On June 21, the scientific and technical conference for non-rocket near space industrialization was held in Belarus. It was attended by inventors, representatives of academic and scientific circles, public organizations from Belarus and foreign countries, including the UK, Germany, Peru, India, United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Slovakia and Estonia. The first conference dedicated to the issues of space-free industrialization of space was held in 1988 and gathered about 500 guests from the USSR and abroad. After 30 years, this issue is even more relevant.
Save the Biosphere
Participants stated: negative changes occur in the Earth’s biosphere, caused by the activities of modern technocratic civilization. If we do not take drastic measures, we are all doomed to ruin in two or three generations.
The solution was proposed by the main speaker, Belarusian engineer and inventor Anatoly Unitsky, a member of the USSR Cosmonautics Federation, the inventor of the SkyWay string transport technology; dozens of countries around the world are now showing interest in this technology, including the UAE, where the project is included in the infrastructure development strategy. He spoke about his SpaceWay space program, the essence of which is to bring all harmful production into Earth orbit and begin the industrialization of space. Then the biosphere will be freed from the negative influence of the technosphere, and humanity will have unlimited space resources at its disposal. However, the traditional methods of space exploration are not suitable for this task.
“The existing rocket transport causes enormous damage to the environment and is economically inefficient. The geocosmic transport of the new generation should play a decisive role in the industrialization of space,” said Anatoly Unitsky.
He presented the GPV project (General Planetary Vehicle) – a geospace vehicle of the future, which will be advantageously different from modern rocket solutions in high speed, eco-friendliness (it works on electricity) and efficiency. In the future, GPV will be able to provide annual cargo traffic of millions and billions of tons between the Earth and orbit.
How the Transportation of the Future Works
At the same time, the basic principles of GPV operation are quite simple. Anatoly Unitsky formulated them in 1982 in his article “Interchange, Space, Ring” published in the journal “Inventor and Innovator”. The ideal transport would be one that uses only internal forces, says the inventor. That is why, it must have the shape of a ring.
Thus, the General Planetary Vehicle is a geocosmic aircraft covering the planet in the equatorial plane. The peculiarity of GPV functioning is that going into space is carried out by increasing the diameter of its ring and achieving at the design altitude (with passengers and cargo) the peripheral velocity of the body equal to the first cosmic velocity. At the same time, the position of the center of mass of GPV does not change in the process of going into space – it always coincides with the center of mass of the planet. The optimal internal driving force for GPV is excessive centrifugal force from a belt flywheel accelerated around the planet in a vacuum channel using a linear electric motor and a magnetic cushion to speeds exceeding the first cosmic one – up to 10–12 km/s, depending on the ratio of the linear masses of the body and the flywheel. This is not very high speed: it is thousands of times lower, for example, than the speed approaching 300,000 km/s, obtained on the same principles in modern charge particle accelerators. For the transfer of momentum and moment of momentum to the body of GPV when entering the orbit in order to obtain an orbital speed equal to the first cosmic velocity, a second belt flywheel is required, also covering the planet.
Separately, it should be said about the economic effect of using the GPV – the cost of delivering each ton of cargo to orbit will be reduced by a thousand times compared with a rocket and will be less than a thousand dollars per ton. To achieve what an GPV can do in one year, the modern world rocket and space industry will need more than one hundred thousand years. But the main thing is that civilization will get access to almost ideal conditions for technological processes: weightlessness, vacuum, unlimited raw materials, energy and spatial resources. In this way, the endless needs of humanity will be satisfied.
The construction and commissioning of the GPV is a super-ambitious task that will require cooperation between countries of the world, international organizations, leading world companies, research organizations and universities.
The project budget is $ 2.5 trillion (three annual US military budgets), the power of integrating an GPV into the network is 100 million kilowatts (such is, for example, the power of one heavy launch vehicle), the need for steel is about 100 million tons (as much steel, for example, is melted on the planet in 3 weeks), the need for concrete is about 10 million cubes (as much concrete was laid, for example, in the dam of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric station).
Anatoly Unitsky called the establishment of an international public organization to consolidate the efforts of the world community to ensure the sustainable development of the biosphere and the harmonious co-evolution of man and nature as one of the priority intermediate tasks on the way to industrialization of near space. This will be done over the next 2 years. The headquarters of the organization will be located in the United States. It is planned that over time it will join the UN as an expert on global environmental issues.
The participants presented the results of their research and scientific and practical work in the following areas: solving global problems of modern times with space means, the prospects for industrial development of near space, creating a general non-missile space vehicle, especially organizing large-scale cargo and passenger traffic along the Earth-Orbit-Earth, space settlements for 5 thousand people in orbit, etc.
Interest of participants and guests was caused by the reports “Features of the design of a residential space cluster “EcoCosmoHouse”, “Features of international business cooperation within the framework of the SpaceWay program”,“ Description of the structural elements of the SpaceWay astro-engineering transport system”.
Based on the results of the conference a collection of scientific papers will be published. The next, third conference on the problems of non-rocket space exploration will be held in 2020 in the Republic of Belarus.
According to the conference participants, the future of our civilization actually depends on the success of the SpaceWay program – in a few decades the consequences of a human invasion of the biosphere will become irreversible.
