referred as the Electro-thermal Magneto plasma Rocket or Electro-thermal Plasma Thruster. These thrusters will be located at the top and bottom of our space settlement. This type of thruster engine is electrode less. As it is electrode less, it will prevent electrode erosion which has a shorter life. And also many parts of the engine of the VASMIR is protected magnetically so has a better and longer life than other ion or plasma thrusters. It works by emitting radio waves to ionize the propellant which is then accelerated using huge and powerful magnets that produce strong magnetic fields to generate thrust. First, a propellant like argon is allowed to flow into hollow cylinder which has a surface covered with electromagnets. The gas is then heated by a RF antenna which creates magnetic fields which strips electrons off the argon or xenon atoms and leaving plasma containing only loose electrons.
Ion Cyclotron Heating (ICH) section which throws out electromagnetic waves which vibrate the orbits of ions and electrons. To reduce the strength of the magnetic field, we need to vibrate the waves and plasma in the engine which then slows down the orbital’s motion of the plasma particles. Then the plasma later on heated to 1,000,000 kelvin.
Chapter 3: Life Supporting Systems
3.1 To Simulate Gravity
As, we all know gravity is one of the causes of life on Earth. To achieve the same, we need to simulate gravity in our space settlement like on Earth. On Earth, the strength of gravity is usually represented by units like ‘g’ and Earth’s gravity is equal to ‘1g’.For example, a body which weighs 80 kg on earth will weigh 40 kg in a 0.5g environment.
Children who are given birth in a 0g environment, will have weaker muscles and bones, than an average human. And therefore, they cannot visit Earth, as the gravity strength is much stronger and they cannot walk. In earlier times, astronauts who came back from space usually cannot walk for some days because, while they are in space which has a 0g environment, their body gets used to that environment and hence their muscles and bones get weaker.
So, for these reasons, our space settlement should have pseudo-gravity. We know that any massive body in space exerts gravity, like our Earth. So this force can be generate by changing velocity, magnitude or direction.
3.2 To Create an Atmosphere
The atmosphere of the Earth, is the reason why we are alive. It contains many essential gases like Oxygen which we cannot stay without more than a few minutes. But, how can we make an atmosphere in space. It will be very difficult to do that, because controlling the amount of gases and also purification of the gases is very expensive and also a tough job.
People need the same atmosphere as on Earth in space. On earth, the pressure of Oxygen at sea level is 22.7 kPa. Even Nitrogen is needed to provide an inert gaseous buffer which is needed to prevent some respiratory problems. Many molecules of plastic leave the materials and enter into the atmosphere. On Earth, because of this outgassing some areas of the atmosphere are poisoned. And in a small area in space, the atmosphere can get poisoned very fast.
To avoid these problems to arise, we need many purifiers and filters. In our space settlement we will have:
3.2.1 Air Revitalization (AR) Systems
Air Revitalization systems or AR systems do the basic purification of air for maintaining quality air for breathing inside the space settlement. It functions are to produce oxygen, removal of Carbon-di-oxide, the removal of unwanted and toxic gases and also to control the humidity or moisture in the space settlement. To produce oxygen, we use the method known as electrolysis. Electrolysis is a process in which the oxygen atoms in the water molecules are split apart from the hydrogen atoms by electricity.
At first, electricity is introduced to water by two electrodes, an anode (positive) and a cathode (negative).Then the positively charged hydrogen ions will be attracted towards the cathode and the negatively charged oxygen atoms will be attracted towards the anode. And thus, we can obtain oxygen and also hydrogen and we can use hydrogen as a fuel.
3.2.2 Carbon-di-oxide control systems
Because of the start of the industrial age, the CO2 gases present in our atmosphere are rising in a geometric rate. This has caused the rise for the Green House Effect. The CO2 levels on earth are rising rapidly because auto-mobile traffic and industrial chimneys. And in a closed space like our space settlement, if CO2 is not controlled we will not be able to breathe.
On Earth, usually green plants absorb the CO2 and produce O2. So, in our space settlement we use systems in which physico-chemical CO2 is removed by Molecular sieves by absorption of CO2 within the porous structure of Zeolites. Later on, we can use the separated CO2 to make water.
