Orbital Space Settlement Tasks
People often ask me what they can do to help build the first orbital space settlements. Here's a laundry list, in no
particular order, of tasks you might take on. A dedicated individual or small team should
be able to do most of these. I'd be happy to work with you on them:
Talk about space settlements. Right now, space settlements are not really part of the national
or global dialogue. The first task before us is to change that. Space settlement will require an
enormous amount of work, and nobody will do that work if they aren't at least familiar with the
For the same reason, write articles, letters to the editor, blogs, letters to politicians, web sites,
MySpace pages, technical papers, etc., etc. about orbital space
What is the smallest space settlement people would be happy living in? To get at this, try
asking people what the smallest island they'd like to live on would be. Tell them they can have pretty
much anything they want on the island, but it needs to be as small as possible. For those who
like cruise ships, substitute 'cruise ship' for 'island.' There is at least one cruise ship where
people buy berths rather than just rent them for a week or two. It's sort of a floating settlement.
Best: ask a lot of people these questions and keep track of their answers. Could make an interesting
Create Flash animations, videos, and images explaining orbital space settlement concepts.
Spread them around the web.
Get celebrities to say nice things about space colonization. Recent comments by Stephen Hawking
got a lot of good press.
Set up a web site specifically to help the press produce pieces on orbital space settlement.
Include royalty-free images, video, and text. Provide links to the most important web sites.
Find the lowest Earth orbit where a space settlement will not enter the Earth's atmosphere for at least
100 years without reboost, but which does not have excessive radiation. This is probably the best
place to build the first colony for the simple reason that it's close to Earth.
Determine the amount of shield necessary to reduce radiation levels inside a settlement to a level
comparable to the highest-radiation cities on Earth.
Develop methods for returning smallish asteroids (40-100m radius) to Earth orbit to supply materials
for settlement construction. Test these methods in computer simulations.
Develop methods for teleoperation of lunar mining facilities. Test these methods in computer
Kalpana One is a (relatively) new space settlement design. See the papers links
here for details of what's been done so far.
- Create a 3D graphics model of the Kalpana One space settlement interior.
- Develop software to design the details fo Kalpana One's interior and exterior.
- Develop a control system for Kalpana One's anti-wobble system. Test it in simulation.