Transport of the space age.

 

A superficial description of the transport infrastructure of the future. And a short survey of typical types of individual transport, which are modern analogues of the personal transport of space civilization. Available now for ordinary consumers.

In this post, I made a superficial survey of space-age transport systems. Described what could be the transport infrastructure, in space and on earth. Do not go into details. In detail, there are many promising space transport infrastructure materials. Many different projects, many options for interaction between them. About future space transport projects, and I will write more detailed in the following posts.
This post, about the types of personal transport, which are analogues of personal transport of the period of space civilization. Available now for ordinary consumers. Which people can freely acquire, and use for themselves. And due to this, to some extent create their personal life environment, according to the standards of space civilization.

Vehicles that give freedom of movement, one of the main components of the technological life space of modern civilization. In the transition of mankind into the cosmic era, there will be a certain evolution of transport systems.

Space transport infrastructure of a new generation.
For industrial development of the solar system, it is necessary to pass to qualitatively new types of transport systems. Chemical rockets of a modern type do not allow colonizing space. They are very expensive, and not very effective. With their help, space probes can be explored. Or it is possible to create single habitable, bases on the Moon, or Mars. For large-scale industrialization of the solar system, it is definitely necessary to switch to transport systems with economical engines. Or working without engines, according to the principle of powerful catapults, giving speed to the payload.
With the beginning of the development of the space industry, in space, a fleet of orbital tugs with economical «Plasma engines» will appear. Capable of consuming any kind of fuel available. Represents a permanent, reusable, and not expensive transport infrastructure. For flights between different orbits, within the same planet. Or flights between planets and asteroids.
And also, without missile launching from the moon. Powerful cable catapults, working on the principle of sling. Unwinding cargo on long ropes. To bring it to the lunar orbit at a speed of 1800 meters per second. The main task of cable catapults, the delivery of raw materials from the moon, to the near-moon orbit. From where they will be transported to the orbit of the earth, where they will be processed at industrial orbital stations. In the future, ejection catapults can work on other planets with low gravity.
Near-Earth, orbital, without missile transport systems. Such as rope sling. Powerful electromagnetic accelerators, electromagnetic guns, or orbital analogues of earth’s railways on magnetic levitation. Or «Orbital collectors» to capture matter from a suborbital jump by directly colliding with special ships. In this way, simple materials, metals, water, oxygen can be put into orbit. Can be used in near-earth orbit, as part of global, space transportation systems.
Without rocket launch vehicles in Earth orbit. Working in conjunction with the orbital and terrestrial transport infrastructure. Employees are an interlayer between them. This is part of the space transport infrastructure, the new generation. Due to which, it is possible to arrange transport communication with the planets and asteroids of the solar system. With low costs, from a few hundred, to several tens of dollars per kilogram. Tens or hundreds of times cheaper than modern missiles. And the volumes of transportation, thousands or tens of thousands of tons per year, which will be enough to start the mass industrialization of space.
At the next stage, the development of a transport infrastructure capable of bringing cargoes into orbit straight from the ground will begin. These are powerful electromagnetic guns, or magnetic rail tracks in vacuum tunnels. Accelerating the payload to orbital speeds. Perhaps space elevators capable of lifting cargo on cables from the surface of the earth to a geostationary orbit. Such a transport infrastructure will connect the mass transport infrastructure of the earth, railways, with space. After its appearance, the price of launching into orbit will be from several tens, to several dollars per kilogram. The volume of traffic will be virtually unlimited.
The new space transport infrastructure will give people the opportunity to develop a large-scale activity in the solar system. And to provide the earth industry with inexhaustible resources of the solar system.