3.2.3 Humidity Control
In our space settlement, the humidity is controlled by using condensing heat exchangers. The heat exchangers can be used both in thermal and also humidity control. The liquid water produced may contain some water soluble contaminants and also organic acids, alcohols and glycols also present in a closed atmosphere. But, humidity condensate is more pure and so is also simple to reclaim to potable standards.
3.2.4 Trace Contaminant Control Systems (TCCS)
Mostly, water vapour and CO2 are present in a manned spacecraft. But, there may be other contaminants like micro-organisms. To ensure the health of the people living inside our space settlement, we must clear out the contaminants and make the air clean and healthy for the people to breath. We can use activated carbon as it is an excellent absorbent of airborne particles.
Our space settlement will have carbon sheets which will absorb the contaminants and NH3 gas. Due to some certain contaminants, the sheet of carbon may bleed off a portion of the effluent is routed through a catalytic toxin burner. This gas phase catalytic oxidation reactor employs a 0.5% palladium. Palladium is a good choice because comparing to other aliphatic hydrocarbons, methane has a very low heat of combustion.
3.2.5 Thermal Control
Thermal control is very important as, the weather around us plays a vital role in our lives. If it is too hot, then me cannot move around and get very sweaty. And if it is too cold, we will always be inside our houses wearing coats and jackets all the time. And we don’t people want to experience the same in our space settlement. People prefer moderate temperature which is not to cold or hot.
Our space settlement contains internal temperature control systems.
Internal Temperature Control Systems (ITCS)
The internal temperature control systems take care of the temperature inside the space settlement. Mainly, the ITCS will use condensing heat exchangers (CHX). CHX removes all the water vapour and heat from the air of the inside the space settlement. Even we can spray cool water, to keep the temperature low.
3.3 Obtaining Water
Water is very essential for life, all forms of life need water for their survival. On Earth we could obtain water from rivers, lakes or from underground lakes. But in space it is very difficult to get water.
One of the reasons we planned to build our space settlement near mars and the asteroid belt because scientists say that there is water present on the mars in the form of vapour in the atmosphere and as ice mostly in the north polar ice-cap. Even there are signs of water on the Martian planet’s moons Phobos and Deimos. Some asteroids have water in solid state (ice) present in the asteroid belt. The asteroid 65 Cybele which has evidence that water may exist on it. The discovery of 65 Cybele has led to the discovery of another asteroid named as 24 Themis and On October 7 , 2009, the NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility has confirmed that there is water in the the form of ice on that asteroid.
These reasons prove that there may be many other asteroids which have lot of water on its surface. We can send transports to the nearby asteroids to obtain water.
After obtaining water, we will of course use the water. But some day, we may not have sufficient water. Hence, we must recycle water. All the water, coming from homes, schools, industries must be purified and reused again. If proper purification is done, then we reuse 70% of the used water. Like in the International space station (ISS), we must also purify urine so that we can have maximum efficiency. At the most we may able to reuse 85% of the water.
3.4 To obtain Food
Food is required for us to live. Food gives us essential nutrients, such as fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals which have their know way of helping us. Mostly, food gives us the nutrients which lets us grow, fight of diseases and make body repairs. So because of these reasons, food is very essential for us even in space. We cannot grow food like on earth in space, but there are other methods like Hydroponics and Aeroponics.
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. This type of agriculture is very useful for us. Hydroponics is when we provide the plant with enough nutrients which are present in the soil dissolved in the water so it can develop roots.
Aeroponics works the same way as hydroponics except, instead of water, we use air or moisture. The nutrients are present in the air and which help the plant to derive nutrients. This can help the plant to develop and grow.
In the below table it shows us the process over taken in our space settlement:
Growing The crops and plants in Elpis will be grow either using Hydroponics or Aeroponics. The sunlight needed by the plants will be provided by Incandescent lamps.
Harvesting All the crops will be harvested by automated and programmed robots which send them for processing.
Storage All the raw materials like fruits will be stored in clean, hygienic, air tight chambers which are monitored by robots.