Anatoli Unitsky’s report:
Implementation of the SpaceWay geocosmic program is the only way for sustainable development of the Earth’s civilization of a technocratic type
There are currently about 2 mln living organisms known to science. More than 26 thousand of these die each year. Some of them disappear due to natural causes, that’s how evolution occurs, but most of them – due to man-made reasons.
Genetic information about these organisms also disappears forever – DNA, recovery of which is impossible by using engineering methods in the future, since this molecule is hundreds of thousands of times more complicated than Boeing, for example. The aircraft has several million parts, and this giant organic molecule contains hundreds of billions of “parts” – atoms of dozens of chemical elements from the periodic table, which are structured into a complex and reliable structure tested by millions of years of evolution and, on top of that, capable of self-reproduction.
The number of allergies, cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases, as well as genetic disorders and human hereditary diseases caused by contamination of water, air and soil is growing rapidly.
Irreversible changes in landscape, soils occur, forests disappear, rivers, seas and oceans are polluted; the ozone layer that protects all living things on the planet from destructive bad radiation of the Sun is intensely destroyed.
There are many causes of negative changes on the planet, but what is the source of these processes? Only by understanding this, one can avoid degradation of the biosphere and humanity as one of the biological species, as well as to determine the paths for harmonious development of our civilization in the future.
According to modern concepts, life was born on the Earth about 4 billion years ago. While developing, adapting to the conditions that existed then, living organisms began to transform the world around them. These transformations were no less than those that occurred with them as they developed and improved.
Thus, an oxygen-containing atmosphere, live fertile soil, coral islands, ozone layer, modern landscape with its savannas and forest-steppes, swamps and tundra, taiga and jungles were appeared on the dead and deserted planet. This is how the biosphere appeared, where millions of species of living organisms and the planet transformed by them over billions of years of evolution had been ideally “fitted” to each other. And there is nothing superfluous.
What should be paid a special attention to – the entire biosphere of the planet has been created from waste products of organisms. Oxygen and, accordingly, ozone is a waste product of photosynthetic bacteria and green plants; fertile soil and humus – all this died at one time, decomposed and passed through someone’s stomach and intestines, including soil microorganisms and earthworms.
The Emergence of the Technosphere and Homo Technologicus
But then a man appeared who, thanks to his intelligence, began to strengthen his muscles, organs of sense, intellect, began to create machinery and master technological processes. It had happened long time ago, hundreds of thousands years ago, when primitive people began to manufacture primitive tools and mastered the first technology with the use of fire – cooking on fire.
It was then that a man chose the technological path of development and we can’t change it today. The modern industrial power of Earth’s civilization is just a logical development of the technocratic direction. Homo Sapiens, when uniting into local societies, and later, when the industry appeared, into a planetary civilization, has now become qualitatively different – Homo Technologicus.
In the 21st century, “Technocratic Man” actually shifted to a narrower concept of “Asphalt Man”, since most of humanity has begun to live in cities. Therefore, a territory equal in area to five UKs is nowadays “rolled up” in asphalt and “buried” under rail sleepers. This ground is dead, no green plants grow on it that produce oxygen, which is so necessary for all of us to breathe. Soils in areas 10 times larger, which are adjacent to roads, are degraded and polluted with carcinogens from exhaust gases and wear of tires and asphalt products.
Only the world’s roads, and their length is more than 30 million km, kill annually about 1.5 million people on the planet (some of them die later from the post accidental injuries) and much more – make them disabled and crippled. The cars burn over 2 billion 200 million tons of fuel annually and process more than 35 billion tons of life-giving air through high temperature combustion, while burning out over 7 billion tons of oxygen from the atmosphere. So much oxygen is produced, for example, by a pine forest with an area of 2 million 400 thousand square kilometers during a year, and this is a territory of 12 such countries as Belarus.
Plants, factories, power supply stations, machinery, cars and other engineering equipment in the technosphere created by Homo Technocraticus are analogues of living organisms in the biosphere. And they also exchange energy, information and substance with the environment; therefore, like living organisms, they should inevitably transform the Nature around them.
From the point of view of biology, now there is a man-made pollution of the environment. From the technical point of view, neither a machine, a plant, a factory, a power station, nor a car pollute anything. At the input they have raw materials and resources, at the output – finished products or services, for example, energy, information or transportation and transformed raw materials (minus finished products or services), which obviously get to the same place, where it was taken – into the environment.
It is impossible to avoid this in principle. It’s also fundamentally impossible to create closed, absolutely “green” industrial technologies, as environmentalists may dream of, in order to solve all environmental problems on the planet. This is about the same as finding a way to ban a cow, along with the products we need – meat and milk, to produce waste products – urine, manure, methane and CO2.
Even the biosphere as a whole is not a closed system. It is an open system and therefore has transformed the previously dead Earth. The “Earth-Biosphere” system is the only close system. But even this system is not a completely closed one, as it absorbs the energy of the Sun and space radiation, space dust and meteoritic substance and emits the heat from the subsoil into space (the planet gradually cools down), as well as man-made light and radio emission.
