David Brandt-Erichsen

L5 space colonist

Space Colonist

David Brandt-Erichsen, portrayed as an L5 space colonist in this original painting by Mark Maxwell (Copyright 1988).

Entitled "HUBBLE 7", the painting depicts construction of the seventh-generation Hubble Space Telescope. This telescope would consist of mirrors the size of a large sports stadium (a mirror this large could not be built on Earth). Shown here is part of an assembly line where dozens of such mirrors are being manufactured. Later, the mirrors will be placed thousands of miles apart, forming a single huge multiple-mirror telescope. It is exciting to think about what could be learned from such a project.

The construction workers for this project live in the two O'Neill cylinders in the distance. These cylinders (always built in pairs) are twenty miles long, containing on their inner surfaces a combined land area of 500 square miles and a population of some 5 million people. They rotate (each in opposite directions) to provide an Earth-normal artificial gravity on the inside living area. The company that contracted to build the telescopes, Hextex Corporation, was originally founded in Tucson as a result of mirror technology developed at the University of Arizona.

Ninety-five percent of the materials used to build the habitats and the telescope were obtained from near-Earth asteroids (i.e., from some of the thousands of asteroids whose orbits cross between the Earth and Mars). Most of the remaining material was obtained from the Moon.

©David Brandt-Erichsen

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