Processing and Packaging All the fruits and vegetables will be cleaned and washed. The fruits will be stored in refrigerated area and will be later on packaged and transported to the Markets and Malls
Selling The fruits and vegetables will be sold to the residents in markets and malls
Vegetable Intake (per day) n %
Lettuce 298 14.4
Chard 14 0.7
Cabbage 31 1.5
Watercress/chicory 18 0.9
Broccoli/cauliflower/kale 22 1.1
Tomato 428 20.7
Carrot 182 8.8
Pumpkin 30 1.4
Eggplant/horseradish 60 2.9
Zucchini/chayote 60 2.9
Fruit Intake n %
Orange 628 30.4
Orange Juice 155 7.4
Lime Juice 76 3.7
Bananas 547 41.0
Passion fruit or juice 54 2.6
Pineapple or juice 9 0.4
Apple/Pear 155 7.5
Papaya 173 8.4
Persimmon 28 1.4
Avocado 14 0.7
Melon/Watermelon 23 1.1
Cashew 1 0.1
Grapes 30 1.5
Mango or juice 46 2.2
Peach/fig 9 0.5
Strawberry 7 0.3
Acerola juice 7 0.3
Day/Night Cycle Provisions
Every time, every day if there only day (light) then people feel bored and tired. They need to take rest or sleep for at least 7 hrs. In Elpis, a day will contain 12 hrs of light and 12 hrs of night. People can work and exercise in morning and sleep in the night. This will enable people to have a feeling to be on Earth. To achieve this, the top of the torus will be covered by TOLED (Transparent Organic light Emitting Diodes) which gives light in the day. When it is switched off in the night, it will become transparent so people can view space. LED (light emitting diodes) will be used in the residential torus for artificial light.
3.5 Waste management:
As we know that waste management is one of the most important things in our daily life. With no waste management it could lead to the spread of harmful diseases, which could be killing a thousands of lives which is the last thing we want in our space settlement. We have to prevent landfills as it could be spreading fatal diseases so we have taken the following steps.
Organic waste matter like human excreta, kitchen waste, etc. can be processed in the bio gas plant. Large food waste generators like restaurants can generate electricity through biogas which in turn can be used by the restaurant.
Each house should have a small setup of bio gas plant and process their waste and the gas generated can be used for daily cooking. The bio gas plant can easily be made by using simple fibre or for a large plant cement can be used.
The bi products of bio gas is manure. Organic Manure produced in this way can be used for organic farming.
Recyclable waste like paper can be recycled back into paper whereas plastics can be converted into bio fuel and reused by the industries. E waste, and other metallic substances can be melted into molten metal and reused.
Chapter 4: Operations and Automations
4.1 Radiation Protection
In space there are lots of types of radiation which are harmful for us. Cosmic rays, radiation and particles from the sun, Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE), solar storms, deep-space radiation, radiation from radiation belts etc. On earth we are safe from this radiation because of our earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field (magnetosphere). The earth’s magnetic field blocks the charged particles from the sun thus give us a suitable place to live.
Our space settlement also needs to be protected from radiation from the sun as well as radiation from other distant places. We can protect our space settlement using lunar soil. But it is difficult to transport lunar soil to our location because are its huge mass. We need lot of lunar soil, about to lay a thickness of 2 meter. So we can use layers polyethylene for protecting our space settlement. Unlike lunar soil, we don’t need to put 2 meters thickness to protect our space settlement. Only a few inches is enough. Polyethylene consists of long strands of carbon atoms each bonded to two hydrogen atoms. This material made out of carbon compounds can be obtained by mining asteroids as asteroids are rich in carbon compounds.
Like our earth, we can make a secondary defence to protect us from radiation. We can create our own magnetosphere surrounding our space settlement. These would separate out the electrons and protons of the solar wind, generating a separation of charge in space that would deflect these particles away from the space settlement. The process involves injecting a supersonic plasma into a 1.5 m long vacuum vessel lined with magnetic coils, with a target magnet placed at the far end of the space settlement.
4.2 Transportation
We have various modes of transport on the earth but can they be made possible in space too. We have to make it possible in space too so we have to start with the first mode of transport space shuttle and finally end with the transport in the space settlement.
We have to make this mode of transport fast, cheap and efficient.
To start, we should build our space shuttle we have to use cheap, efficient and long lasting materials. We have to build a space shuttle big enough for accommodating five hundred to two thousand people at once. Transporting cars and other vehicles may be possible but to a very less extent.