Technosphere and Biosphere: Consequences of a Collision
Even the entire technosphere, and not a single machine, factory or plant in a single planet cannot be a closed system. The technosphere will inevitably transform the planet and its biosphere. But in what way? The oxygen-containing atmosphere is not needed for the technosphere. Therefore, today the industry and transport engineering of the USA, for example, consume much more oxygen than green plants on the territory of this country produce. Americans live in debt. They consume oxygen produced by the Russian taiga and the Amazon jungles.
Neither the technosphere needs live fertile soil. Therefore, the planet has less and less fertile land, and more and more dumps, slag, ash and waste heaps. But live soil, such as black earth, which contains about a trillion microorganisms of several thousand species in 1 kilo, is inherently the immune system of the entire Earth’s biosphere. This is where the food chain begins for most living organisms and all viral diseases, including the most deadly ones, end here.
It is microorganisms that have their own narrow specialization each create the universal nutrition for plants – humus, all sorts of insoluble humic acid salts; otherwise, rain and groundwater would wash all the nutriment from the soil. Another types of microorganisms “unpack” these specific canned food – organic compounds, which contain the entire set of chemical elements necessary for life in the form of thousands of specific and very complicated organic compounds – they convert humus into soluble form and, thus, feed the plants. Humus contains almost the entire periodic table, which is necessary for DNA construction. Meanwhile, there are only a few chemical fertilizers that are used to replace humus everywhere: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium.
A man has been killing soil microflora and microfauna for hundreds of years, that is, the immune system of the biosphere, by plowing and with mineral fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, asphalt and waste heaps. And soon the biosphere of the planet will become like an AIDS patient with a weakened immune system, who can “die” from any previously harmless “sore”.
Acid rains, smog, increased level of radiation, destruction of the ozone layer of the planet – all this is a consequence of the industry existence. It is possible only to slow down the process of transformation of the Earth’s nature and biosphere, but it cannot be stopped. The technosphere occupies the same ecological niche as the biosphere entirely: machines, mechanisms, technical devices are located in the midst of the earth, water, air and actively exchange substance, energy and information with them.
Recently, environmental problems have escalated only because the technosphere in its power supply, i.e. in its ability to transform the environment, is closer to the biosphere in principle. For example, now in the process of photosynthesis the biosphere reproduces about 150 billion tons of dry organic substance per year, which in terms of fuel, is just a little bit more than the annual energy consumption of all the equipment available to the Earth’s civilization. And the volume of soil, coal, ore and other types of raw materials transported and processed with the use of equipment is already very close to the volume of the organic substance produced by the biosphere.
From a biological point of view, the humanity as a species of living organisms, is a “child”, who “was born” by the biosphere, with a total biomass of about 500 million tons (approx. 350 million tons of which is water), and does not pose any danger to planetary ecology with a total mass of all living beings in the biosphere of about 2.5 trillion tons (approx. 1.8 trillion tons of which is water), since it is less than 0.02% by weight. That is, by its metabolism and homeostasis, the civilization as a community of people and as an open biological system is less significant for the planet’s biosphere than any mold that has a larger total mass.
Global problems are actually created by the homeostasis of another “child” – the one, who was born by Homo Technocraticus. And this “child” is called – industry. It grows very quickly, it has an ever-increasing appetite, and its weight, which is in many aspects is useless “industrial fat”, is approaching to the mass of living substance on the planet.
Another culprit of global warming has recently been discovered – Bitcoin. If the growth rate of this payment system continues and the essence of this non-optimal information technology does not change, then its mining will consume up to 100 % of global electricity production in the nearest future.
Thus, not only material technologies related to processing of substances, but also information technologies, including mobile communications, which not only with their radio emission, but also due to the need to launch a multitude of satellites, cause more and more damage to the environment. Although the information itself is not material, it is stored and processed on hard devices, which, in fact, create environmental problems.
Space Industrialization as the Only Way
There is only one cardinal way out of the current situation: it is necessary to provide the technosphere with an ecological niche outside the biosphere.
There is no such ecological niche on the Earth. But it is in near space, at a distance of 300-500 km from the surface of the planet, where there are ideal conditions for most technological processes: weightlessness, vacuum, unlimited raw materials, energy and spatial areas.
Thus, we come to the conclusion that there is a need to industrialize space. The mankind doesn’t have much time left for this, since on a number of forecasts due to technocratic oppression on the biosphere, its irreversible degradation, and hence the degradation of the human race, will begin in two generations. This will be a point of no return for a technocratic civilization of the Earth- no actions and measures will ever help to turn it back.
The mankind has no experience in industrial space exploration. And what should the space industry be? What are its functions, what are the volumes and types of products manufactures? Where will these products be mainly consumed: in space of on Earth? Questions may be asked a lot. And no clear answers can be given today. Any answer can be right and wrong at the same time – everything will depend on those specific development paths that the Earth’s civilization will choose in the future during large-scale space exploration.
Indeed, the objective reasons mentioned above should move the sphere of material production almost entirely into space in the future. At the same time. the humanity as a biological species, like any other species of living organisms on our planet, is a product of 4 billion years of evolution under the Earth’s and not cosmic conditions.
