The engineer presented a plan to transform an asteroid into a space station in just 12 years.

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Summarize this content to 100 words The idea of ​​turning an asteroid into a house in space has been around for a long time. Despite this, it always seemed like a thing of the distant future due to complex technologies, so for many years it was not given much attention. However, David W. Jensen, a retired engineer at Rockwell Collins, recently took on the task of developing a detailed plan for the conversion. He published a 65-page paper detailing an easy-to-understand, relatively inexpensive and feasible plan to convert an asteroid into a space environment.Dr. Jensen broke down the project into three main categories – asteroid selection, environment type selection, and mission strategy to achieve the goal.When choosing an asteroid, the main focus was on which asteroid would be the best candidate for turning it into a rotating space environment. At the same time, it takes into account what the asteroid is made of, its proximity to the Earth (and “delta-V”, that is, how much energy is needed to get to it), as well as its dimensions.After a rather careful selection, Dr. Jensen chose one of them – Atira. This S-type asteroid has a diameter of about 4.8 km and even has its own satellite, a 1 km diameter asteroid that orbits Atyra in a close orbit. It is not the closest potential asteroid: its closest approach to the Moon is about 80 times its distance. However, its orbit is stable and within the habitable zone of our solar system, which will help stabilize the internal temperature of the environment it can be transformed into.Dr. Jensen looked at four common types of space stations – dumbbell, sphere, cylinder and torus. One of the most important considerations is artificial gravity caused by centrifugal force. Dr. Jensen mentions the harmful effects of prolonged stay in conditions of low gravity, which necessitates the use of an artificial replacement.But for this the station must rotate. Atira already rotates a little, but when creating a space environment, it will be necessary to spin it to a reasonable speed of rotation, which could simulate the force of gravity felt by a person on Earth. Dr. Jensen also looks at the many other considerations involved in choosing a particular type of station, including the forces it will place on the material it will be made of (he suggests using anhydrous glass as a potential structural element), how much material should be on the outer shields to protect against radiation and micrometeorites, and how much living space will be inside. In connection with the last consideration, he proposes to build the structure with several floors, which will significantly increase the total living area of ​​the entire environment.As a result, he settled on the torii as an ideal type of environment, and then plunged into calculations of the total mass of the station, ways of supporting the inner wall with massive columns, and the distribution of areas. All this is important, but how exactly can we build such a huge machine?Dr. Jensen suggests using self-replicating robots for this. The third section of the report details the plan for using self-replicating robot spiders and a base station. He emphasizes the importance of sending only the most advanced technical components from Earth and using materials from the asteroid itself to create everything from rock crushers to solar panels. In theory, everything looks logical and clear, but if you look at the more detailed statements, everything gets a little complicated.First, let’s look at the total weight – Dr. Jensen suggests that you could send a “starter” capsule containing four robot spiders, a base station and enough advanced electronics to build another 3,000 robot spiders, weighing only about 8.6 tons – this is much less than the carrying capacity of even the modern Falcon Heavy rocket. Once the ship reaches the asteroid, it will no longer need any help from Earth – at least in theory.Then we will move on to even more impressive figures – cost and terms. According to Dr. Jensen’s admittedly eye-popping estimates, the cost of the program will be just $4.1 billion. This is much less than the $93 billion that NASA plans to spend on the Apollo program. And as a result, a space habitat will be created, which will provide 1 billion square meters. m of land that did not exist before. The total cost of building land in space is $4.10. per square meter.Perhaps even more impressive are the timelines – Dr. Jensen estimates the entire construction project could be completed in just 12 years. However, it will take even more time to fill the habitat with air and water and begin to regulate its temperature. However, this is a relatively short time frame for such an ambitious project.In addition, these costs and terms fully correspond to the level of personal well-being of billionaires who have already shown interest in space exploration. If Dr. Jensen’s ideas are at least partially feasible, and at first glance they look quite feasible, then perhaps the next great billionaire space race will be a competition to create the world’s first artificial gravity space environment. It would just be a great sight.

