Putting Astronauts in Impossible Locations: A 1-Day Technical Symposium

Date: 27th November 2019
Start Time: 09:30am
End Time: 05:00pm
Venue: BIS, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

While the human exploration of the Moon and Mars has been extensively examined, serious technical consideration of the rest of the solar system has been largely ignored. This symposium is designed to explore the limits of where human exploration can go in the solar system and how to overcome the challenges involved. The symposium has a variety of papers on the transportation requirements, the practicalities of habitation in extreme environments and other aspects of a solar system-wide civilisation.

 

Programme 

Cycler Links between Earth and the Gas Giant Planets

Stephen Ashworth

The use of cycler stations for passengers in transit between Earth and the gas giant planets Jupiter and Saturn is examined.  Preliminary concepts are presented for orbits, station design and construction, shuttle links at each planetary flyby, and development of the cycler into an interstellar worldship.

 

Missions to the Edge of the Visible

Stephen Baxter

This paper is an examination of science-fiction depictions of voyages to Saturn and its moons: one specific example of an ā€˜impossible locationā€™ for astronautical adventures, and, as Saturn is the most distant Solar System object seen by a naked human eye, missions to ā€˜the edge of the visibleā€™.  The focus is generally on near-future stories, featuring crewed missions predicated on reasonably realistic technologies.

 

The Prospects for Human Expansion into the Solar System

Bob Parkinson

Before Sputnik 1 the pioneers of astronautics expected that human beings would explore the Solar System and ultimately colonize it, but the Solar System has proved to be a less hospitable place than we first thought.  Nevertheless, it is still valid that having human beings on site is far more effective for exploration that using remotely programmed robots with long communications delays. The paper will examine the issues inhibiting the human colonization of the Solar System and some possible approaches for a future human/machine society and their implications.  A conclusion is that to be successful we will to change our current preconceptions about being human.

 

Is there a safe haven somewhere in Heaven?

Reinhold Ewald

The history of Human spaceflight is full of overcoming impossibilities.  On the other side expectations fired by the race to the Moon were not met, 50 years thereafter neither have people returned to the Moon, nor has humanity kept the pace and has reached Mars by now.  Have the engineers capitulated in view of the challenges?  Or have societies all over the world seen a change in priorities?  Answers to these questions may help to shape expeditions to far out places in the future, even those where you cannot expect to find fair winds, following seas, and a safe haven.

 

Manned mission on Asteroid Ryugu to setup telescope

William Chin, and Jitkai Chin

Astronomers have been observing deep space and looking for origin of universe since centuries ago. However, telescope on the ground, as well as those in space, such as Hubble, have their own limitations.  Deployment of in-space telescope is also limited by in-space propulsion. In this paper, a manned mission of setting up a telescope of 2.5m diameter on asteroid Ryugu is proposed.  An asteroid discovered back in 1999 and orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars every 16 months.

 

Conceptual design of a manned platform in the Venusian atmosphere

Markus GraƟ, Marius Schwinning, and Reinhold Ewald

Even though surface activities on Venus are faced with a very harsh environment, its atmosphere offers a habitable region at roughly 50 km altitude with environmental conditions comparable to the surface on Earth.  This region was the target of the Space Station Design Workshop 2019 performing a preliminary design study of a manned habitat floating inside the Venusian atmosphere.  The paper compares and discusses the outcome of the workshop, identifying key drivers and creative ideas for future exploration of our sister planet.

 

Population Capacity of Outer Planetary Orbits

Mark Hempsell

Past Space colony studies have concentrated on the engineering financial and other issues relating to creating space colonies as isolated systems.  However in reality, if they are to be viable they are not isolated but connected to a wider Earth/Space economy.  This opens the question as to how big can such economies become.  The paper suggests that largely independent economies of colonies could be clustered around gas giants and explores the population capacity of such societies.

 

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