Monday, September 26, 2011
Phobos and Deimos as Habitats
Mean radius 11.1 km (6.9 mi (0.0021 Earths)
Mass 1.072×1016 kg (1.8 nEarths)
Dimensions 15 × 12.2 × 10.4 km
Mean radius 6.2 kilometres (3.9 mi)
Mass 1.48×1015 kg (0.25 nEarths)
Mean density 1.471 g/cm³
In yesterday’s post, I discussed the distinct possibility that both Deimos and Phobos are in fact space habitats formed originally by humanity before the triggering of the Pleistocene Nonconformity around 15,000 years ago. As before readers can google this site – see side bar – to read my many posts on this topic.
Today we will develop this hypothesis to certain logical conclusions. The key is the apparent density problem which actually screams that the objects are both hollow.
Conjecture: These objects are originally nickel iron asteroids originally located in the Asteroid belt that were then moved into convenient orbits around Mars in order to build out space habitats.
The movement method is then simple and practical. A linear accelerator along with a powerful fusion energy source, which we may well be close to having ourselves, was installed on the asteroid. Mining commenced and mined material was fed into the throat of the accelerator and the material was sent onto a higher orbit inside the channel of the asteroid belt. This had the effect of progressively slowing the asteroid as it also lost mass.
The mining itself proceeded to hollow out the interior of the asteroid over time to form a empty spherical space without compromising the integrity of the remaining shell. In the case of Phobos, it is creditable that the exit for such material is in fact the huge crater observed.
In this way both objects could be readily brought into Mars orbit without involving any significant engineering until the task is complete. Robotic mining could do almost all the actual mining itself and the manning could be minimal. Certainly no fantastic engines would be needed and the technology is in our grasp today in terms of theory and in reality within fifty years.
Thus my prediction is that both objects are hollowed out nickel iron asteroids whose original density was around 7 to 8 gm/cm3. Also since the volumes have not changed it is fairly clear that approximately eighty percent of the original mass was removed leaving a shell representing around twenty percent of the original mass.
The thickness can be calculated using this equation were d is the mean thickness and R is the mean Radius:
4/5R3 – 3R2d + 3Rd2 – d3 = 0
In any event in the case of Phobos with a mean radius of 11.1 we have an indicated shell thickness that is 2.5 to 3 km leaving a potential void having a radius of plausibly 8 km. This is huge of course but a spinning space habitat naturally providing centripetal acceleration equal to one g on its outer equator and suspended from a free floating central axis in hundreds of layers would readily hold a human population in the tens of millions if not even approaching much larger numbers.
Perhaps as important the whole can be additionally supported from additional operations on Mars and in view of the apparent scale of this plausible artifact it is hard to not expect a massive build underground on Mars that also is able to use rock to protect life from the harsh environment.
Conclusion: It is plausible to use simple technology that hurls magnetic nickel iron mined material to slowly shift such an asteroid out of the asteroid belt into a Mars orbit. It is then plausible with such a natural excavated habitat secure from space conditions to build out a spherical internal habitat free from the surrounding walls of the asteroid that is able to generate its own gravity by simple slow rotation of the huge sphere some sixteen kms across. It would be the biggest suspension bridge ever pulled off.
The only thing missing is the wonderful externals of the Death Star of Star Wars fame.