A talk about the prospects of space industrialization with a journalist from the newspaper "Zvyazda". Continuation of the discussion on implementation of the General Planetary Vehicle project (GPV). The previous publication is available here (in Russian). For more information about the technology of non-rocket space exploration, please visit the website https://unitsky.space/ (in Russian).
The need for space industrialization is due to the fundamental antagonism between the biosphere and the technosphere. Their separation from each other in space is the only efficient way to solve the problem. However, neither rocket cosmonautics nor any of the well-known alternative solutions on space exploration will provide the required cargo flow for industry to move beyond the biosphere. This goal can only be achieved if the GPV is created.
GPV will allow to carry out industrialization of space in the foreseeable future. The transport can deliver millions of tons of cargo and millions of passengers for one flight. The principle of its operation is extremely simple. A ring encircling the Earth with a linear flywheel inside accelerated with an electric motor. When the speed of rotation of the flywheel reaches the desired value, the centrifugal force lifts the structure along with the payload.
The subject of the published dialogue was the technologies for extracting raw materials and arranging production in space, the prospects for mankind's exploration of the Universe and the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, as well as environmental aspects of the work of general planetary transport. Once again, the need to transfer the industry beyond the biosphere is pointed out as the only efficient scenario for solving global problems related to environmental pollution. The issue of the current "virus threat" is also brought up.
The article appeared in Belarusian. The original is available on the edition's website (in Belarusian) and in the publications section. I post the translation.
IDEAS THAT CHANGE THE WORLD
THE BEST PLACE FOR SPACE DEBRIS IS THE SUN
The current questions from the newspaper "Zvyazda" readers are answered by the engineer, inventor, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS), as well as the Russian Academy of Sciences and Arts (RASA), Ph. D. on transport, our countryman Anatoli Unitsky.
– Dear Dr. Unitsky, our readers have sent us a lot of follow-up questions about your international, and I would say interplanetary SpaceWay program. Please let's address some of them.
If successful, the General Planetary Vehicle (GPV) will gradually, over the course of decades, ensure the removal of industrial production, primarily heavy industry, beyond the Earth. And this will be a huge success for our civilization. But what do you plan to do with space production waste?
– Most of it can be reused. The rest that can't be used should be sent somewhere. You may not believe it, but the most reliable place for its burial is our Sun. It will not be difficult to send them from orbit to the Sun. It's hard to do it from the Earth.
Why the Sun? Billions of tons of meteoritic substances fall on it every year, and everything burns up. If several millions of tons of our waste get there, the Sun will process them without noticing it. Therefore, there will be no waste problems, and everything can be arranged smartly.
Space industrial necklace "Orbit" with EcoCosmoHouses
– Many people were interested in the idea published in previous publications on extracting mineral resources on asteroids that are plenty even in the near space. They ask what this might look like in practice?
– There is nothing surprising in such matters. I've asked myself these questions more than once. [...] This may look different, depending on the specifics of resources and their extraction technology. It is possible to fully automate the process, without the participation of people. You can settle on an asteroid. Make a cavity inside and deploy equipment, housing or something else there. Since it's not safe to travel in space. I mean the danger of collision with asteroids, powerful radiation from stars, especially from the Sun. During a flight, astronauts are not protected neither from the one nor from the other. They are lucky that so far all the space "garbage" has flown by. And now they have learned to avoid large objects. Well, and the fact that they fly below the radiation belts, since the radiation is not very powerful in low orbits. But if you go higher, then it increases manifold, exceeding Chernobyl by orders of magnitude.
Therefore, if it is safe to travel, it is better to do it hiding behind the multi-meter, or even kilometer-long walls of asteroids. All that is needed to settle on an asteroid and, once again, to make habitable modules, laboratories, production facilities inside. And it is necessary to select such a meteorite that flies in the right direction. Or adjust its flight, if it does not require much effort and funds. Arranging production and processing of raw materials on it. And from there, bringing back everything that was extracted: palladium, molybdenum, nickel or even gold. There are also titanium and even diamond asteroids.
Equipment for their extraction can, of course, be sent from Earth, but it will cost too much. So it is better, anyway, to do it from GPV – General Planetary Vehicle. And in this case you don't necessarily need rockets. In the future, you can use solar wind, solar sails or electromagnetic cannons.
The following option of space logistics is also possible. Our space geologists with all their towers "settle" on an asteroid near the Earth and fly on it along its orbit. The time that it will fly along its own orbit, which may be three or five years, can be used to prepare infrastructure, set up production and accumulate finished products. The space traveler approaches Earth again to unload the stores and leave the board. This is quite an optimal option, however practice will show.
EcoCosmoHouse in orbit
– Here's an interesting question. Readers ask, how are you going to find a common language, get along with unearthly civilizations? They refer to ufologists who claim that, according to recent observations, some asteroids are spaceships from nearby or distant planets.
– From the viewpoint of radiation and meteorite safety of space vehicles, which I mentioned above, there would be nothing illogical in this, since the thick walls of asteroids would reliably protect both us and representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations. But I do not share the readers' concern, because I do not understand what they can do to prevent us and why we need to negotiate with them in a special way.
Personally I have no doubt that unearthly civilizations exist. According to modern ideas, the universe appeared about 14 billion years ago. The solar system is about 5 billion years old. The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Does this mean that so much time has passed, and life has appeared only here, on our planet? Is it the only place where life was born? I don't think that's true. I am sure that there are civilizations that are billions of years ahead of us in development. Billions of years! We know how many useful things we've done in the last 100 years, but this is a billion-year head-start.
