Thread: Asteroid Driver
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:23 PM
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Damraska Damraska is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: California Bay Area
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Asteroid Driver

For my third card model design project I intend to build an asteroid driver spacecraft in 1:500 scale. Very simply, an asteroid driver pushes on asteroids to speed them up or slow them down, thus nudging them into desired orbits. In the not too distant future, asteroid drivers will harvest asteroids from the asteroid belt and move them to the Legrange points near Earth and Mars, providing construction material for massive space engineering projects. Eventually, such ships will travel to the gas giants and even to the Kuiper Belt.

Asteroid drivers will use fusion reactors to achieve very high thrust with very small amounts of hydrogen fuel. Our solar system teems with water ice, locked up in craters and rocks of the moon, found in the rocks and perhaps underground on Mars, in comets, and in the ring material of the gas giants. Large processing ships will convert this water ice into various chemicals including deuterium for fusion reactors. This fuel will spur the creation of a vast array of inter-solar ships, some of which I intend to model.

My conjectural asteroid driver measures about 540 feet long. It includes two, one hundred foot diameter tokamak fusion reactors, six combustion chambers, six thrusters, one spun crew section, one static crew section, a gas collection ram, numerous hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells, and capacity for about 240 standard shipping containers. The spun section provides 15,700 square feet of space under artificial gravity, equivalent to about 8 moderately sized homes. I have not done calculations for the rate of spin but estimate this cylinder should provide constant gravity equivalent to one fourth Earth normal, enough to stave off the debilitating effects of prolonged life in micro-gravity.

I chose to model this ship because the design utilizes very simple conic and spherical shapes, well within my Blender capabilities. At 1:500 scale the finished vessel will measure about 13 inches (26 centimeters) long. This length may change as I adjust the design and add features. For example, my initial drawing does not include asteroid grabs at the front of the ship nor deceleration towers at the rear.

If things go well, I hope to complete work in Blender tomorrow and finish the entire project by the end of the month. Please keep in mind I must invent everything and am prone to delays, especially when I change my mind and redesign, so that number is probably very optimistic. Montgomery Scot, I am not. My previous ship was successful so I have high hopes for this one.
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