CREATING LUNA TRANSPORTATION & UTILITY SYSTEMS

vivaciousaquaticAI and Robotics

Nov 13, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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168

CHAPTER 5


CREATING LUNA TRANSPORTATION & UTILITY SYSTEMS




LUNA WORLD’s culture is entrepreneurial! After all, it was private enterprise
that was the catalyst behind its creation. It’s global heroes were Rob Delahunt and Kazuo
Yamamoto, space tech entre
preneurs who founded Pacific Interplanetary Enterprises and
Nippon Interplanetary Services. It was their vision and collaboration that lead to the
formation of both the Global Space Trust, and even the Lunar Economic Development
Authority. Their networkin
g, innovation, and energy promoted the macroproject,
Launch
Out,
which resulted in the establishment of
Selenopolis
on the Moon in 2010. From that
modest beginning an impressive settlement emerged some forty years later. On Earth’s
celestial partner,
Sele
nians
have proven their worth by creating cislunar infrastructures,
including economic, scientific, and engineering feats. These lunar dwellers adapted and
created various technologies for agriculture, habitats, facilities, health care, mining,
launch syst
ems, telecommunications, and even transportation.


Thus, the entrepreneurial spirit today permeated this offworld

environment, and
knowledge economy. With its incentive programs, global entrepreneurs were attracted to
live and work on the Moon. Lunar ind
ustrialization and settlement depended so much on
their enterprise, that policies of the Lunar Infrastructure Development Corporation
officially endorsed the ideal of meritocracy and creativity by providing significant
subsidies for start
-
up undertakings.

These were funded by sale of LIDC bonds back on
Earth, plus luna venture capital investment. The luna business environment was
advertised as friendly to venture capitalists and creative projects. Indeed, the Moon was
publicized as a “land of opportunity!”

On the home planet entrepreneurs and investors

169

from all over the world were also the backbone of numerous support services for the
lunar pioneers.


Selenopolis
itself was an entrepreneurial society that enshrined flexibility and
technological advances,
even in its public sector. Economic growth on the Moon
encouraged its inhabitants to utilize lunar resources, and to become less dependent on
supplies from Earth. No one promoted such strategies more that Tom Matula, founder of
Luna University. From its b
eginning, he established a Center for Luna Entrepreneurship
and Innovation. It offered online courses on the subject, linked up via the Interplanetary
Internet with a network of high tech research entities on Earth. These global support
institutions extend
ed from Oxford University to MIT, from Silicon Valley to research
institutes and triangles in China, Denmark, Israel, India, and even Singapore. LU is
dedicated to developing a new type of macro thinker. Therefore, the university, in
conjunction with luna

government and corporations offer grants to encourage scholars
and tech leaders to do research and found start
-
up companies on the Moon. In this
knowledge culture, PhDs and DBAs are commonplace, so LU sponsors an on
-
line post
doc program that connects its

students with top universities and research institutes
throughout the terrestrial world. Continuing education is the heart blood of luna families.


The outcome is evident in Kraftt Ehricke Luna Industrial Park, which spawns a
host of new businesses on the

Moon. They range from bio and clean technology
companies to fashion and design firms, from sustainable energy to agriculture. KELIP
also provides growth facilities for innovative commercial operations


completely
equipped, ready
-
made plants and offices

with conference rooms, and luna consulting
services from legal to environmental. Capable Dennis Laurie had been appointed by

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LIDC as director of the Contractor Corps with a mandate to attract diverse entrepreneurs
to engage in varied commercial undertaki
ngs within the three existing lunar settlements.
Some of these widespread activities boggle the minds of earthkind


such as a Gundelach
flask that heats or cools water; a Dov Moran memory stick, a tiny device into which
electronic equipment can be plugged

for powering computers, mobile phones, and
cameras; personal computers that converse with their owners and give access to the sum
of human knowledge; plasma torches with gases to clean teeth, especially the bacteria in
biofilm. A cascade of entrepreneuri
al products and services flow from this luna industrial
park. A century ago, it was the kind of business environment that Kraft Ehricke himself
envisioned for what he then called
Selenopolis.


The new industrial park being built at Artemis features cylin
drical upright facilities or stacks for commerce.