So we have to even setup automobile industries to build vehicles in the space settlement.
We would also like to build electric and battery powered vehicles to make our space settlement a healthy, and pollution free space settlement.
Building of roads and rails will be depending on the population in our settlement.
We could build roads of simple materials like tar/cement/stones/concrete or altogether.
We could use the system of MRT or metro rail transport as this a very efficient rail service.
These trains connect people around the city with a very low cost involved .The trains are unmanned (without a driver) and pass by each station every two minutes. They have simple tracks which are built with just easily found materials. The stations can be made bullet proof for safety and protection of the people.
The full space settlement can be connected only through the public transport that is bus, train, taxi, etc. Wherever there is a long distance of walk escalators and travellators can be built to help reduce the pain of old people and people physically challenged. This helps in cutting the charge of building roads in those areas.
Taxis and buses are a very useful mode of road transport as they carry people from one area to another in a short period of time.
For outside the space settlement, transportation is necessary so that people can go to other places in space especially Earth. Only transportation of humans is not enough, even other materials and resources. Several resources need to be transported from the earth to our space settlement to fill the daily requirements of the people. This includes resources for the industries, parts of the space settlement while building the space3 settlement and other materials which are required inside the space settlement. Our outer transportation will be mainly rocket engines to reach long distances. With all this our transportation is very effective.
4.3 Security
Security of the people inside the space settlement is essential and very difficult to manage. We need to secure the people from the threat of any asteroids, solar storms, internal malfunctioning, air lock malfunctioning, internal fires and risk of terrorists. To secure the people from all these threats, we need efficient and appropriate safety measures.
In our space settlement, if there is any threat of huge solar storms or the radiation level is rising, there are radiation proof chambers that can accommodate people in a case of high radiation. These chambers will be located in every 1 or 2 km. So whenever there is a threat, people can be safe in these chambers.
If there is problem that our space settlement can collapse or explode, then then are emergency pods to evacuate people in such a kind of threat. All the pods which go back to Earth or other space settlements.
Due to internal malfunctioning, if there is any problem, first the robots automatically try to fix it. If it is not possible by robots, then the fixing will be done manually by mechanics. If there is any problem, people can just like the emergency buttons located in every 100 m.
All the people aboard the space settlement will have an ID-Card to make sure that there are no unauthorised entries. With all of this taken care, the people living in the space settlement will have a secure living.
4.4 Asteroid Mining
Mining of asteroids is required to obtain resources like carbon, metals and water. The asteroid belt is very near to our location and hence there are many asteroids we can use to mine for resources. We can send transports which drills to do the work. We can use diamond chipped drills or even laser powered drills. There are mainly 3 types of asteroids. They are:-
1. C-Type Asteroids: – They are the asteroids which are most common in our solar system. We can mine water from these type of asteroids.
2. X-Type Asteroids: – They are the asteroids which are composed of primarily by metal. We can mine metals like Iridium, Palladium, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Osmium and mainly Platinum and may have more platinum that has ever been mined on Earth to date.
3. S-Type Asteroids: – They are the asteroids which are a mixture of rock and metal mixed together. These asteroids can also be used to mine for resources.
Asteroids like 2014 EK24, 1999 JU3, 2002 TC70, 2011 CG2, 2008 HU4 can be used to do the job. With so many asteroids near our location, we can mine huge amounts of resources very easily.
4.5 Communication
At first, early humans had no mode of expressing their ideas or problems. Now we can speak because we made a language which we all use. We speak in our language, to express our ideas. Lately, we use Phones which help a person speak from another person in another place. But to make all of these possible in space our space settlement.
To achieve the same, our space settlement will have an internal network which all the people can use. This will include communication and information inside the space settlement. This network will be monitored by officials, to keep the connection on. In case of any emergency, the lights and sound will alarm all the people.
For external communication, we will use satellite dishes for communication to Earth and also receive information from Earth or any other space settlement.
4.6 Location of Elpis
It is very important for us to choose a good location which is near to earth, has nearby moons or planets for extracting water and resources, which is also not to very close to the sun, nor very far away.
