Here’s some art from a presentation I gave a while ago. Canaan M. designed it, with technical assistance from several people on the team; notably Charles R., Marshall E., and Ken M.
These images were developed into a calendar for a magazine that caters to ‘smart kids’. We thought they were going to use it MUCH sooner than they did. We were asked not to share it until their magazine went to print – which is why you’re getting it in May instead of February. Here’s the link! Feel free to download whichever parts you like. Be warned, if you print these, they use an awful lot of blue ink. I tend to just focus on the month I’m on.
On to the images:
1 of 4. Detailing the “CisLunar Econosphere”. This is a phrase coined by Ken M. to show how the Moon is actually a part of the Earth’s economic influence. He’s written several papers on this. (Part 1, Part 2) Right now, however, we (humans!) spend all of our time and most of our resources focused on GEO or Low Earth Orbit. If we want to stop being a ‘single point of failure species’ then we need to raise our sights! Next stop, the Moon, then on to Mars, and then the Stars. Pay attention to the dV numbers… we’ll come back to them in a moment.
2 of 4. Showing the scale of the overall system… Yes, that little dot on the right side, is the actual scale of the Moon, as compared to the distance from, and size of, the Earth. The Elevator Ribbon is shown in the correct length, but obviously scale for the space station we’ll build at the Earth-Moon Lagrange point, and the thickness of the Ribbon are not correct to scale.
3 of 4. There was a little confusion with this image. These big oval donuts are not Low Earth Orbit or GeoSynchronous Orbit. These are trajectories. This image shows the Delta V costs (dV = Change in velocity) to shift from LEO, all the way out to the EML1, and then all the way back in to GEO. It is substantially cheaper, in terms of energy and fuel, to go that full distance, than it is to go from LEO direct to GEO. (But it is more time-consuming, so it’s a tradeoff.) And if we have a service station at EML1, this case is even more compelling!
4 of 4: Notice that really small number from EML1 to Mars and Near Earth Objects? That means it is almost (energetically) free to go to these exotic locations! Wanna really mine asteroids? Wanna build a real starship? Wanna build a settlement on Mars? Eventually, you’ll use the Lunar Elevator as your base of operations. It is because of these numbers that I remain convinced that the EML1 is likely to (someday) be the most important ‘real estate’ in the solar system!
More images soon. If you pre-ordered a poster, these should give you a hint of what to expect.
Take care, mjl