Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Habitats could leverage
highly eccentric NEA orbits 
to periodically cross planetary orbits. 

Some Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) orbits periodically
cross two different planetary orbits.

Some of these NEAs can become specialized Habitats,  
which rendezvous with Earth every two years 
to transport payloads throughout the inner Solar System.

Initial cyclers will  likely transport payloads
between Earth and orbit of Mars.


Leverage Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs)
to transport payloads from Earth to Martian vicinity,
Many Apollo NEAs now transit
both the orbit of Earth
and orbit of Mars.

Payload on well chosen Apollo,
could "hitch a ride" to near Mars. 

Initial payloads will likely include
Artificial Intelligence (AI) devices but probably not humans;
thus, initial NEA missions won't need  artificial gravity nor human life support.

 Subsequent asteroids will transform 
into self sustaining habitats
with gravity, energy and agriculture

for sizable populations of human travelers.

Typical cycler will likely be a habitat transformed from a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). A cycler trip will be lengthy, but a large internal volume and Earth-like gravity (from centrifugal force due to longitudinal spinning) can make a cycler orbit a very pleasant voyage with many traveling companions (perhaps 10,000 passengers).

EXAMPLE:  If a 2 year Apollo happens to intersect Earth's orbit, it will continue to intersect Earth's orbit at same position every 2 years. Right side diagram shows a cycler habitat completing its biennial rendezvous.  Presumably, there was an exchange of cargo and many passengers, and the cycler starts another 2 year orbit which will extend well beyond orbit of Mars.
An effective cycler orbit cycler could have an elongated orbit as shown; the perihelion (q, orbit's closest point to Sol) lies between orbit of Earth and orbit of Mars,  and aphelion (Q, orbit's farthest point) is well past orbit of Mars.

Even on a resonant, 2 year orbit; a randomly placed cycler would most likely never encounter neither Earth nor Mars. However, a well placed cycler would accomplish biennial rendezvous with Earth as it pierces Ecliptic, the plane of the Earth's orbit around Sol, a common reference for describing a celestial object's position in Solar System. Furthermore, that object's inclination (i) is the angle between that object's orbital plane and the Ecliptic (i.e., a greater i indicates object spends most of its orbit far from Ecliptic, while lesser i indicates closer.)
Cycler Definitions

Cycler: Habitat in a resonant, transfer orbit.

Transfer Orbit:  Highly eccentric solar orbit 
which  transits two planetary orbits.

Earth Resonant Orbit:  Solar orbit with period 
as exact multiple of Earth's Period (i.e., 2 years, 3 years, etc.)

