Talk:Sandworm Design

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Revision as of 05:26, 16 January 2012 by Jriley (talk | contribs) (The LRO Problem)
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Move to the Pole

This design could use a good rework for a polar location. The design of the thermal panels is also very weak. This would make a good student project.

Thanks, --Jriley 15:53, 15 March 2007 (PDT)


The edit of user:24.61.142.2

The whole sandworm design concept may be unworkable, but the article should not be romoved without discussion. The edit of user:24.61.142.2 on 12 Jan 2012 was improper. Farred 18:51, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


Unfortunately the new radiation data from LRO has made it necessary to completely redesign the entire Lunar settlement we work up a couple years ago. The danger to people from Galactic Cosmic rays is about twice what we had been counting on. This means people will need 6 meters of regolith shield 95% of the time.


This rework will take a great deal of work. I would be most happy to discuss the problem in detail if you are interested. It deserves its own Wiki entry.

--Jriley 21:59, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I am always interested in lunar colonization ideas. They do not need to be correct to be on Lunarpedia. Who are we to judge correctness? They need to be on the topic of lunar colonization and rational. I look forward to your contributions. Farred 05:18, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

The LRO Problem

We have a real problem on lunar settlement (never "colonization") design. The LRO mission was specifically designed to produce the data we will need to return to the Moon. It did its job and answered a great many of our current questions. The problem is that we do not like some of the answers it gave.

I carries a very sensitive radiation meter that can not only accurately measure the levels of radiation in low lunar orbit but can detect secondary radiation kicked back up into orbit from the lunar surface. This new information has now been integrated with the surface radiation readings from the Apollo missions.

The new model shows the danger to living tissue from Galactic Cosmic Radiation to be about twice what was previous thought. Furthermore, we now have a believable model to design a radiation safety plan for lunar settlement.

If we accept the reality of modern space exploration that no manned project will be funded that does not have a viable radiation safety plan, then we are in a real pickle.

Yes, we can still plan lunar missions for a few days or even a few weeks without substantial radiation shielding but anything over about 100 days requires difficult to meet requirements. Permanent settlement requires an extensive shielding plan that will drive the entire design.

In my Mole Hill design, I had assumed that 1 meter of lunar regolith 90% of the time would provide enough radiations shielding. Occasionally your people would have to crowd down into a few Cellars with 5 meter shields but only for a day or two. I was wrong.

The new model basically reverses this requirement. Our people need to spend about 95% of their time in cellars under 5 meters of regolith so that they will be health enough to live a long time, even with limited medical resources, and can still spend 5% of their time in suffice activities. Lunar settlements will be a civilization of moles.

If we add to this problem other new ideas on the interface between humans and machines, we can produce a lunar settlement design that could work but this will take a lot of design work. I am tied up with other projects right now, but if we can put together a team through Lunarpedia, I would be very happy to work this problem through the spring and summer of 2012. It is a big job, but someone has to do it. --Jriley 12:26, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

I was not surprised to read that more than a meter of regolith would be needed to shield settlers. I knew that Earth's atmosphere provided the equivalent of the mass of a 9 meter thick layer of water over our heads. Regolith 5 meters thick should provide a similar amount of mass per unit area. I planned on such thickness of shielding. It should be possible to achieve by remotely controlled industry. Settlers on Luna need industry to support them and provide exports to pay for the Settlement. Industry does not need settlers. People become the most cost effective agents for some tasks only after there is considerable life support and recycling infrastructure in place. It is not impossible. It merely takes a long time with a continuing budget for the effort. The size of the effort makes failure for political and economic reasons a substantial threat, but we cannot accomplish much without taking risks. Farred 01:44, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

I have started the redesign process with a new entry, [Symbiotes]. This is the top of a top down design process that is standard for software development but it might not be clear to you what I am doing here.

To get back to the Moon we must use modern mission development processes like top down design and develop documents like a viable safety plan. We are not in the Apollo Space Cowboy time anymore. Such a safety plan must consider radiation. The new LRO data shows (1) we had been ignoring the danger from Galactic Cosmic Rays, and (2) this danger is twice as bad as assumed. There is no obvious way to address this problem, so we need to restart at first principles with discussions of the top of our new top down design.

There is some indications that NASA may be opening up to this type of discussion. They have started to talk-the-talk. We must pressure them now to walk-the-walk. Which will take time and resources.

If you think people at Lunarpedia will be interested in this process, I will keep posting.

--Jriley 12:26, 16 January 2012 (UTC)