Comparable industrial parks and policies are also present within the other two
emerging cities. No wonder, Laurie provided an incentive package to attract large global
corporations to them, So now IBM, Loc
kheed
-
Martin, Phillips, Toyota, and TATA had
operations in these industrial parks. Further, LIDC fees, leases, and taxes are also priced

171

reasonably so as to encourage new investment on the Moon. In addition, options to own
stocks in luna enterprises is op
en to all permanent residents.

The mainstream of LUNA WORLD’s culture encourages adaptation, invention
and technological change! Luna business policies and practices are already transforming
the commercial environment back on old Earth. Although there are
presently no banks on
the Moon, it does have something comparable


financial cooperatives that make credit
available for new industries and small businesses, as well as generous interest rates on
savings kept there.

***


Railroad System on the lunar surf
ace in the south polar region links various operations.
*






This is one of many visuals in this volume graciously provided by David Schrunk and Madhu
Thangavelu from their book,
The Moon


Resources, Future Development and Settlement
(Praxis
-
Springer, 2008


www.springer.com
). Paul DiMare was the illustrator throughout this classic,
while Burton Sharpe and Bonnie Cooper were the other co
-
authors on the volume.


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Since the start of the 21
st

century, luna planners researched how to develop a
circumferential grid around the Moon. The plans centered on a combined system for
utilities and transportation. So in t
he first stage of the grid, rail beds were prepared from
lunar regolith. The keystone in this macroproject was a luna railroad, that began with
tracks and ties, but evolved into a maglev operated system. Replacement with magnetic
levitated high
-
speed trai
ns took several decades to construct. Their tracks or coils use a
magnetic field to suspend the train cars above the roadbed, allowing speed to be
accelerated or decelerated. This magnetic levitation system is more efficient because
there was no air resis
tance on the Moon. The grid goal is to connect the lunar south pole
with its north pole along the 345° meridian longitude that would end up in a loops around
the 85°N and 85°S parallels. This Meridian Route is a pole
-
to
-
pole connection useful for
both expl
oration and development. The scheme not only provides access to water
resources, but allows expansion of the utility network around the Moon’s circumference.
In addition, the Luna Railroad system facilitates science, astronomy, commerce, human
migration, a
nd eventually tourism. By mid
-
century, this electromagnetic transport system
is above the lunar surface, though some engineers still argue eventually for an
underground system of subway/utilities tunnels.

The original undertaking experimented with a “Sun
-
synchronous” railroad. That
system runs west continuously around the circumference at the same speed as the Moon’s
rotation at 85°north or south latitude. Thus, the trains maintain a speed of 1 km per hour
because the Sun is at a constant angle overhead.
That’s why some of the trains contained
“greenhouse” cars where food was grown as a result of the continuous sunlight. Beside
shielded passenger capsules, other cars were devoted to materials processing and

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manufacturing because of the constant high temper
atures caused by mirrors that focused
the sunlight.

The experts, convinced that this transportation should be built in stages to serve
the eventual needs of three major settlements, gradually made progress. By 2025, the first
leg of the railroad in the sou
th polar region was constructed above ground to link up
Selenopolis
with the Shackleton crater explorers from global space agencies


what
would become the new city of
Apollo.
The second stage was in the direction of Lunagrad
where Eastern Europeans are no
w building an urban center to be called
Artemis
. This city
is being constructed on the east side of the Moon, near where some eighty years ago, the
long
-
gone Soviets had landed their unmanned crafts called Luna 16, 20, and 24. This
urban area is scheduled
to become a center for mass driver operations. Within the three
luna cities, a variety of small, unpressurized excursion vehicles are used for local
transportation of crew and cargo.



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A view of Artemis, the third luna city being constructed by Russia an
d Eastern Europeans.


The circumferential electric grid is also a source power for both spacekind and
earthkind. It is linked to a lunar solar power system (LSPS). This facility collects solar
power for use on the Moon, and for power beaming to the Earth.
LSPS has proven to be
critical for the development of
Selenopolis
and the other lunar cities. When completed
the grid would cover the Moon’s circumference not only for transportation and power
utilities, but for communication networks and pipelines which
stored liquids and gases.
The grid was also huge business opportunity for entrepreneurs and contractors. Luniks
were committed to a smart utilities grid operating technologies for providing electricity
that is stable and cheap for users. On the Moon, devic
es are in place to monitor
transmission lines and switches, as well as the cost of electricity and demand for power.