The engineer presented a plan to transform an asteroid into a space station in just 12 years.

The idea of ​​turning an asteroid into a house in space has been around for a long time. Despite this, it always seemed like a thing of the distant future due to complex technologies, so for many years it was not given much attention. However, David W. Jensen, a retired engineer at Rockwell Collins, recently took on the task of developing a detailed plan for the conversion. He published a 65-page paper detailing an easy-to-understand, relatively inexpensive and feasible plan to convert an asteroid into a space environment.

Dr. Jensen broke down the project into three main categories – asteroid selection, environment type selection, and mission strategy to achieve the goal.

When choosing an asteroid, the main focus was on which asteroid would be the best candidate for turning it into a rotating space environment. At the same time, it takes into account what the asteroid is made of, its proximity to the Earth (and “delta-V”, that is, how much energy is needed to get to it), as well as its dimensions.

After a rather careful selection, Dr. Jensen chose one of them – Atira. This S-type asteroid has a diameter of about 4.8 km and even has its own satellite, a 1 km diameter asteroid that orbits Atyra in a close orbit. It is not the closest potential asteroid: its closest approach to the Moon is about 80 times its distance. However, its orbit is stable and within the habitable zone of our solar system, which will help stabilize the internal temperature of the environment it can be transformed into.

Dr. Jensen looked at four common types of space stations – dumbbell, sphere, cylinder and torus. One of the most important considerations is artificial gravity caused by centrifugal force. Dr. Jensen mentions the harmful effects of prolonged stay in conditions of low gravity, which necessitates the use of an artificial replacement.

But for this the station must rotate. Atira already rotates a little, but when creating a space environment, it will be necessary to spin it to a reasonable speed of rotation, which could simulate the force of gravity felt by a person on Earth. Dr. Jensen also looks at the many other considerations involved in choosing a particular type of station, including the forces it will place on the material it will be made of (he suggests using anhydrous glass as a potential structural element), how much material should be on the outer shields to protect against radiation and micrometeorites, and how much living space will be inside. In connection with the last consideration, he proposes to build the structure with several floors, which will significantly increase the total living area of ​​the entire environment.

As a result, he settled on the torii as an ideal type of environment, and then plunged into calculations of the total mass of the station, ways of supporting the inner wall with massive columns, and the distribution of areas. All this is important, but how exactly can we build such a huge machine?

Dr. Jensen suggests using self-replicating robots for this. The third section of the report details the plan for using self-replicating robot spiders and a base station. He emphasizes the importance of sending only the most advanced technical components from Earth and using materials from the asteroid itself to create everything from rock crushers to solar panels. In theory, everything looks logical and clear, but if you look at the more detailed statements, everything gets a little complicated.

First, let’s look at the total weight – Dr. Jensen suggests that you could send a “starter” capsule containing four robot spiders, a base station and enough advanced electronics to build another 3,000 robot spiders, weighing only about 8.6 tons – this is much less than the carrying capacity of even the modern Falcon Heavy rocket. Once the ship reaches the asteroid, it will no longer need any help from Earth – at least in theory.

Then we will move on to even more impressive figures – cost and terms. According to Dr. Jensen’s admittedly eye-popping estimates, the cost of the program will be just $4.1 billion. This is much less than the $93 billion that NASA plans to spend on the Apollo program. And as a result, a space habitat will be created, which will provide 1 billion square meters. m of land that did not exist before. The total cost of building land in space is $4.10. per square meter.

Perhaps even more impressive are the timelines – Dr. Jensen estimates the entire construction project could be completed in just 12 years. However, it will take even more time to fill the habitat with air and water and begin to regulate its temperature. However, this is a relatively short time frame for such an ambitious project.

In addition, these costs and terms fully correspond to the level of personal well-being of billionaires who have already shown interest in space exploration. If Dr. Jensen’s ideas are at least partially feasible, and at first glance they look quite feasible, then perhaps the next great billionaire space race will be a competition to create the world’s first artificial gravity space environment. It would just be a great sight.

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