We are ideally “fitted” to the Earth’s gravity, the Earth’s magnetic and electric fields, the Earth’s air saturated with phytoncides from flowering plants, the Earth’s spring water saturated with microelements we need, the Earth’s food grown on earth’s humus and to many other earth’s things that we do not even suspect, but without which we cannot exist not only today, but also in the foreseeable future.
Nowhere in the vast universe, including the Moon and the Mars, there can be no more suitable conditions for us, the earthlings, than on our beautiful blue planet. Therefore, the main consumer of future space industry products – the mankind – will be on the Earth.
Space industrialization means the creation of conditions for production of various materials, energy, machines, obtaining new information, implementation of technological processes and scientific experiments in orbit. Therefore, significant traffic is inevitable between the consumer of material products – the mankind living on the planet – and production of these products placed in Earth’s orbit as close as possible to the consumer in order to improve the geocosmic logistics.
Since a person is primarily material, his consumption of products both supporting his livelihood (food, water, air) and industrial (phone, computer, fridge, TV, car) are related to his ergonomics: dimensions (average height of a person is 1 m 65 cm) and body weight (average 62 kg).
Geospatial Transport: as it should be
The bottleneck of upcoming space industrialization, when the Earth’s civilization can become a truly cosmic one, is geocosmic transport. Even in the most ambitious forecasts, well-known geocosmic transport systems such as rocket launchers, space elevators, electromagnetic gun and others are capable of transporting only a few thousand tons of cargo a year along the “Earth-Orbit-Earth” route, which is tens of thousands of times less that what is required – namely, less than one gram per year for every inhabitant of the planet.
Imagine we were a microhomuncle civilization and each of us would have weighed within one gram, then we would be completely satisfied with such traffic volumes.
But for the Earth’s technocratic civilization, which melts today about 2 billion tons of basic metals – iron, copper and aluminum annually, almost 300 kg per person, it is not acceptable.
It is geocosmic cargo traffic that will determine the pace of development of space industry for the benefit of our civilization living in its home on the Earth planet. It is like an umbilical cord, but industrial, that connects a growing child with a mother – its cross section will determine the metabolism, energy and growth rate of a child. A mouse has a thin umbilical cord, a man has a thicker, and an elephant has an even thicker.
Therefore, the annual per capita consumption of industrial products in the future should be commensurate with the mass of a man. Then for 10 billion people at least 10 kg of products for every human being – this will amount to about 100 million tons of industrial space production per year. Which is not so much, if you compare with the larger production of similar products by the Earth’s industry today.
If solutions to this problem are not found in the nearest future, our Earth’s technocratic civilization will face the fate of the mold in the Petri dish – having eaten all the limited resources and poisoned the limited space with its waste products, it will die sooner or later.
Geocosmic transportation today and in the foreseeable future with the help of rockets will be very expensive: in the wildest forecasts – at least 1 million USD/t. Therefore, to implement the program of space industrialization, if we rely on the existing and prospective space transport, an annual budget of at least 100 trillion USD will be required – just insane expenses for the mankind far exceeding today’s global GDP. These expenses will actually go towards the suicide of civilization, since almost 100% of money will be spent on creating tools for large-scale destruction of the biosphere by using the geocosmic transport system, which is particularly evident in the example of rocket launchers.
A special attention should be paid to the impact of rockets on the environment, since it is the rocket vector of space industrialization, exploration of the Moon and the Mars that is considered by experts as the most priority today. Although rockets create, along with ozone holes, ionospheric holes with a stream of high-energy particles to the surface of the planet, cause turbulence in the upper atmosphere, provoke powerful atmospheric cyclones, drastically reduce atmospheric pressure at the Earth’s surface and many other things; let’s consider just one particular issue – destruction of ozone by this cosmic transport.
The American rocket launcher Shuttle can destroy from 10 to 40 million tons of ozone in one launch, since it uses ozone extinguishing elements as fuel – nitrogen, chlorine and other components. In addition, the plasma of its jet stream has a temperature of about 4 thousand degrees (almost 3 times higher than the temperature of steel melting) and an outflow rate of about 4 kilometers per second (5 times higher than the speed of a sniper rifle bullet). Thus, almost all energy from combustion of fuel in the jet engine of any rocket is emitted into the atmosphere, and only a small part of it is spent on useful work – to lift the cargo into orbit and accelerate it to the first cosmic velocity.
The complex economic damage caused by rocket launches to the planetary ecosystem is difficult to determine, but a private assessment of the damage from destruction of the planet’s ozone layer can be performed, if we assess the cost of ozone recovery not by natural, supposedly “free” and “gratuitous” methods, but by man-made ones.
It is known that ozone is obtained by passing the air through an ozonizer. The main factor determining the cost of ozone production is energy consumption. The best industrial ozonizers consume about 10 thousand kWh of energy to produce 1 ton of ozone. With an average world cost of electricity of about 10 cents per kWh, the cost of electricity consumed to get one ton of ozone will be approximately 1, 000 USD.
Thus, in order to restore the ozone destroyed at each launch of a heavy rocket in the amount of more than 10 million tons, we must spend 10 billion USD for electricity. Even if each rocket puts 100 tons of cargo into orbit, one ton of payload will have a planetary environmental damage of at least 100 million USD.