***


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Oleg Alifonov was only 32, but had an interesting career history as a civil and
electrical engineer. For six years, he had built and
managed railroads in Siberia. Because
his grandfather had been director of Cosmos, a Russian commercial space organization,
he had been recruited into the Cosmonaut Corps and trained at Star City outside of
Moscow. After two missions to the International
Space Station, he decided to become a
permanent resident of the Moon. As a new arrival in
Selenopolis,
the six foot, striking
bachelor was very popular with the ladies here. His 2050 classmates found him
charming, especially when he played the balalaika
at their parties.


By now the luna railroad had been named the “Kokh” to honor its originator,
Peter Kokh who had been so active in the Moon Society which promoted lunar
industrialization. Alifonov’s assignment from LIDC was to extend the transportation a
nd
utilities around the rest of the Moon. Until now, these systems had been built on the lunar
surface. As the new director of the Transportation Corps, Oleg thought the remaining
railroad and electric grid should be underground. This led to a fierce deba
te with the
Administrators in which Oleg argued for blasting a series of underground tunnels,
beginning with the ones to Lunagrad and its new city. Eric Schrunk agreed Oleg,
maintaining that his Robotics Corps could finish the job of laying the magnetic fi
eld for
the subterranean trains and stations.

Naturally, John Adams who was in charge of the Environmental Corps, wondered
about the impact of such a macroproject below surface would affect the environment.

What environment,
snorted Alifanov.
The
.
Moon
has no environment
.
But if you are
worried about the dirt and debris, we will find a positive way for dealing with such.
And
so the planning discussions went back and forth until the LIDC supported a pilot project

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based on Alifonov’s designs for putting
the remaining transport and utilities under the
lunar surface.

Before completing this circumferential network around the rest of the Moon, the
underground strategy would be tested in the link up of
Selenopolis
with
Artemis,
the
future third city. If Alifo
nov and Schrunk could demonstrate its feasibility in this one
section, then they would be authorized to finish their subterranean systems that circle the
Moon. The innovators were reminded that the total diameter of the lunar surface was 3,
476 km, about a

quarter of the Earth’s diameter. That would require a sizeable number of
contractors, entrepreneurs, and robots to construct this underground railroad and grid.
Further they were still uncertain about the interior composition of the Moon!


Technauts and
robonauts have already demonstrated considerable skill at underground construction.



Oleg and Eric were convinced that existing robotic techniques used above ground
for moving and excavating lunar soil could be adapted for underground applications and
sit
e preparation. Eric, the A & R expert, was sure these intelligent, autonomous robotic
systems could be employed for tunneling since they had proven their value in building

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previous underground settlements. The pair envisioned that some underground station
s
on their lunar railway would someday developed as towns and then into other cities
during the22
nd

century. After all, that is what happened in the 19
th

century with the
transcontinental railways of the American West. The collaborators expected their
bus
iness to start with serving residents and contractors, then visitors and tourists, and
finally the new lunar settlers expanding beyond the three core cities. As the maglev rail
system was extended, they anticipated that near orbital speeds on long
-
distance

routes
would be feasible because of the lack of atmosphere.



***


178



Megan and Pedro had become lovers on the Moon. By now his name had been
transformed into “Pete.” McArthur and Raygoza found the one
-
sixth gravity very
stimulating to their sex life tog
ether. Meg was busy with architectural designing, in
addition to lecturing on spaceology and cultural anthropology at Luna University.
Although her undergraduate studies at University College Dublin had been in physics,
her doctorate was in the behavioral
sciences. Pete worked hard to develop safety
programs for LUNAR WORLD, and used his electronic newsletter,
First Alert,
to warn
inhabitants of lunar hazards. So after some lunar days or Earth months, they decided to
marry. They choose early evening for a
ceremony on the lunar surface, so their cathedral
would be the starry night. Their friends Chris and Dip acted as witnesses to the ritual
performed by a Franciscan priest found in
Euramer.
The Padre also served as a clinical
psychologist at the university
. After the marriage in which all were garbed in biosuits,
Pete used its communication system to croon an old love song to his beloved:



More than the greatest love the world has known



This is the love that I give to you alone



More than the simple wor
ds I try to say



I only live to love you more each day.