Earth transport infrastructure, in the period of space civilization.
On the ground transport systems will start to develop, allowing to connect a planet effective and not expensive transport communication. Individual vehicles for people will develop. Not expensive, if possible, eco-friendly and easy to use. Giving people a higher freedom of movement. Making people’s lives more free and mobile.
A large, terrestrial, transport infrastructure that will be developed into the space age. It is highly likely to consist of more efficient analogues of modern transport. They will form the basis of terrestrial transport networks.
But just as with a high probability, several qualitatively new types of transport will spread. Such as, trains on magnetic levitation. Or planes with remote power supply to engines, through microwave, or laser beams. They will not be the most massive, but important in terms of transport links between land and space.
From the ground transport infrastructure, high-speed trains will be distributed first of all. Since they combine high speed, high performance, and low price. Perhaps analogues of modern funiculars will be distributed, in which cars move along hanging cables at high speed. The speed of cars will increase. Probably, there will be hybrids that can ride on rails, or cables, long distances, and on wheels, at close range.
Perhaps, there will be over-high-speed trains, on magnetic levitation, in vacuum tunnels.
Trains on magnetic levitation, can become an important link between the terrestrial and space transport infrastructure. Since they can develop hypersonic speed, and are able to withdraw cargo capsules into a suborbital flight, or into orbit. Without the use of missiles.
High-speed trains can work in cooperation with the space transport infrastructure. So cargo capsules, accelerated to a speed of 3 to 4 kilometers per second, on the surface of the earth. In the highlands. They can fly out of vacuum tunnels with an elevation angle, along the trajectory of artillery shells. Coming to a suborbital flight, to a height of about 150 — 250 kilometers. Where they will be picked up by orbital, without missile launching. Such as, rope sling, or orbital electromagnetic rail tracks. Which will accelerate the capsule to orbital speed, without the use of rocket fuel.
With the development of such an integrated transport system, terrestrial, electromagnetic, accelerators can be placed on overpasses, 40 kilometers high. At this altitude, 1% of the earth’s atmosphere remains. As on Mars. Air resistance becomes insignificant. The speed of the capsules can be increased to orbital.
At the next stage, you can build a flyover, a height of 100 — 120 kilometers. Leaving beyond the atmosphere. Such a flyover will be very expensive, its price can be trillion. But it will allow to take cargoes from the earth directly into orbit. And just take the goods from space, without intermediate transport systems. From orbit to railroad tracks. Having established a direct communication between the earth’s rail networks and the cosmos, it is possible to deliver cargoes into space without special expenses and in any quantities. And also receive valuable resources from space in any quantities.
Space lifts can also serve as a promising, without a missile, transport infrastructure of the class «Surface — Orbit». But the lifts have their drawbacks. This is a low productivity, you can not hang a train with a load on a lift cable. Maximum capsules weighing from several tons to several tens of tons. Which will move along the cable, a long 36,000 kilometers, a few days. And a limited resource of elevator cables that will slowly break up the meteoric dust and small space debris. The cables will have to be changed, about every 5 years. And it’s expensive.

In the water transport infrastructure, in the space period of development, there may be more cheap large ships. Made of fibrous concrete, instead of steel. Concrete barges, will become sites for mobile industrial enterprises and residential settlements. Probably, cargo ekranoplans will appear. This is a water transport combining high speed with high carrying capacity.

In the air transport infrastructure of the space era, there may be airplanes using cryogenic (frozen to liquid) methane as fuel. The energy of methane is approximately twice that of kerosene. At the same time, cryogenic methane is cheap, and relatively easy to use, compared to hydrogen. Large liners on methane will be able to fly half the diameter of the earth without refueling. Can fly to anywhere in the world for one flight.
Perhaps there will be airplanes that work from the energy of the microwave beam fed from the ground. Such aircraft will fly at high altitude, at supersonic speed. And to move about irregularly. Gaining speed and height, flying over the beam generators, and then fly by inertia to the next generator.
Aircraft with engines on an external power supply can also go into suborbital flight or go into orbit, working as space shuttles. Using cryogenic hydrogen in an airless space, as a fuel of the «Working Body». For rockets or shuttles on «Hydrogen, thermal engines», it is sufficient to have a fuel reserve in tanks of three, four times the weight of the machine. Ten times less than using modern, chemical rockets. Low fuel consumption, makes shuttles on such engines, powered by generators of directional radiation from the ground, much more convenient and beneficial than chemical rockets. This is one of the directions of the space transportation systems of the new generation.
Article. About the startup of Escape Dynamics: https://spacenews.com/advanced-space-propulsion-startup-sh…/
Video. About the startup of Escape Dynamics: 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QlybbxXrUA 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHBphhkO-1E

Individual transport types of the space age.
In the space age, the role of transport in people’s lives will grow, as people will become more mobile. But at the same time, the means of personal transport will be strong tendencies of minimalism and simplicity.