Therefore, the minimum environmental tax on development of near-Earth space by using rocket launchers, and no matter who launches them, should be at least 100 million USD for every ton of cargo that is put into space.
And no prospective cheapening of the cost of launching rockets can reduce the cost of delivering a ton of cargo to orbit below $ 100 million – the damage that will be even more sensitive in the future, which rockets do to our common home – the planet’s biosphere.
Characteristics of the Extraterrestrial Industry
Equally important will be the location of the future extraterrestrial industry. It should be as close as possible to the consumer, i.e., to the surface of the planet where billions of people will live. Since the industry will include a huge number of components (plants, technological platforms, power plants, residential modules), the orbits of their movement should not intersect. Otherwise, given the high cosmic speeds, a chain reaction of the destruction of the entire system (the “domino principle”) may occur, which will cause the death of thousands of people serving the space industry. To avoid such a catastrophe, the probability of which is not zero even with the most perfect control system, is only possible by placing the space industry in the equatorial plane of the planet, like Saturn’s rings.
It will also allow easily moving from one industrial orbit to another, since they are always parallel to each other, and exchanging between them raw materials, materials, energy and products produced in space.
Thus, the principle of the exploration of near space in the equatorial plane differs significantly from the modern exploration of cosmic space, where the orbits of artificial Earth satellites and orbital stations are arbitrary and intersect with each other.
Features of Geospace Transportation
We are all on the planet in a “gravitational potential hole”, from which you can get out, either by rising to infinity, or flying out of it with the first cosmic velocity equal to 7,919 m/s, and not vertically up, but going to a circular orbit. Therefore, for each ton of cargo delivered into orbit, it is necessary to bring at least 8.7 thousand kWh of energy. If we use the electrical energy generated by a thermal power plant, then this will be equivalent to the consumption of about 2 tons 200 kg of fuel.
Therefore, geocosmic transport has been and always will be, on the basis of the laws of physics, very energy-intensive and that is why it should have an efficiency as close as possible to 100% in order to avoid global environmental problems. For example, a rocket launcher consumes 20 times more fuel than it is required by the laws of physics, since it brings almost all the energy of the fuel not to the load, but ejects it into the atmosphere of the planet at high speed and with a very hot jet flow.
And taking into account the pre-flight (obtaining components of the fuel, their cooling to cryogenic temperatures) and flight costs and energy losses (aerodynamic resistance, loss of lower stages and fairings, the manufacture of which consumes a lot of energy), the overall energy efficiency of the rocket launcher is several times worse than that of a Stephenson’s Rocket – about 1%.
When the cargo returns to Earth, the spacecraft is decelerated by the atmosphere, so all its potential and kinetic energy is released into the environment in the form of a plasma wake, burning of the thermal protection shell, acoustic waves, increasing the environmental damage caused at the initial stage of geocosmic logistics – when delivering the cargo into space.
We do not know how technology will develop in the future, as we do not know the upcoming discoveries. The only thing that can be stated with complete confidence is that, whatever this technique may be, it will comply with the fundamental laws of Nature. Such laws, many times proved by practice, will remain fair forever. In the field of mechanics, they include four laws of conservation: energy, momentum, moment of momentum and the motion of the center of mass of the system.
In addition to the kinetic and potential energies, it is also necessary to bring momentum and moment of momentum to the cosmic load – for rotation in orbit around the planet. Since the near-Earth space industry should be created from the planet, then according to conservation laws, both excess energy (equal to: 100% minus the efficiency of geocosmic transport), and the back impulse (like recoil from a gun when fired) and moment of momentum (like the moment transmitted to helicopter body from a rotating screw) must be transmitted to the planet.
A rocket, for example, transmits all of this to the planet not directly, but through an “intermediary” – the atmosphere, throwing combustion products into it in it’s the most vulnerable part – in the ozone layer and in the ionosphere. This causes turbulence, atmospheric and ionospheric whirlpools, and each time a rocket is launched, it leads to the formation of ozone and ionospheric holes of the size of France.
The main drawbacks of the rocket are not only high temperature and jet flow rate, but also high engine power, about 1 million kW per ton of cargo. Imagine, for example, how much would a regular passenger car with an engine not with the power of 100 kW, but 1 million kW cost?
Both the power of jet engines and acceleration of boosting (30–50 m/s2 or more) could be reduced by a factor of 20–30 to acceptable for an ordinary passenger 1–1.5 m/s2 if it were possible to increase the time of their efficient operation from 4–6 minutes to 120–150 minutes. But this cannot be done, again according to the laws of physics, since the jet thrust would decrease (with a decrease in the intensity of fuel burning), which must exceed the weight of the rocket during the entire flight, so all the rocket fuel would burn, and the space ship, without moving, would stand on the start table.
