Here’s part II of Greg Autry‘s series on cislunar activity.
From the article: “Orbital real estate is extremely limited and – in the absence of any coordination or law preventing occupation of those desirable orbits – the rules of First Mover Advantage must apply.”
In particular, Earth-Moon Lagrange points 1 and 2 are going to be in high demand. NASA’s Lunar Gateway architecture will stake a not-so-subtle claim on L2.
I’ve already written the scenes in my next book that involve lunar landing. But, I have to say, the idea of a space elevator from L1 to near the Moon’s south pole is almost too good to ignore. I might have to revisit those scenes.
Lunar Orbital Congestion II: Economic and Strategic Drivers
The 2nd in a series, this article considers economic forces driving lunar orbital congestion and competition over locations strategic locations in the Earth-Moon system.
In the manuscript for the next Generation Mars book, I mention that a couple was able to conceive through recent technological developments. Well, here’s science catching up to fiction before the fiction is even published. The tech is called in-vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. It’s not ready for use in humans yet. But when it is, the possibilities are staggering.
Creating a sperm or egg from any cell? Reproduction revolution on the horizon
Researchers are inching closer to creating human eggs and sperm in the lab that carry a full complement of anyone’s DNA. It could revolutionize fertility treatment and raises huge ethical questions.
While the theme of food doesn’t come up until book four, I’m always on the lookout for relevant information. Here’s an interesting piece on the genetic modification of leafy greens to provide medication through diet.
From the article:
“A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed modified transgenic lettuce that produces a bone-stimulating hormone. The lettuce can be easily grown in space and could help strengthen an astronaut’s bones. It may even help reduce the risk of osteoporosis on Earth…”
This is a long read, but worthwhile. It is not hyperbole to say that Starship will change everything. And it will happen faster than the current space industry is prepared to adapt.
From the article:
“There are still major risks on the critical path between now and a fully reusable Starship, but no miracles are required to solve them.
Starship will change the way we do business in space, and now is the time to start preparing.
Annual capacity to LEO climbs from its current average of 500 T for the whole of our civilization to perhaps 500 T per week. Eventually, it could exceed 1,000,000 T/year. At the same time, launch costs drop as low as $50/kg, roughly 100x lower than the present. For the same budget in launch, supply will have increased by roughly 100x. How can the space industry saturate this increased launch supply?
Prior to Starship, heavy machinery for building a Moon base could only come from NASA, because only NASA has the expertise to build a rocket propelled titanium Moon tractor for a billion dollars per unit. After Starship, Caterpillar or Deere or Kamaz can space qualify their existing commodity products with very minimal changes and operate them in space.
Even if the space industry fully understood Starship, I think it would be very difficult for them to plan and adapt rapidly enough to match the coming explosion in launch capacity.”
Casey Handmer's blog
Maybe I should submit the design of my surface suits…
Though, to be fair, my suits are a fictional combination of the ideas of Dava Newman and Kava Manyapu. But I came up with the waste disposal mechanism (capillary action through the compression layer into a pad beneath the outer layer, which can be changed).
The physics of orbiting bodies is about to take away our communication with Mars for a couple weeks.
If you haven’t watched the Starship hop from yesterday, take a look at the official SpaceX feed. It doesn’t show the later explosion (yes, it blew up about ten minutes after landing), but there is some really great footage here. The transition to glide at 10:04 and the relighting of the Raptors at 11:41 stand out, but the whole thing is worth a watch.
image: screen grab from SpaceX video
Yes, the landing legs failed. Yes, it stands at an angle after landing. Yes, it blew up ten minutes later. That stuff doesn’t matter yet. The legs were a temporary solution, not the final design. The goal of this mission was to improve the glide and the flip-and-burn maneuver for landing. By those measures, this flight was a success.
Looking forward to SN11.