Automobile mass transport of the period of space civilization.
In road transport, electric vehicles will become widespread. Electromobiles are simple to operate, they can like electrical appliances, work for years almost without maintenance and repair. The shortage of electric vehicles in a short range of driving on a single charge, several hundred kilometers. But for cities, this shortcoming is not critical. Electric cars will be distributed mainly in cities.
Machines with thermal engines will not go out of circulation. But they will be distributed mainly in remote and rural areas. Where there is no infrastructure for charging batteries. And it will be necessary to travel a distance of hundreds of kilometers. In the future, semi-synthetic motor fuel produced from plant raw materials will appear. There will be engines adapted to work on cheap solid biofuel. Such as gas-fueled fuel systems. There will be multi-fuel, steam engines that can work on any combustible material. And liquid fuel, and fuel pellets, and lumpy fuel, wood or branches, if necessary.

Air mass transport of the period of cosmic civilization.

Air types of personal transport will be actively developed, such as light aircraft, passenger drones, or light airships. In particular, the air transport on electric engines will be spread. The batteries have a small amount of energy, compared to liquid fuel. But the appearance of lithium air batteries, can give the air electric vehicle a sufficient range of flight.
Probably the appearance of light aircraft or hang-gliders receiving energy from thin-film solar cells and batteries. In the air, such aircraft can increase the range of flight due to solar panels. With a bright sun flying only due to the energy of the photocells. On the ground, they can charge the batteries from the sun, if charging from the mains is unavailable.
Probably the appearance of light airships. The shell of which will be covered with thin-film solar panels. Or it will be equipped with concave, film, mirrors, concentrating the sunlight on thermal generators. With batteries and backup heat engines. Such airships will, in fact, be flying machines with unlimited range of flight. Their speed will not be high. But the range will be practically unlimited, due to the ability to feed on solar energy.
Airships can also serve as an important component of the mobile industrial infrastructure. Since they can accommodate light micro factories. Airships with solar power plants will be able, and move micro factories to anywhere in the world. And provide them with energy in working position.
Airships in the space age will be earth analogues of space stations. They are mobile. Maximum autonomous. Can serve as a vehicle, and flying housing, and flying industrial platforms.

Vehicles of the space era are now available to ordinary consumers.

Now analogues of personal vehicles of the future space civilization are available for sale. The most massive of which are electric vehicles and light, portable, personal electric transport.

Individual air transport, corresponding to the parameter of space age transport.
In air transport, examples of personal transport, the space age, can be light aircraft. Inexpensive, and do not need a special airfield infrastructure. Capable of using for take-off and landing roads, flat fields, or reservoirs, for hydroplanes.
Now there are constantly experiments on the creation of hybrids of cars and airplanes, «Flying cars». But while there are no cheap and convenient machines of this type in the market.
There are also experiments in the field of creating flying machines on electric motors. Light aircraft on batteries, or large, passenger drones. But because of the low energy of modern batteries, flying machines on electric motors have a short flight range.
The energy stored by lithium-ion batteries is ten times less than the useful energy that organic fuels produce when burned in thermal engines. Therefore, modern-type accumulators can not successfully compete with thermal motors for the duration of work on a single charge. Especially in aviation, since flying machines consume more energy. The emergence of new, promising, «Lithium air» batteries, which have a higher specific efficiency, may allow electric aircraft to compete with thermal batteries. Now research is in progress in this area, experimental lithium air batteries have appeared, two times higher than traditional analogues in terms of specific efficiency.
Article 1. Lithium air batteries Samsung: https://asia.nikkei.com/…/Samsung-working-on-battery-breakt…
Article 2. Lithium Air Batteries Laboratory in Illinois: https://today.uic.edu/new-design-produces-true-lithium-air-…
In experimental manned drones, the range of flight is about 30 — 40 kilometers, it’s more of a big toy than an airplane.
For electric aircraft, the range is about 150 — 300 kilometers. Compared with electric vehicles, the range is sufficient for a functional vehicle, but for aviation it is not enough. The main advantages of electric aircraft, at low operating costs. Charging the batteries, costs about 5 times cheaper than oil. Electric aircraft, unlike piston, or turbine, do not require frequent preventive inspections.
Electric light aircraft — «Pipistrel». Article: https://www.pipistrel.si/https://cleantechnica.com/…/1st-pipistrel-electric-airplan…/ Official website: https://www.pipistrel.si /
The electric training aircraft is «Sunflyer». Article: https://cleantechnica.com/…/the-electric-sun-flyer-2-compl…/ Official website: http://sunflyer.com/