As for civilizations, everything is not in the way we are shown in science fiction movies on this issue. They are always fighting between themselves there, and we are instilled with the idea that we should be afraid of them. In my opinion, the civilization that has developed into a cosmic one before us should be very humane. Because only by understanding what is good and evil, changing the attitude to yourself, to your planet, to the future, a civilization will get a chance to go out into space, to become cosmic. And it will not conquer other worlds. An inhumane civilization will kill itself before it even settles in space. Look at what is happening on our native planet – if we continue to be like this now, we will not last long. This means that we will not become a space civilization and will not be able to spread our militancy and anti-humanism in space.
I realized this a long time ago, when I gave lectures to children in the society “Znanye” (“Knowledge”).
Unfortunately, we are not yet old enough to come into contact with advanced civilizations. I'm sorry, we are still primitive creatures to them. They have nothing to talk to us about. This is like starting to talk to ants, even though we are hundreds of millions of years ahead of them in development, not billions. But the transition point between our levels of development may be the construction of GTV. Anyway, the laws of physics dictate their own rules.
GPV is the only solution that I see as a physicist, so that we can become a cosmic civilization. The laws of physics are the same everywhere, and any community of intelligent beings had to pass through this stage. In particular, the civilization that came to us had to pass through the GPV stage. There were also rockets there at first, but then they realized their inefficiency, environmental damage and they began to look for another solution.
Docking of the General Planetary Vehicle with the orbital industrial ring
– And then they got their own Unitsky…
– Who thought, "So here is the big wheel, this is the only way to implement the principle of Baron Munchausen, when the internal forces of the system allow to get out from the embrace of the planet into outer space."
And this is a completely eco-friendly solution when there is no impact on the environment. In this case you can do everything on electric energy one hundred percent, without using thermal engines (jet engines are also thermal), but a linear electric motor that will spin the flywheel. The efficiency factor of this system can be increased up to 99%. The maximum possible efficiency factor, and this is important for the planet. Otherwise, if there is an inefficient transport, as now, it will kill the biosphere with its waste (including energy, heat and power). Harder than the entire industry. This is physics, I repeat. And physics is everywhere, in Africa and on Alpha Centauri.
All the civilizations that became cosmic had to pass through this understanding. That is why, when they see that we have also reached this stage, other civilizations will understand that we can be dealt with.
Thus, we have no other way to the future, except transferring the industry into space, saving the planet and becoming humane. Unite, do not fight. Because when countries are at war, GPV is impossible. We need to sit down at the negotiating table, unite our efforts and finances and do THIS together. So as to get jointly the maximum benefits from the fact that we have finally become a cosmic civilization.
Such will be the EcoCosmoHouse interior
– Once again about asteroids, now as about space bodies that pose a serious threat to the Earth in case of a possible collision. Will it be possible to build a well-equipped space defense base against asteroids on the big GPV ring?
– […] It is possible and necessary to build a base that would stop unwanted "guests" even on the approach. It is unlikely to do this from the Earth, because it is too expensive. By the way, it is also possible to build a spaceport or spaceports on the GPV, which will have their own considerable advantages.
Spaceports for the development of the solar system and the Universe on the GPV will be hundreds of times more efficient. And not just because spaceships won't need to get out of the Earth's gravity pit. It will not be necessary to destroy the Earth's biosphere, since the GPV is beyond its borders. And launches from GPV will take place without destroying the ecology on the planet itself. You don't even need to use jet engines for this – it can be a slingshot. This can be electromagnetic cannons and other methods.
To be more precise, the launching ground for space exploration will be built not on GPV, but on the Space industrial necklace (SIN), which will cover the Earth in the plane of the equator at an altitude of about 500 km. GPV is a vehicle that will deliver passengers and cargo to SIN and back to Earth, in a linear equatorial city built along the equator.
– And after all, if with jet engines for the beginning?
– All the same, this will happen already outside the ionosphere, atmosphere and ozonosphere, and therefore there is no risk of their destruction during the launch. Still, it is not necessary to start using combustion, as it is done now. You can use the solar sail. Many options open up. And there, at the SIN spaceports, it is easier to prepare an expedition to far-out space, where humanity will eventually want to look in. Including Alpha Centauri, after building a spaceship where, say, a thousand people will live in a closed biosphere that will simulate the Earth’s biosphere. And they will go flying on a journey of perhaps a thousand years, and they will live, work, develop. Their generations will change, and some generation will definitely make it. It will be possible from GPV's orbit, but not from the Earth. […]
Creation of General Planetary Vehicle will open up endless prospects for space exploration
– And the last question for today. What do you think, Anatoli, may the "viral threats" of the last few months somehow be related to the general degradation of the biosphere that you have been warning about for a long time?
– Of course, they are related. Something like this could be expected. This is because the Earth's biosphere, its mantle is being degraded, including the degradation of its immune system. The biosphere above and around us develops as a living organism that has its own immune system (and this is primarily the earth and soil microorganisms – they are destroyed, they mutate). All diseases used to die in the soil – plague and so on.
Due to weakening of the biosphere's immune system, the human immune system is weakened, too. When the biosphere and soil are degraded, we get an imperfect food with low content of micro-elements. And all of this combined contributes to the emergence of pandemics. As a result, we have what humanity is struggling with today. In the future, if we leave the biosphere as it is, there may be pandemics that no one would be able to stop.
So, it is necessary to radically change the attitude to the Earth, so that the human body receives all the necessary micro-elements and useful micro-organisms – micro-factories and micro-plants of immense complexity (more than 30 trillion) that live in our intestines and process food into something that our body can assimilate. After all, they feed, give to drink and treat us. And we have also to "deal" with chemical fertilizers and other chemicals added to the soil, including greenhouses. But this is a topic for a separate conversation.
Well, we have to do everything to transfer the industry out of the Earth as soon as possible. This is our mission. And this is the common salvation for the Earth’s inhabitants.
The publication was prepared by Vladimir Khilkevich and Veronika Khilkevich.
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