More than you’ll ever know



My arms long to hold you so



My life will be in your keeping



Waking, sleeping, laughing, weeping.




Longer than always is a long, long time



But far beyond foreve
r, you’ll be mine



I know I never lived before



And my heart is very sure



No one else could love you
more!


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Pete than touched the visor of his bride with one finger, blew her a kiss, while saying,
Wait until I get you underground for a real kiss!


One
personal task that Megan set for herself was to communicate their wedding
pictures down to her parents in Rathgar, and Pete’s family in Cuernavaca. Since both
newlyweds were exhausted from their work, Mr. & Mrs. Raygoza decided to take a
honeymoon on the I
nterplanetary Space Station at L
-
1, which had been built by a
syndicate of East Asians. They traveled to cislunar space for the first time from a mass
driver. The engineer in charge of this unique form of space transportation explained that
because there w
as no atmosphere on the Moon, the electromagnetic mass driver could
deliver payloads and people to precise destinations off the lunar surface. Because it is
capable of both acceleration and deceleration, sub
-
orbital flights were possible from and
to the Mo
on. With a plentiful electric grid that is continuously available, the mass driver
launched a payload capsule or sled on parabolic trajectories where the vehicle was
captured by a receiving mass driver, such as the one at the L
-
1 point. These launch and
ca
pture drivers were in several places on the Moon, and were essentially ballistic delivery
systems. They were even being used to launch payload to a number of offworld sites
besides the main Earth
-
Moon trajectory.



L
-
1 was primarily an orbiting cargo and f
uel depot. But it was also a transfer
station for crews and passengers. So the Raygozas chose the Luna Hilton Hotel there for
their honeymoon. They delighted in the wonderful Chinese food and orbital lovemaking.
Meg and Pete were fascinated by a museum wit
h the history and future of orbiting
stations. This smaller one was built by an American contractor, Bigelow Aerospace,
which used inflatable modules. The artistic renderings of tomorrow’s much larger

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orbiting cities fascinated them. Besides the museum’s
space artifacts, they watched an
Imax film about the International Space Station construction more than forty years before
in LEO. Overall, this respite was just what they needed before their return to a new life
and larger household suite in
Euramer.


The
y now had a double apartment furnished with an Irish/Mexican décor. The
loving couple wanted any future child of theirs to be proud of its dual heritage. And the
baby would be bilingual. At LUNAR WORLD, English was in general use, but most
spoke two langua
ges, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Russian, which were most common.
However, there were ethnic enclaves devoted to French, German, or Spanish. They
decided their child would not only speak English and Spanish, but also Mandarin
Chinese.


When the lovers go
t nostalgic for their home planet and cities, they would pull up
on their giant screen, an old movie or travel log about Earth. They were especially fond
of classic Discovery and Disney Nature films. Although they missed the changing
seasons, such shows vi
vidly brought back memories of the lush greenery, the mountains
and oceans, and the great variety of animals to be found in their respective countries.
After such sessions, the Raygozas usually took the elevator up to the observatory and
watched the fantas
tic starry nights of their solar system. They never tired of the view of
the entire Earth from space


it seemed to be single, whole orbiting jewel. Here their
perspective had changed


the twin planets were living, breathing galactic organisms
within spac
e of infinite energy and resources, But they had no plans to return to their
home planet, even for a temporary visit. They were committed to their family’s future
offworld. And so with their holiday over, they journeyed back to
Selenopolis
’ lunaport.


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***


The late Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, a Ph.D. from MIT, had always been ahead of his
time. That’s why LEDA named its spaceport to honor the second man to step on the
Moon! One example of Buzz’s foresight was the cycler. By 2030, the old rocket
transportation was

abandoned and Aldrin cycler then became the preferred way to travel
from Earth to Moon, and back again. The figure
-
eight cycle or path between the twin
planets enables a spacecraft to swing perpetually around both the Moon and Earth. By
taking advantag
e of this orbital configuration, a ferry requires less energy to transport
people and cargo between the two celestial destinations. When a cycler approaches the
Moon, a transfer is made to landers that touch down on the lunar surface, at several sites,
su
ch as the spacious Aldrin Lunaport. For a return flight, the same vehicle takes
passengers and exports up to a cycler heading for Earth. Later another transfer is required
so a spacecraft may transfer to LEO.