Personal water transport by the standards of the space age.
In water transport, individual vehicles of the space era, one can consider rubber boats. Due to a combination of high mobility, convenience in operation and reasonable prices.
Or ships that work on solar generators. Capable of serving as mobile, water, residential or technological platforms. In which, there is no need for fuel and unlimited range. For such floating platforms, the «Catamaran» scheme is well suited. The catamaran has a high area, it is needed for solar panels, and gives a lot of free space, for life or equipment. The catamaran is stable, and has low resistance, and accordingly reliable and high-speed.
Article 1. Easy catamaran on solar batteries. «SoelCat 12»: http://www.businessinsider.com/soelcat-12-electric-yacht-so…
Article 2. Marine catamaran on solar batteries. «Turanor PlanetSolar»: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BBranor_PlanetSolar
Now there are no catamarans on solar batteries in wide sale. The examples given are an expensive little serial machine, and a single product, too expensive. But now the market has affordable solar panels and powerful batteries. Which you can equip inexpensive serial catamarans. Or to order for themselves catamarans, designed from zero, especially for this purpose, creating a floating universal platform on solar generators.

Individual, automotive, and other road transport, by the standards of transport of the space age.

Expensive electric vehicles, such as the widely known «Tesla,» functional transport can be called with great reserve. Since their price is not adequate to practical functions. They can be considered a model, or precursor, of the personal transport of the space age. But the role of practical transport, they do not pull, because of the losing ratio of cost — efficiency.
In the category of functional, individual, electric transport, modeled on the transport of the space age, low-cost electric cars are comparable in price to traditional mid-range cars.
Examples 1: https://wattev2buy.com/…/baojun-electric-ve…/baojun-e100-ev/2: https://www.autocarindia.com/car-n…/scoop-tata-electric-nano -will-be-launched-as-the-jayem-neo-406644
Light cars, such as buggies. With frames that give passengers protection in a collision or coup. Such cars are cheap, they can be traveled by road. They have increased cross-country ability. Disadvantages of serial electric buggies, low speed, 40 — 60 kilometers per hour. Examples. 1, Suppressor VLE 2×2: https://www.ammoland.com/…/torq-unveils-new-eco-friendly-…/…2, https: //www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2-seat-electric-dune-buggy-atv_60482060360.html
3: https://russian.alibaba.com/…/5000w-quad-4wd-electric-all-w…

Electric ATVs can also drive along roads and difficult terrain. But do not give serious protection in case of accidents. And have a low speed. Example: https://russian.alibaba.com/…/best-seller-3000w-electric-qu…

Velomobiles with electric motors are an intermediate option between cars and bicycles or scooters. They are cheap, from 1 to 5 thousand dollars. They can be stored in living quarters. Disadvantages of low speed, about 30 — 50 kilometers per hour. Not a high range on one charge, 50 — 150 kilometers. Low level of protection in case of collisions on the road.
Example. 1: https://www.podbike.com/ 2: https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/12/bike-car-meet-podbike/
Article on velomobiles 1: https://newatlas.com/tag/velomobile/
Article on velomobiles 2: https://mobilitylab.org/…/watch-out-transpo-nerds-electric…/

Lightweight, or portable, electric vehicles, such as motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, or scooters with electric motors.
Light electric types of electric transport are convenient in the urban environment in that they practically do not need garages, they are simple and not demanding in maintenance.
Modern motorcycles or scooters on electric engines are made of composite materials. Often with folding frame design. They are lightweight, and they can be stored in living quarters or in offices, while working. Electric motors are simple and reliable. They practically do not break down, they do not need to be disassembled from time to time to keep them in a working condition. They do not give noise and smoke. Charge the batteries, you can from household outlets. But electric motorcycles and scooters are designed for traffic on roads, and have car speed. On the functional they differ little from cars. For convenience in operation are comparable with bicycles.
Example of an electromotor cycle: http://www.eastgem.net/escort-excite.html
Example of an electric scooter: http://gadgetsin.com/moveo-2016-carbon-fiber-foldable-elect…

