Thoughts on a space station at L2 of the Earth-Moon system

An interesting article appeared recently "NASA considers orbital outpost near moon as next big project" The article says it would be a gateway for missions to the Moon and Mars. The project would be to put a space station at the L2 point in the Earth-Moon system.

Some points not mentioned in the article, provide some evocative scenarios.

L2 is a hover point above the center of the far side of the Moon. One thing that this means, is that it is out of direct sight, and radio communication, with the Earth. Thus what goes on there, we can only find out indirectly, if at all. The Moon between L2 and the Earth also provides shielding from the electromagnetic smog exuding from our civilization, and could be a quiet place from which to do radio astronomy.

But also, being permanently hidden from the eyes and ears of people on Earth, for war-defense-minded folks, it could be an even better hideout for storing the nuke-carrying rockets that once were feared were going to be put on the Moon's surface, that brought forth the Apollo Project in the Space Race.

L2 is the balance point between the combined gravitational force from the Earth plus that of the Moon, by the outward force centrifugal force generated by the angular velocity of orbiting around the Earth at the same orbital period as the Moon, about 28.25 days per orbit. (The reference article was incorrect in saying that L2 was the balance point between the Earth and the Moon; that balance point is called L1.)

Being a balance point, it means it would require ever vigilant station-keeping externally supplied station-keeping energy. Not much energy; but if ever not fully compensated, it would build up speed that would rapidly require ever increasing amounts of energy to get it put back at the balance point. From L2, a bit of outward shift and the station heads for more distant space; a shift toward the Moon, heads for the moon.

Similar to a station put at the L1 balance point between the Moon and the Earth, if it loses station-keeping balance, it would head either toward the Moon or toward the Earth; neither is a desirable prospect. But from L2, the option of heading away from the Moon, suggests to me that such a station have mounted on it a set of emergency rockets to push it back through L2 and out toward distant space, if ever station-keeping was lost and it was headed down toward the Lunar surface. That would give people time to arrange some kind of rescue mission.

A related concept could provide station keeping without addition of energy, but would have its own considerations. That is to have the L2 "Gateway Spacecraft" (as the reference article called it) part of a lunar space elevator through L2 from the Lunar surface. Such an anchored tether space elevator would provide the L2 space station with station keeping force, and also L2 being the balance point between the sum of the Lunar-ward gravitational-dominant force on the mass of the part of the tether between the Moon and L2, and the centrifugal-force dominant part of the tether space elevator, that is beyond L2 as it swings around in the lunar-period Earth orbit.

Hydrocarbon-based materials probably exist for making such a space elevator through L2. Space-rated fiberglass was shown to be strong enough, for its density, to be used for a Lunar anchored tether space elevator through L1, back in 1972 (reference "The Mooncable: A profitable Transportation System in Space" and The Mooncable: Gravitational-Electric Siphon in Space" and NASA ICB's reply to it on June 23, 1972) using a constant-stress cross-section tapered configuration; and recently a different material has been proposed by the LiftPort group, currently making a new push for such a project, using a hydrocarbon-based tether material.

Space technology project concepts that are not in line with current corporate business plan territories, have little opportunity to become reality. There remains one outlet for the resulting frustrations endured by an author of such a concept, and that is to incorporate the concepts into science fiction stories. That way it becomes non-threatening to corporate managers and investors - although suppression of the distribution of such sci fi novels might still happen. In this case, for some thoughts about how to deal with establishing communication between Earth and L2, see "The Torus City Ice Shields Returning Home" 2008 novel, as well as for some more thoughts regarding an anchored tether Lunar space elevator through L2. (And see it also for lots more thoughts about an anchored Lunar tether through L1, too, if that is of any interest.)

The prospect of creating a space station at L2, provides lots of new and interesting factors in the exploration and utilization of space.