Basic conditions and requirements for the industrialization of space and geocosmic transport
- The placement of the space industry in circular orbits in the equatorial plane;
- The transport system should be implemented not as a stationary structure, but as a geocosmic aircraft;
- The aircraft must be as environmentally friendly as possible, self-supporting (the principle of “Baron Munchausen”), working only on the internal forces of the system, without any mechanical and energy interaction with the planet’s atmosphere;
- The theoretical efficiency of the system should be close to 100%;
- Ensuring cargo flows in the millions, and in the future, in the billions of tons of cargo per year;
- The possibility of recovery of excess energy (potential and kinetic) of space products during its delivery from space to Earth;
- The use of the most environmentally friendly energy for entry into space – electrical;
- In the process of geocosmic transportation, momentum, moment of momentum and energy should be transmitted by the system directly to the solid earth’s crust, without engaging in the mechanical chain of the planet’s atmosphere;
- The engine power in the system, in terms of 1 ton of cargo, should be relatively low – no more than 100 kW, like in a regular passenger electric car;
- Acceleration of boosting for passengers and cargo should be comfortable and not exceed 1.5 m/s2 during the entire journey into orbit, for which the time to reach the first cosmic velocity must be at least 2 hours.
All these ten basic requirements are met by only one engineering solution – the General Planetary Vehicle (GPV), which is a self-supporting geocosmic aircraft covering the planet in the equatorial plane.
The peculiarity of the functioning of GPV is that going into space is carried out by increasing the diameter of its ring and achieving at the design altitude (with passengers and cargo) the peripheral velocity of the body equal to the first cosmic velocity. At the same time, the position of the center of mass of GPV does not change in the process of going into space – it always coincides with the center of mass of the planet. Therefore, the regular movement – the ascent to the altitude and the obtaining the first cosmic velocity – can be carried out only at the expense of the internal forces of the system, without any interaction with the environment.
The optimal internal driving force for GPV is excessive centrifugal force from a belt flywheel accelerated around the planet in a vacuum channel using a linear electric motor and a magnetic cushion to speeds exceeding the first cosmic one – up to 10–12 km/s, depending on the ratio of the linear masses of the body and the flywheel. This is not very high speed: it is thousands of times lower, for example, than the speed approaching 300,000 km/s, obtained on the same principles in modern charge particle accelerators.
For the transfer of momentum and moment of momentum to the body of GPV when entering the orbit in order to obtain an orbital speed equal to the first cosmic velocity, a second belt flywheel is required, also covering the planet. Then, during deaccelerating of the first flywheel, its excess kinetic energy, since the linear electric motor will operate in the generator mode, may not be dumped into the atmosphere, but to be recovered for acceleration in the opposite direction of the second flywheel.
When a double momentum is received (from acceleration of one and braking of the other flywheel), maximum efficiency and maximum overall efficiency of GPV will be achieved when the peripheral speed equal to the first cosmic one at a given orbit is reached.
Thus, from the standpoint of physics, the most environmentally friendly geocosmic aircraft, using only its internal forces to enter space, has only one version with three basic conditions:
- the presence of three interrelated ring structures covering the planet in the equatorial plane with the center of mass coinciding with the center of mass of the Earth – the body and two belt flywheels;
- ring structures have the ability to lengthen with increasing the diameter in the process of entering orbit by 1.57% for every 100 kilometers of ascent;
- ring structures have linear actuators along their length, capable of accelerating and braking them relative to each other up to speeds exceeding the first cosmic one by about 1.5 times.
Advantages of GPV
Thus, GPV is a reusable geocosmic transport complex for missile-free development of near space. For one flight, GPV will allow to put into orbit about 10 million tons of cargo (250 kg per 1 meter of the GPV body length) and up to 10 million passengers (up to 250 people per 1 km of the body length) who will be engaged in the creation and operation of the near-earth space industry. In one year, GPV will be able to go into space up to 100 times.
What a GPV can do in one year, the modern world rocket and space industry will require about a million years. At the same time, the cost of delivering each ton of cargo to orbit – less than 1000 USD/t – will be reduced thousands of times in comparison with a rocket.
Environmentally friendly GPV, operating exclusively on electric energy, will allow realizing the industrialization of near space. To do this, it will be necessary to close all harmful to the Earth’s biosphere industrial production on the planet, and create it newly in near-Earth orbit on new principles that are environmentally friendly for space.
This step will open access to fundamentally new industrial technologies through the use of unique space capabilities that are not available on Earth. Stunning opportunities are also opening up in the field of nanotechnology, information and energy communications.
Bringing industry out of the planet will fundamentally improve our shared habitat, our common home – the biosphere of the planet Earth, especially in industrialized regions, without any restrictions on production growth.
When industrializing near-Earth space, first before, the Industrial Space Necklace “Orbit” should be created – a transport infrastructure and industrial residential complex covering the planet in the equatorial plane and having the appropriate length, for example, for an altitude of 400 km – 42,567 km. The beginning of the construction of the “Orbit” – from the first launch of the GPV.
The industry created in space for the benefit of the Earth’s civilization, despite automation and robotization, should be served also by people, though in limited quantity in comparison with the Earth’s technologies.
The Organization of Work and Living in the Orbit
In the Earth’s industry, including transport, energy, communications and information technology, about 1 billion employees work today. Perhaps in the future, this need will drop a thousand times, to a million employees. The number of tourists and vacationers will not descrease, as in space you can create recreational complexes with better conditions than on Earth.