To meet all these requirements, we have chosen a location which is reliable, safe and near to bodies which are rich in water and resources. We have chosen L4 point from the picture below from the Sun and Mars.
We have chosen is point as it very near to our earth so we can easily transport materials for constructing and later on to transport humans.
4.6.1 Justification of selected locations
If it was after the asteroid belt near Jupiter, it would be unsafe or risky to transport materials and humans through the asteroid belt. We have even be hit by many asteroids from the asteroid belt or even Jupiter’s moons.
We can obtain water and resources like iron from the Martian surface of mars and also extract minerals from its moons, Phobos and Deimos. We can also extract water from the moon and earth. We also can mine the asteroids from the asteroid belt for resources like Iron and aluminium through asteroid mining. Some large asteroids may contain water too.
We are also not too far away from the sun and so we can capture solar energy from the sun. If our space settlement was after Jupiter or the asteroid belt, then we cannot capture enough sunlight. But even if our space settlement location is very near to the sun, then it might not be safe for our space settlement.
If we plan our settlement to be to near to the sun, like near Venus or mercury, there are very less chances of water in even vapour form. As the temperature increases as we get closer to the sun, the changes of finding water is very less. And also if we plan our settlement to be very far from the sun, it would be very cold and the chances of liquid water is less.
Due to all these reasons, we all plan our space settlement to be near mars before the asteroid belt.
Contingency plans for failures
In our world, no system is perfect. Each system while have a flaw. We might also face problems in our space settlement. But there is no problem we can’t fix. In our space settlement Elpis, each problem will be fixed as fast as possible. The below table shows the problems and their solutions.
Contingency Vulnerable
areas Detection Problem fixation Time needed to repair
Hull Breach Walls of space settlement Sensors and Nano machines Sealant gel used in the
walls of settlement which will create a
Temporary layer on the damaged part and seal it.
Specialized robots and engineers will
Repair the damaged parts later on. < 90 s
Power failure Whole settlement Officials High power back up systems will start to run until the power comes back on < 4 hrs
Fire Houses, industries Smoke detectors Smoke detectors will sprinkle mono
ammonium phosphate on the affected area < 90 s
Solar flare Various hull components – Polyethylene foam which has excellent resistant properties against solar
flare will be used shield all the external walls < 3 min
failure – – Repaired by specialised engineers as soon as possible variable
Nutrients Failure – – People will be given back up frozen food and small pills that contain a lot of nutrients variable
Advanced Contingencies
Any asteroids within the size of 50-100 km diameter which be caught by the net and used for mining. If the asteroids trajectory is towards us is a very fast, we use our plasma cannon to blast in into pieces. We can also use our thrusters to move away from the asteroid if it is very big (250- 500 km diameter) and the asteroid will miss us. With the use of our net and cannon we can catch and blast many asteroids to be safe and also mine precious resources like water and metals from it.
Automated systems and features
All most very thing in our space settlement will be controlled by machines. We humans only must monitor and repair the machines if needed. The below table shows what the automated machines will take care of.
# Purpose Speciation’s
1 Fire The smoke detectors will detect the fire and alarm all people near the fire to evacuate. The smoke detectors will sprinkle mono ammonium phosphate on the affected area
2 Air Contamination The trace contamination system will detect the contamination in the air and will filter the air and make it safe to breathe
3 Extraction of Resources Several robots with drills will be loaded on a small pod and will be taken to the extraction point where the robots extract the resources. These robots will be tough and can handle in any condition.
4 Domestic Help Many human like robots will help the people in their houses in their daily work like cleaning, cooking, washing etc.
5 Recreation activities Robots and machines will train and also play with humans in the space settlement. There will be many feeders like cricket ball feeders and tennis ball feeders.
6 Evacuation If there is total breakdown of the space settlement, robots will guide the people to the escape pod station where the humans can return safely to Earth.
Elpis Main
Elpis main is a system of computers, which guides people and helps people in their problems. It can be used to surf the internet, asks to accounts and houses. It can be a private and even a public system. The private system can safe passwords and can advise the people. The public network displays the daily news, activities and updates. It is a public system where people can gain knowledge. Elpis Main is a huge operating system which stores information privately and publicly. It brain while be located in the industrial area of the space settlement. This network can help people share posts and pictures. It also contains many languages which can help people who don’t know English. It is actually a mode of entertainment, security, advice, accessibility etc. This system, can help everybody in the space settlement and can make peoples life easier.
