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TUCSON 2000
International Space Development Conference
May 25-29, 2000


TUCSON 2000 HOME > TECHNOLOGY OF SPACE SETTLEMENT

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Technology of Space Development
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The Technology of Space Settlement

Space pioneers are less likely to be specialists on a "mission" than they are to be jacks of all trades doing what they must to survive (or else they are paying customers, but that’s a different story).

If your aim is real, real high, then you’ll need to stock up on knowledge in its two forms: book learning and practical experience. The former is computation of mixtures and pressures for a rocket motor; the latter is cobbling together parts from two dissimilar broken motors to make one work. The former is a tabulation of air mixture, lighting, and nutrient flow rates for green plants; the latter is getting the damned things to actually grow!

If the books were written, you could simply stack ‘em and crack ‘em, but in an emerging field like this, the information is spread wide and often disguised as some other discipline. Hence the need for a conference, where scattered researchers can be gathered to bend their specialties toward a common target. Eventually the books will be written, maybe by you?

Where and how are you going to set up housekeeping? Maybe you’ll dig a trench on the moon, throw a big balloon in it, make moon bricks and build an arched ceiling over it, and pile on dirt for radiation shielding. If so, why not start now to learn to make bricks and build block structures?

Maybe you’ll start in a tin can in Low Earth Orbit, doing zero gee R&D and small scale production on contract, and keep adding on to your operation until you’re a colossus. You’d better learn sheet metal work – cutting, shaping, and welding.

Feel free to start learning what you’ll need to be a pioneer, even though your launch date might be 30 years away. A new skill is never wasted in an active, intelligent person. More roustabout, less Dilbert.

Tom Jaquish, Program Chair, 1/1/99


 
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