Therefore, in orbit it will be necessary to create residential settlements of a new type – EcoCosmoHouses, in which millions of people will live, work, relax, take courses of therapy and treatment.
In such a house for several thousand inhabitants – in a small society of a village type created on innovative principles – the best part of the Earth’s biosphere will be recreated with all the necessary environmental conditions: atmosphere, landscapes diversity, living organisms, soils, biogeocenoses, aquatic ecosystems, etc. The most comfortable physical conditions will also be created: gravity, illumination in the natural spectrum, optimum temperature, pressure and air humidity.
The cross-size of these structures is up to 500 m in order not to excessively increase their wind resistance, which would slow down the entire industrial complex due to the presence of a gaseous environment at this altitude, although very rarefied – for example, at 400 km, the atmosphere can only be spoken figuratively, since its density is very low – almost a trillion times lower than at atmospheric pressure.
For a comfortable living in space, people need conditions that are equivalent and even surpass the Earth’s ones in quality.
Gravity in orbit will be created by centrifugal forces. Reduced gravity will be the most comfortable, similar to that on the Moon or Mars, with an acceleration of free fall of about 2 m/s2, that is five times lower than on Earth. Then an adult would weigh about 15 kg and could fly like a bird if being provided with wings.
In the cosmic house, both day and year lose their meaning, as it will make one revolution around the planet in about 1.5 hours – 16 times during the day, going through sunrises and sunsets. Therefore, in the orbital house, artificial lighting should be, and the day and year may have an optimal duration that differs, respectively, from 24 hours and 365 days. For example, for most modern city dwellers, 24-hour period is imposed and forced, as evidenced by the regular use of the alarm clock.
Comfortable lighting is necessary in the house for people, plants and animals. In this case, the light should be:
- qualitative – by spectrum,
- long, since most plants are gaining strength and bloom only when the light day is at least 14 hours,
- intense, as poor lighting for plants is fatal.
The perfect choice for light-demanding species – the illumination of 100,000 lux, like that of sunlight. In any case, the source of illumination in the cosmic house should be the Sun – either with the help of special mirrors and lenses, or by converting sunlight into electrical energy.
In the cosmic house, the biosphere of the planet should be completely simulated. It is necessary to present the flora and fauna of the subtropics in all its diversity — the Earth’s most favorable climatic zones, primarily the microflora and microfauna, which is the soil biogeocenosis with thousands of microorganism species.
Healthy (living) fertile soil in EcoCosmoHouse – the basis of comfortable and safe conditions for human habitation.
The beginning of the human immune system is in the soil – the microflora and microfauna of our intestines, which is mainly considered soilborne. There live trillions of microorganisms of thousands of species. They work day and night – they feed, water and even … treat us. Not for nothing, many experts call the intestinal contents our second brain.
The biosphere of the cosmic house must constantly produce the oxygen necessary for breathing of people and animals living there, produce healthy food and dispose all the waste products of living organisms, including human ones, into the humus.
The existing orbital stations do not fully protect against meteoric and radiation hazards existing both in space and Earth orbit. For example, a drop of water at a speed of 20 km/s is able to drill a hole in a tank armor, and space radiation can kill a person in a few days, since its level is much higher than at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The most effective protection against these two main cosmic dangers are not heavy-duty thin-walled screens, but thick multi-layered barriers, which can be a multimeter layer of soil inside of the cosmic ecohouse, as well as water – groundwater and in water reservoirs.
The constructive part of the cosmic residential cluster will be a hollow sphere, or a cylinder, or a torus, or combinations thereof, rotating around its axis. For the initial spinup of a quite massive space settlements weighing about a million tons, they can be made paired, placed on the same axis – either next to each other, or placed in each other according to the Matryoshka doll principle. Then you can get any peripheral speed, and accordingly – gravity, using an electric motor, and not a jet engine, with one part rotating in one direction, and the other part – in the opposite one.
The most material-intensive part of the house will be anti-meteoritic and anti-radiation protection, as well as a layer of soil – their total thickness can reach ten meters.
The house will create ecosystems of reservoirs with fresh and sea water, a light breeze will blow, there will be clouds and occasionally warm rain will fall. The sloping part of the soil, closer to the axis of rotation, will be completed with mountain landscapes, streams, waterfalls and relevant ecosystems.
The air in the cosmic house will be filled with smells of flowers and useful phytoncides, the favorable effect of which on the human body cannot be compared with any medicament. Noise will absent, there’ll be only the singing of birds and the rustle of trees.
The estimated weight of materials required for the construction of a cosmic house for 5 thousand people in orbit will be about 500 thousand tons, including:
- structural shell– 2 thous. tons;
- anti-radiation and anti-meteorite protection – 100 thous. tons;
- fertile living soil (ecochernozem) – 200 thous. tons;
- water (fresh and sea) – 100 thous. tons;
- air – 10 thous. tons;
- construction materials and structures, including those for dwellings inside the cosmic house – 50 thous. tons;
- other – 38 thous. tons.