Advanced methods to prevent unauthorised access
To keep our space settlement Elpis safe and running, we need to keep it safe from unwanted or unauthorised people. If there is no system to prevent unauthorised access, then the space settlement may get hijacked or boomed by terrorists. To prevent this our space settlement Elpis, will give a serial number to each of the people inside the space settlement. That serial code, is saved in Elpis Main and any one without the code will not be allowed to enter the space settlement. The code will not be given to anyone simply, that person will be checked for old crime records, relation with terrorists and he will be checked before entering the space settlement for any fire arms or explosives. This will also be taken care by automated machines which officials monitor. If any person somehow enters the space settlement, robots and cameras will find out the person and escort him immediately.
Chapter 5: Human Life Designing
5.1 Entertainment
Entertainment is an inseparable part of our life. Every now and them, people required entertainment. On Earth, people watch TV or play video games, outdoor games and even go to amusement parks. If there is no entertainment in our space settlement, people feel very bored and unhappy. To prevent this problem, we need to add entertainment to our space settlement.
To do this we can make entertainment centres and amusement parks inside the space settlement which will contain games (indoor and outdoor), thrilling rides, roller-coaster and other thing we see in an amusement. To make it special in our space settlement, we can create anti-gravitational rooms easily which cannot be done on earth or even host space walks or conduct small tours near the space settlement.
If entertainment is also there in our space settlement then people will never get bored and always stay happy and active.
5.2 Education
We all know that education is a very important part of our life. Education teaches us what is correct, what is wrong and how to do things. It teaches us the basic human moral. On Earth, we have play-schools, schools and colleges. Children study and learn many new things. Due to education, we know what is right and wrong and also know how to do a particular thing. So in our space settlement, there should also be a mode of education.
In our space settlement, the education starts from play-schools (nursery) till degree. Our space settlement will make students travel from Earth to our space settlement more rare as all the student’s needs are taken care in the space settlement. In the play schools, children will be taught mostly by teachers, but sometimes robot management is used. In the play school, the children will learn how to talk and learn parts of maths like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Later on, in the primary and high schools, children will be taught more about the same subjects which are taught on earth (English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology etc.). There will be very less use of books, and more use of electronic gadgets for learning. All exams conducted on Earth will also be conducted in our space settlement. The 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th exam paper will be same as on earth and will be conducted at the same time. The paper will be received by the space settlement in softcopy and will be given to the students.
When almost all the education is same or even better than on Earth, students can learn better and will not miss anything taught on Earth. This way there will be no difference between education on Earth and in our space settlement.
Every place in our space settlement is connected with each other with roads, bridges, elevated roads, underground roads and MRT system. This makes a person’s life easier as it system reaches each and every place in the space settlement. The paths and roadways give residents a chance to walk or jog.
There will be 1 main hospital and 4 small hospital centres. In case of and emergency, the person is transported to the nearest hospital in the separate emergency MRT train. In the train, the person will be treated by the RPD (Robotic Pod Doctor), which sees what aid needs to be given. At the starting, the person will be given a tablet of Nano sensors which gives a full report of the body. The person after he/she reaches the hospital will be treated by doctors. In this way, most of the emergencies can be taken care.
Parks and Gardens
Many parks and gardens will be built to show the beauty of Elpis. The residents can walk and jog in these parks which also gives them a good feeling. Houses can have lawns or gardens in front of them. All of these parks, gardens and lawns will give a pleasant feeling to the residents of Elpis.
Hotels and Rest houses
There will be many Hotels and rest houses built for visitors and tourists. Many tourists can come here as we have a wonderful and beautiful views of Mars and its moons, asteroid belt and Jupiter. In the residential torus, many big malls and business hotspots will be built near hotels. At night, many clubs and bars will be open to entertain the tourists. There will be many hotels in the residential torus, that almost 2000 tourists can be accommodated. The beauty of Elpis also can entertain the tourists.