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Nobody is minding the store Seems to me to be one of those rare political items that has balance and understanding. And is mixed in with some of unrelated life's problems, as is much of life for the rest of us. Am one of those 47%. Struggling to live on the social security retirement safety net for which am quite thankful exists due to the wisdom of folks long ago. And yes I pay those other taxes like sales tax, gas tax, and Washington Use tax. But there is no work for me that will raise my income up to the level where I would pay Federal Income Tax once more. I never expected to retire, my income unable to save up enough to do that. Besides, work was part of my daily life. But when I once again was out on the street looking for work as an Electronics Technician, due to another employer's RIF that included me that time, I eventually realized that jobs were too few and I was past 65 and no one wanted to employ me anymore. eventually I realized that I apparently was "retired." And I have come to think that more as time goes on. I did have a couple of months of paid part-time work, as a result of volunteer work I did before and afterwards, and still do now via my computer and the internet, a kind of data processing on a scientific project for the museum. that small income was desperately needed back then, too. Maybe I am a bit different from the average American, in that I think that we all, 47% included, ought to pay into the federal income tax kitty. And we ought to have work we can do fairly easily with little drama and trauma, and even enjoy doing. Who would be able to create those jobs and supervise that work being done by the 47%, other than the Federal Government. Now I realize that would be considered treading into the business territory of conventional businesses, but, take a look, conventional businesses have not taken on that job. Nothing like a reality check, to get good answers. Conventional businesses do not consider it their responsibility to make sure everybody has a god and productive paid job. They want the potential employees out there semi-starved and ready to grab at any job, when conventional business has a need for someone; I can understand that. But the conglomerate of all the petty kingdoms of conventional businesses, just are not doing the job of keeping everybody rightfully employed at work pleasant and productive. Conventional business wants those job-seekers milling around on their doorstep, to be hired for a minimum amount of money; hired to do something that the employer either cannot or does not want to do themselves; when the job is done, and if there is no other task for that employee, he is booted back out into the milling masses of job seekers. That is the way it has been working during my forty-plus years of being employed to do somebody else's tasks in return for money on which to survive. The situation seems different now in many respects. Conventional business sees only the path of most profit, and in today's larger world oftentimes that means it gets done overseas. The person who would have done it here in the USA remains out of work. No skin off the businessman's nose, he is in it for the fast buck, not to nurture the system of which he is part, here in America. Businesses are grab-root-growl, hunter-gatherers in business suits; no "farmers" are they, with responsibility for long term maintenance of the situation. The clerks are selling everything like mad but nobody is minding the store. Who can be counted on minding the store. America, that is. And America is the responsible one whether taking responsibility or not.


The news is sad

A friend emailed me this morning saying the news is sad. I replied yes the news is sad. The big garment factory fires is reminescent to the Triangle garment factory fire here in the US that killed a similar number hundreds of women workers, and finally got the US to pass laws making business people more responsible for the care and safety of their workers. That businesses are now trying to control elections and thus the business laws, I fear will send America back to the irresponsible business system of before that fire, and probably much worse. I guess it depends on how much we Americans prefer drama to having good lives.

Also the overseas "religious" violence perfectly timed and predictable results to influence our elections too, set off by a clever bogus movie-trailer. But maybe it also shows a tinderbox problem we here in America in our religious tolerance determination, do not comprehend does not always exist everywhere. Also it makes me realize how some religions think their God is so weak that it cannot ignore some bad words thrown at it by some naughty teenagers; and think that it is excuse to bash and kill to show their loyal support of their God that apparently they think wants that to happen.

Again, the Drama of it all.

We humanity could be doing so incredibly much more and better than this together.

Yet even here in America I have seen some of the best opportunities for great progress to responsibly help all Americans and peoples of the world and the natural world that gives us all life, get trickily dumped by those whose massive greed is more powerful than their wisdom.

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Another rant fueled by Aspergers conjectures

Wandering a bit in my blog post "Morphing conjecture into theory" and stimulated by the link on the title here "Economic Policy Beyond Gimmicks" am seeing what happens by my Asperger's efforts to understand what all those people are doing, really doing. Why can't they all cooperate and pursue efforts that bring greater wellbeing to all, I wonder. I can see such a huge amount that could be accomplished in short and long term to bring a much better life for all Americans and even spread around the world if the others choose so.

But no, that is not what is going on. Aspergers are supposed to be the goofy ones re people and their doings. Am I just being goofy or is it the other way around? Most likely we are all doing whatever we are able to do. And that suggests a way to analyze it all: use what is being done, to locate & define what people are actually able to do. And, don't ask people to do much beyond what they already can do per their thusly defined natures.