The delivery of all materials for one EcoCosmoHouse with GPV to the orbit will cost about 500 million USD. Materials for it, including water and soil, will also cost about 500 million USD, construction and installation work will cost about 1 billion USD.
Thus, the extra-terrestrial colony in orbit, in which several thousand ordinary people can live and work, will cost about 2 billion USD. This, for example, is 75 times cheaper than the International Space Station, whose value has already exceeded $150 billion, although no more than 10 specially trained astronauts can live and work at the same time.
If such a single space house can be built today with the help of rockets, then it will take 500 years and 5 trillion USD to deliver materials from the Earth to orbit. GPV, in one flight, will be able to deliver materials and equipment for the simultaneous construction of 10 such EcoCosmoHouses.
Virtually all engineering solutions used in the proposed SpaceWay project are widely known, tested in practice and currently implemented in industry. The project budget will be about 2.5 trillion USD. This is not so much, given that the annual military budget of the United States today is almost 700 billion USD.
At the same time, the technological basis for the construction of the launch overpass will be SkyWay systems, which will make it possible to make a profit from the project at the initial stages of its implementation by transporting passengers and cargo on the surface of the planet.
The First Steps
Humanity has all the opportunities for the implementation of this the most ambitious project in the entire history of civilization. For example, the construction of GPV and overpass along the equator will require about 100 million tons of metal (for example, the same amount of steel is made today on the planet in less than three weeks) and about 10 million cubic meters of reinforced concrete (for example, approximately the same amount of concrete is laid into a single dam of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station).
The power of connection of GPV into the global power grid is about 100 million kW (or 2.5 kW per linear meter of length is the power of an iron), or 10 kW per 1 ton of cargo, which is less than 2% of the installed net capacities of power plants in the world and is equal to the power of one-the only carrier rocket capable of raising not 10 million tons of cargo, but less than 100 tons, into space during a single flight. For example, bitcoin mining today consumes more electricity than is required for operation of GPV in the future.
Linear city with millions of jobs, built on the planet along the GPV overpass, including across the oceans, with SkyWay transport and infrastructure complex – urban (up to 150 km/h), high-speed (up to 500 km/h) and hyper-speed (up to 1250 km/h) – will allow the commercialization of the SpaceWay program to begin even before putting terrestrial industry into space.
String roads are already capable of earning money today, people will be able to build housing and develop a business around them – a new environmentally friendly transport will make life even more attractive in the area of transport accessibility.
String transport and infrastructure complexes can give impulse to the development of previously undeveloped lands. Thanks to SkyWay overpasses, the lines of modern information communications, electricity, water and fertile soil, and then space products will come to the most distant corners of the planet – it will also have to be transported to different, most far-off points of the planet.
Life will appear around them, and deserts will gradually disappear from the surface of the planet. Accommodation in the mountains and on the sea shelf will be more prestigious than, for example, in New York or Paris. Humans and Nature will finally be in harmony with each other.
At the same time, research and development work on GPV will be carried out, which will require about 5% of the total investment in the project.
It is hoped that such a global geocommon goals and objectives will unite around itself all the countries of the world, will attract them to finance this super-ambitious project designed to save humanity. Due to its technical features, the project will directly affect the territory of dozens of countries (mainly located along the equator), and for political and economic reasons – the whole world.
GPV and the industrial necklace around the Earth will become an indispensable platform for advanced exploration of deep space by reusable spacecraft, as well as the planet’s protective contour to protect against cosmic threats, including meteoritic ones.
The project implementation period will be about 20 years, taking into account the socio-political, research, development, design and survey and construction and installation works.
The world, constituting the essence of our technocratic civilization, is created by engineers. However, this world is often ruled by others – those for whom personal enrichment is at the forefront; those who naively believe that in a situation where the planet will be on the brink of disaster, their money can save them. They are confident that, together with their families, they will be able to shelter on personal islands, in underground bunkers, on submarines and “Boeing” with antimissile defense. But they are wrong. The planet is one big room without walls.
Beforetime, primitive people, along with their leaders, burned fires in their caves and died of lung cancer at the age of 20. They were able to survive only due to the fact that they had guessed to move their primitive technologies – usual fire – out of their home. So now we, the terrestrial civilization, must move the technosphere out of our common home – the biosphere. All engineering solutions for this step, ensuring the transition of humanity to a new stage of civilizational development, have already been created.
There is no doubt that during the implementation of the General Planetary Vehicle project it will be necessary to cope with a large number of problems and difficulties, both in technical and social terms. However, they are insignificant compared to the problems that our Earth’s civilization has to solve, if it wants to survive and develop sustainably in the foreseeable future.
Ideas that changed the world in the past had always seemed to contemporaries fantastic and unreal, but with the efforts of engineers they became real. How can it possible today, continuing to build millions of kilometers of roads and considering a rocket the only “key” to space, we are ready to put up with the fact that we have to migrate to Mars, at the price of a one-way ticket of one billion dollars, and die there? I don’t want to believe it. If that is not so and we want to live, then for this we need to find the courage to change. Change – to each of us!
We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrowed it from our descendants. We are obliged to work out this debt, otherwise we all will not have the future – the Earth’s technocratic civilization will very soon disappear from the planet as a failed experiment of the Universe.