Housing Details
Construction: All the bricks of the houses and buildings inside the space settlement will made of cheap, safe, eco-friendly and efficient materials. Bricks like Microbial-Induced Calcite Precipitation which can be formed using Martian soil and sunlight can be used as they are very strong and reliable. Other landforms can be made of Martian soil.
Technology: All devices in the houses from doors to sensors will be made out of the latest technology. Each house will be have a private network of Elpis main to help and guide them. The houses will have smart technology which helps them communicated with other houses, accessibility and household work. The house will have many robots to cover the daily work of the house like cleaning and cooking. This makes all the peoples life easier.
Eco-Friendly: Any device used in the houses is eco-friendly and the house is eco-friendly. They contain green roof tops, which produce oxygen and keeps the air clean and fresh to breathe. The green roof tops also give the residents a fresh sense of feeling in the morning and evening.
Space Suit
Traveling from pressurised and non-pressurised areas take risk. To keep the people safe, our space settlement will use NASA’S K-2 suit which is eco-friendly and reliable. These suit can help people move from pressurised and non-pressurised areas of the space settlement.
Features of K-2 Suit
1. The Z-2 suit uses 3D body scans and 3D-printed hardware for sizing and development.
2. It also has a cover layer, which protects the suit against abrasion and snags, allows residents to move around.
3. Most advanced use of impact resistant composite structures on a suit upper and lower torso system
4. First integration of the suit-port concept with a hard upper torso suit structure
5. Most conformal and re-sizeable hard upper torso suit built to date
Image of K-2 Space Suit from side Image of K-2 Space Suit from front
Image of K-2 Space Suit from back Image of K-2 Space Suit from front in Dark
Image of K-2 Space Suit from side in Dark Image of K-2 Space Suit from back in Dark
This suit can ensure the safety of all the residents moving from pressurised and non-pressurised parts of the space settlement.
Air locks
The airlocks will be between the joints pressurised and non-pressurised parts of the space settlement. This air-lock system is used to decrease the loss of air and also make the transportation of the people from pressurised and non-pressurised parts easier and safe.
Working of Air Locks
An Air lock is a machine which contains air-tight doors. It is used to ensure the safe travelling of people from differently pressurised areas. In our space settlement the airlocks are located in between of spokes and the main cylinder. If a person wants to enter the spokes from central cylinder he will first enter in the same chamber where the pumping of compressed air will be equal to the pressure in the spokes. Then the air tight doors towards the spokes will unlock and open allowing him to move. The suction pumps will send the air back to the spokes.
If a transporting vehicle needs to move from the spokes to the central cylinder, then a separate chamber will be filled with compressed air to match the pressure to that of the spokes. Then the chambers air tight doors will open, which allows the vehicle to move and will be closed afterwards. The suction pumps would pump out air from the chamber and sending it back to the spokes which would create vacuum in the chamber. Then the air tight door to the central cylinder will open allowing the vehicle to enter the cylinder.
Volume of Air Loss
The working of these airlocks when people or transporting pod’s move from differently pressured areas create a little loss of air. At first it maybe small but after a month or so, we can see lot of loss of air. The oxygen generators present in our space settlement with high competence will produce more oxygen to level up with this amount.
Chapter 6: Cost and Schedule
6.1 Estimated time required to construct
Project Elpis is a very big project and will be a successful project. As it is built in space and is mankind’s biggest and most dangerous project, it will require time to construct. The amount of time needed depends on the no of partners or government authority. It also depends on any problems or threats during constructing the space settlement. If there are many problems (financial problems, technical problems) it will take more time to solve hence delay the work. But with all work going well, the estimated time is 17 yrs. and at the max 20 yrs. With no problems at all it may take 15 Yrs.
6.2 Estimated money required
Our project Elpis is made out of the cheapest but most efficient and reliable technology. Anything built in space or even sent to space costs a lot of money nowadays. It costs $10,000 to put a pound of payload in Earth orbit. To make our space settlement cheap yet reliable we need to develop a cheaper transportation and also mine resources like iron from asteroids close to our location. As it is large scale project, small partners are not enough. Huge partners like Microsoft and Apple or government authorities like ISRO, NASA, ESA need to fund. The money required can decrease if we can mine more and more resources from space and also develop our transportation system. With many organisations in our fund, we will need
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