So, I will skip over the essential but incredibly complex and lengthly detailed research on who said what and who did what to whom that is relevant here, and go direct to the "conjecture" phase. Conjecture is a bit better than wild guesses, but less than hypothesis that have had some checking done. So I will dredge up with some old and very obviously oversimplifications of the current dominant political scene: "The robber-barrons vs the sheeple-people." Or maybe slightly different: "The owner-managers vs the lazy-grunts." Testing the fit of some likely looking pieces of this gigantic jigsaw puzzle, a couple pieces seem to fit: the owner-managers need to find ways to force the lazy-grunts to do the work that the owner-managers need to get done; and one obvious way is to make the lazy-grunts only way to get health care for themselves and their loved ones would be to get health insurance provided by their owner-manager-employer. If the work demanded of them is just too hard, if they complain or quit the job, they lose health care; thus a big armlock on those lazy grunts to make them get up and work. Health care funded by all Americans in a big pool, enables health to stay healthy instead of getting too sick and into a down spiral to big costly mess well-being-wise. So overall it greatly improves the productivity capacity of America. But it does so at the cost of owner-management losing their leverage of depriving the worker of healthcare if he/she won't do the rotten work they are given by owner-management. Thus healthcare financing becomes a pivotal issue in the political struggle between the two parties of owner-mananagers vs lazy-grunts.

So, there is a conjecture. Way over-simpified and doubtless not the names they like to call themselves. Not even generally true archetypes, not at all. Still, something of the general pattern, seems to fit the otherwise Aspergers-incomprehensible ongoings.

I teeter on the urge to bring in another factor in the healthcare issue, which could easily turn into another huge set of issues. From a huge amount of personal experience, I would have to say that if keeping people fit and healthy, the present healthcare system is missing huge opportunity to do so. That would improve the working capability of Americans - sure the lazy-grunts mostly but owner-management folks too - while enormously lowering the cost of healthcare. Sounds like another everybody-wins thing - that is not happening. Well I have written on that subject in this jedcstuff blog a lot, and little interest in rehashing it here, this is already getting too long. Suffice it to say that if efficacy were the primary criteria for usefulness, then price applied as modifier, that the so-called alternative health modalities would get incorporated into the medical system with heavy emphasis on a do-it-yourself mode. The big problem preventing this is the huge amount of investment and profits being made with the system just like it is; and if the cost of healthcare goes way way down, the money is no longer pouring into the current type healthcare system, lots of jobs are lost, owner-managers don't get to buy more colorful yachts to add to their existing zoo of colorful yachts, or pile up even more huge piles of gold in offshore banks. Thus this possibly is the more powerful force controlling the healthcare issue, seems to be where this trail has led.

I could then wander into the energy crisis circus. Avoiding of course the urge to say I-told-you-so-and-showed-you-how to solve it over two decades ago, and then get all tangled up in that bunch of snares surrounding me as a result of tangling with the powers-that-be. But I can say that if the so-called religious wars between fundys over here vs fundys over in middle-east, all intent on their sons being the only ones inheriting the future instead of the sons of those others, and plenty of time to wait and reproduce, that in about another three decades whoever runs out of fuel first for warcraft vehicles, loses the game. Since our solution currently is to reduce foreign oil bought and burned away, by more rapidly burning up of our own limited supplies, we lose the who-runs-out-first game.

But Aspergers me just shakes my head in bafflement at all that monkeybusiness. How incredibly much more we could all achieve and be responsible to the environs that provide us all with life-stuff, but cooperating for mutual benefit. Well, I was already there once in this rant of a blog post.

Lots of this seems to be both conjecture and initial observations leading to conjecture.

And i realize that the whole morphing of conjecture into theory model is missing a very important aspect: that of what do we want to achieve.

Well, the simple achievement of two bulls bashing each other until one is no longer able to participate in fathering the next generation, thus the fems breed that one the winner, might well be the "want to achieve" bottom line of lots out there. That is not what I had in mind. But yes it is obvious that it is whatever is in their mind is what goes into reality, instead of what I had in mind.

Full circle and am done with this blog post. Other than spelling fixing, of course. This lazy-grunt will just have to grunt about that, and just do it.


Morphing conjecture into theory

I again have been pondering the analysis sequence of event observation, conjecture as to cause and meaning of the event, hypothesis describing the event in general and then a theory that describes that event and many others like it; then correctly predicts similar events that come to pass in the future.

Each of these involves interpretation.

And the morphing from one stage into the next, is usually not celebrated although maybe defended.