Of course, creative types are always working
on improved means for more direct
flights between the planets. The research ranges from mass drivers to tethers and even
space elevators. Meanwhile, the popular cyclers are fabricated on the Moon from lunar
materials and then launched to Lagrange points,
such as L
-
1 or L
-
5, for final assembly.
From these locations, cyclers are placed in high
-
inclination orbits for continuous loops
around the Moon and Earth. The cyclers are large enough to accommodate several
hundred spacefarers, plus cargo. However, they r
equire sufficient shielding to protect
humans or animals from ionizing radiation from space. The cost of energy is minimal
with cyclers which are in perpetual orbit. The Mars planners on the Moon expect to use

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cyclers between the Red Planet and Earth, comp
leting an Earth
-
Moon
-
Mars
transportation system.

Some futurists on the twin planets were already researching interstellar travel, and
were experimenting with nuclear powered spacecraft. To reach the nearest star within the
next century, the vehicle would h
ave to travel at 5% of the speed of light or higher. The
means for protecting spacecraft during such interplanetary flights have yet to be invented.

***


Astronomers on lunar firma were a breed apart. From this platform, they peered
out into the universe.

At 50, Will Gordon Harris had been on the Moon for twelve years.
As a kid he got hooked on his uncle’s book,
Space Enterprise,
and read everything on
astronomy that he could find. But an event in 2008 really influenced his career choice


astronomers wh
o smashed the long
-
distance record by recording a powerful explosion of
a massive early star. Although this happened some 13 billion years ago, the NASA Swift
satellite managed to detect its gamma
-
ray bursts. Will had seen the relays on a ground
-
based te
lescope of the light
-
waves from the fading fireball. He was so moved that he
entered graduate school at the University of Texas
-
Austin where he finally qualified for a
doctorate in astronomy.

But Will had also been something of an actor, so he organized

in
Selenopolis,
the
Luna Thespians. This troupe of amateur performers involved professionals from a wide
variety of disciplines. The
Selenians
particularly enjoyed his theater productions, like
The
Impossible Dream
or
Apollo 11.
A bit of a prankster, he
was much beloved by his two
cousins, Michaela who headed up the Transportation Corps, and Liam who served as the
LEDA director. But Will was really close to his cousin, Samantha, on the home planet.

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They became good buddies when she directed the Unispace

Academy in Hawaii, and he
did post
-
doc research at the Pacific International Space Center for Space Exploration.
PICES was located in Hilo, from which he regularly visited his cousin.

The multitalented bachelor got much enjoyment from his “uncle” role wi
th
Michaela and Eric Schrunk’s twins sons, Dennis and Brian. He was glad that senior
citizens volunteered to help “baby
-
sit” the boys. Their father, a robotic expert, designed
two robots to play and watch over them as they grew up. The kids named their au
tomated
overseers, “Spy” and “Stealth.” When teenagers, they were enrolled at the Christa
McAuilffe Academy on the campus of Luna University. Since Will Gordon was also an
adjunct professor there, he frequently let his nephews use its telescopes.

By age
20, Dennis and Brian were adept at lunar exploration of the Aitken basin
with its rugged terrain and dramatic vistas. Through their mother, they were able to get
sturdy rovers to probe permanently shadowed cold trap areas. Usually, their university
buddi
es, Ziyuan and Yong, accompanied them, for the Chinese lads were proficient in
lunar ice research. Together, the would
-
be scientists hoped to make a name for
themselves by discovering ice deposited over geological time as a result of
bombardments by comet
s. Once as they traveled through peaks and valleys dotted with
broadband communication equipment, the four young men got hopelessly lost. The
South Polar Region was large, so they took refuge in a relay station while using the
network to ask Michela for
directions. After all, the twins’ mother was head of
transportation and was well informed about lunar topography.

Once the intrepid four got underway again, they stumbled by accident into the
discovery of a lifetime. A sudden solar particle storm had forc
ed them to seek shelter in

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an cave that contained ice. Ziyuan and Yong were delighted with the opportunity to
apply their knowledge of polar ice. When they got back home and reported their precious
find, LISC generously dubbed the site “Ice Twins” after t
he discoverers!

####