Bicycles with electric motors and batteries are also means of personal electric transport. But they are dangerous to travel by road.
Example. Electric motor for bicycles. 1: https://electricbikereport.com/electric-bike-factory-chang…/
Article. Overview of electric bicycles: https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-folding-electric-bikes

Portable types of electric transport, such as modern, folding, electric scooters. Or folding mini bicycles with light frames and small wheels. They can give high freedom of movement in the urban environment. Due to the fact that in the folded state they can be carried around in backpacks. And take with them to public transport. They are a vehicle, but do not interfere with the use of public transport.
The speed of folding electric scooters, or mini bicycles, about 20 — 40 kilometers per hour. Not inferior to bicycles. Power reserve, several dozen kilometers. This is the average distance for bicycles on city streets. Portable types of electric transport can be recharged in any outlet. Taking into account the recharging, their total range, can be increased to 100 kilometers per day.
For example, you can sit down on a folding scooter, go to work on it. At work to recharge. After a busy day, go on business or for a walk. Then again recharge and go home.
If the speed of the scooter is not enough, or you need to travel a long distance, it can be folded, put in a backpack and ride with it on buses, subways or taxis.
Foldable, portable types of electric transport, allow you to move around freely in urban conditions. By speed and range, they occupy an intermediate position between cars and pedestrians. According to the operating conditions, they differ little from household electrical appliances. At a price, comparable to expensive bicycles or medium bikes. You can buy them in online stores.
Examples:
1. Foldable mini electro scooter. Compact, folded in a backpack, lightweight, but with a weak motor and battery: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/cGi5KIJq
2. Foldable mini electro scooter. Speed ​​and range at the middle level, compactness is not high. When folded, the backpack can not fit, but can be carried in the hands or rolled like a bag with wheels: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/2jdwshS
3. Folding electric scooters. Compactness is low, speed and range is high. 1: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bHOQPut6 2: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/CKo1hSC
4. Folding electric scooters. Compact, but with low-power motors and batteries. 1: https://www.qoo10.sg/…/GOTUBE-THE-WORLDS-MOST-POR…/522347874 2: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/y6xDXVe Youtube: https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Hnu80h8T0

Road transport, is the most massive, and the most in-demand mode of transport in the modern world .. Most people in the modern world live in cities or urban-type settlements. And as progress progresses, the level of urbanization will increase. Road transport increases the level of mobility, and the quality of life of people in their basic, urbanized life environment. Personal, types of road transport are one of the simplest, and slow vehicles. But, as the elements that form the personal life environment of people, they are one of the most important.

The acquisition of personal transport that meets the standards of transport of space civilization, is a way of creating your personal life environment according to the standards of space civilization.
Transport, one of the main elements of any civilization. Evolution of vehicles, one of the main areas of development of civilization in general. And space civilization, as one of the most promising areas of modern development. The development of transport infrastructure, or expensive modes of transport, is controlled by mankind as a whole, or by individuals with great opportunities. It depends little on each individual person. But the choice of personal modes of transport is under the direct control of every person.
The development of space civilization through a network organization. In which, a lot of individuals form their living environment and their way of life according to the standards of space civilization. Acting in a consolidated and coordinated manner as a single social organism. Developing the global trend of the movement of world civilization to the transition to the cosmic level. This is an effective way of transforming the terrestrial civilization into a cosmic one, in which every person can take part.
Including, each person with his personal choice, vehicles that fit the standards of transport of the space age, can form both his personal life environment and the global industry in this area.
In post I gave a general description of the transport of space civilization, both infrastructure and individual. And a general description of personal vehicles, suitable for the transport standards of the space age, which are now available for sale.
The modes of transport described are accessible and functional. Making their choice in their favor, each person can to some extent acquire for himself the blessings of cosmic civilization. By disseminating information about this topic, or engaging in trade mediation, each person can occupy his or her positions in the social environment of people of the space age.

Nikolaj Agapov.

 

Source:  Facebook group. The Space Age People’s Club.

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