A detailed design for a space station at sun–Earth L2

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Mannequin of the inside of one in every of I-HAB’s modules. Credit score: Daniel Akinwumi

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Mannequin of the inside of one in every of I-HAB’s modules. Credit score: Daniel Akinwumi

New concepts in house exploration come from all corners, and, by and enormous, the group welcomes anyone within the area. Having simply learn “A Metropolis on Mars,” plainly even individuals who disagree with the concept the age of house settlement is imminent shall be accepted into the fold by lovers. Now, a brand new entrant has joined—Daniel Akinwumi is a Nigerian graduate scholar on the College of Strathclyde who not too long ago posted his grasp’s thesis to ResearchGate detailing the design of the “intergalactic hub,” or I-HUB.

The introductory part of the thesis lays out lots of the challenges acquainted to these enthusiastic about house habitats. These embrace the significance of robots, a totally closed-loop recycling system, and novel radiation shielding. Mr. Akinwumi additionally supplies an intensive literature search and mentions a number of different design ideas much like the I-HUB.

One essential design alternative is learn how to get the system into house. As of the time of writing, I-HUB will use Starship, the biggest rocket ever developed, which continues to be being examined. Most of the different chosen methods for the I-HUB would make the most of applied sciences developed elsewhere, equivalent to NASA’s ECLSS life assist system or commonplace RTGs for an influence supply.

Meals is crucial for any long-term habitat, and the paper seems to be carefully at totally different food-production methods to be used in house. NASA’s Vegetable Manufacturing System is likely one of the most extremely developed and could possibly be used on the I-HUB with little modification. Propulsion is one other key system, with I-HUB being designed behind an intensive photo voltaic electrical propulsion system that might enable it to analysis its deep-space vacation spot of the Earth/Solar L2 level.

Ideally, the system could be in-built order, however loads of work on robotic assemblers should happen earlier than that shall be a chance. Any such meeting would additionally must happen close to Earth, as sending a military of assemblers to the L2 level could be prohibitively costly. However the views from L2 could be spectacular, because the paper factors out the positioning could possibly be a useful platform for scientific inquiry—it already homes a number of large-scale telescopes, together with Euclid.

As soon as put in, the intent of I-HUB is not to stay static however to proceed to develop by including further modules over time to extend each its bodily and operational capability. Modular designs of the modules that might join could be important to this function and could be much like how the totally different modules join on the ISS.

A number of the modules may even rotate to lower microgravity’s dangerous results on the long-term well being of I-HUB’s residents. It’ll even have an built-in communication system and, as talked about above, a closed-looped useful resource recycling/life assist system.

Mr. Akinwumi additionally detailed budgets for varied methods, equivalent to energy and mass, and the anticipated general price of the station. In his evaluation, he fleshed out among the inherent dangers within the system and detailed how they could possibly be mitigated with future growth work. A few of these would come with a number of redundancies of the life-support methods and varied layers of radiation shielding.

General, the plan for I-HUB appears cheap and weighs in at a hefty 71 pages—most likely a little bit above common for an MS thesis. Nonetheless, these pages have few new ideation particulars; it is extra a set of concepts already detailed in different sources and in rather more element than even this thesis would enable. It is a good begin on a promising analysis line, and hopefully, Mr. Akinwumi will proceed along with his Ph.D. and may delve additional into the small print of his I-HUB concept.

Extra data:
Daniel Akinwumi, Design and Evaluation of the Technical Infrastructure for a Self-Adequate and Sustainable Intergalactic Hub (2023). DOI: 10.13140/rg.2.2.31707.54568


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