Resonant Cycler can transfer large payloads
between Earth and a destination orbit.Cyclic periods depend on Kepler's Third Law.
Square of orbital period, P, equals the cube of the semi-major axis, a.
P2 =a3
BACKGROUND:  Of the eight thousand cataloged Apollo asteroids, very few (perhaps 80)  are Earth resonant with orbital periods of precisely two years. Also, resonance does not obligate an object to intersect orbit of Earth. Of these 80 resonant Apollos, their nearest distance to Earth's orbit ranges from .001 AU to .142 AU (149,600 km to 21.2 million km).  Recall Luna orbits Earth with radius of 384,400 km.
HOWEVER, NEA Orbits can be adjusted. Just as an asteroid can transform into a comfortable Habitat, its orbital perihelion can adjust to intersect near Earth every two years. (See right side diagram.) Thus, cycler orbit perihelion becomes q=1 AU, and it does biennial rendezvous as shown. Other considerations:
---Furthermore, orbit's inclination (i) can adjust to near zero.
---Carefully plan cycler orbit to not collide with Luna.
---Annual event: add another cycler exactly 180° from the other one (see diagram).  Thus, one cycler would rendezvous with Earth on even years (i.e., 2024, 2026, 2028, ...) and other cycler would rendezvous on odd years (2025, 2027, 2029, ...)
Compared with previous cycler example, BENEFITS include: 
First, orbit extends even further past orbit of Mars.to explore and exploit even more asteroids.
Second, 2nd cycler makes the Earth rendezvous an annual event.
The first cycler orbit was designed with zero inclination (i) such that the perihelion (q) coincides with Earth's Vernal Equinox (VE).
ADD ANOTHER similar cycler orbit such that q aligns with Earth's Winter Solstice (WS).
ANNUAL RENDEZVOUS EVENTS:  Both the VE orbit and the WS orbit could have two properly placed cyclers to rendezvous with Terra (i.e., Earth) at orbit's perihelion (q).
Given a 2 year period, any given cycler is constrained to meet with Terra only once every two years. However,  each orbit could have two cyclers: one to service Terra on odd years; the other on even years.
Since this example assumes two fully deployed biennial orbits, Terra will enjoy visits from two cyclers each year.
VE orbit could be replicated and realigned as shown in right side diagram; such a deployment would service Terra four times annually.
THEORETICALLY: There is no limit for quantity of rendezvous events. Given sufficient resources and resolve, cyclers could Earth-rendezvous monthly, weekly and even daily.
FEASIBILITY: Safety concerns does impose some obvious restrictions.
EXAMPLE:  If we decided to implement multiple daily rendezvous events, common sense tells us this greatly increases the risk of cycler collisions with Terra, Luna and even other habitats.   Note similar risk of current day aircraft incidents. Even though air travel is generally quite safe, incident risk does increase due to increased quantity of air traffic.
PRACTICALLY: Human economy will quantify cycler events.
EXAMPLE: SPACE TOURISM.  Cycler supply would increase in response to a huge demand for two year "cruises" on very pleasant environments through celestial heavens (just as wealthy clients now take ocean cruises "around the world"). For more examples, see following list of REVENUE GENERATING ACTIVITIES. However, if cycler events cannot be monetized; they won't last.
From the revenue list (see right), TE speculates on a few:
By definition, a cycler cannot stop cycling.  Thus, it cannot interrupt its orbit to conduct mining operations; however, it can deploy much smaller vessels throughout its orbit. Thus, a cycler crew will likely deploy a much smaller, autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI) vessel to claim a suitable asteroid. Via constant communications, the cycler crew would "telepossess" this asteroid. 
AI vessel will deploy devices to mine and process resources to create a suitable payload for another cycler to someday recover. Thus, the autonomous AI vessel would communicate with incoming cycler to coordinate subsequent activities required to launch payload from asteroid and gracefully intercept cycler. 
  1. Carbonyl Metallurgical Technologies in space.
  2. In space Oxygen Fueling Services
  3. Telepossession of Near Earth Asteroids
  4. Platinum Group Metals are Asteroids.
  5. Lagrange Point Operations
  6. Earth–Mars Cycler Operations.
  7. Provision of Radiation Shielding Technologies
  8. In Space Greenhouse Space Stations
  9. Space Colonization Products.
  10. Space Tourism Operations.
  11. Common Habitation Facilities
  12. In Space Manufacturing of Spacecraft
Initial task of 2 year cyclers might be to transfer payloads to/from orbit of Mars though not directly to Mars itself.  Sidereal orbit of Mars (1.79 years) does not resonate with orbit of Earth (i.e., every two years); thus, two year cycler will always rendezvous with Earth, but it will seldom rendezvous with Mars. HOWEVER, two year cycler will always have opportunity to inject Mars bound payload into a closer orbit.
1) Outer Concentric Orbit is slower than orbit of Mars; thus, Mars can "catch up" to payload.  2) Inner Concentric Orbit is faster; thus, payload can gain on Mars, the planet.  3) Most Likely Option:  Launch Payload into specially designed transfer orbit to intercept Mars.
For more about cycling to Mars, see next chapter, Marsonance.
For some Apollo NEAs to become 2 year cyclers,  consider following tasks:
I. Leverage NEAs.  Select asteroid to transform into Habitat.
II.  Adjust NEA Orbit.  Ensure period is 2 years, and it intersects Earth orbit in coordination with Earth, planet.
III.  Add More Orbits.  Replicate and arrange additional orbits.

Cycler benefits must be monetized or they won't last.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home