SPORE Design Version 1

This is the first SPORE Design post. It shows my initial design ideas and details some of their advantages and disadvantages. At least the stuff I can think of. I’m sure I’m missing a lot. Anyway, later posts will detail the SPORE design as it evolves.

Check out the SPORE Overview for more information.

Originally, I had thought that the Shield Wall would be a separate structure from the Pressure Hull. It would look something like this:

Shield wall with Iron pressure hull 1

The advantages of such a design are:

  • A threat would have to get through the Shield Wall before it reaches the Pressure Hull.
  • The Pressure Hull is not in contact with the abrasive regolith/mega-regolith.
  • Escaped atmospheric gas could be trapped in the space between the Shield Wall and the iron pressure hull and recovered.
  • The Pressure Hull and the Shield Wall are independent.
  • The Shield Wall, while not air tight, could retain a significant amount of atmosphere if the Pressure Hull fails. This might buy enough time to fix the Pressure Hull.

The disadvantages of such a design are:

  • Need to extract and refine a large amount of iron.
  • Need to manufacture components for the hull.
  • More time to create the Shield Wall AND the Pressure Hull.
  • Not sure how to support a separate pressure hull inside the Shield Wall while Shield Wall is still under construction.
  • Difficult to inspect and repair the Shield Wall if the vacuum space is too small. We need the vacuum space to be as small as possible so the Pressure Hull can be as large as possible.

But the more research I did, the more I thought about making the Shield Wall also function as the Pressure Hull. Something like this:

 Shield wall integrated pressure hull 1

The advantages of such a design are:

  • Much less iron needs to be recovered and processed. We’ll still need some for fittings, pressure doors, etc.
  • Faster construction time. Just need to construct the Shield Wall and then seal it. No need to build the Pressure Hull.
  • Easier maintenance of the Shield Wall. We won’t have to go through the Pressure Hull to get to it.
  • Could possibly make very large pressurized areas if we perfect this tech. I imagine something like Khazad-dûm from the Lord of the Rings. Lunar gravity might allow us to do some amazing things.

The disadvantages of such a design are:

  • Have to figure out how to seal the Shield Wall so that it’s air tight. And be able to maintain that pressure barrier. The only thing I can think of at this time is molten glass or basalt. Either would be damn uncomfortable and dangerous.
  • Less safety features than a separate Shield Wall and Pressure Hull.
  • Maintenance might be more of a pain than a simple iron pressure hull.

Either way there’s still a lot of questions that need answers.

  • How to minimize pressurized oxygen loss while the Shield Wall is being built.
  • How to support the Shield Wall as we dig further down.
  • What type of radiation/kinetic barrier is best? Loose regolith, sintered regolith, cast basalt bricks, etc.
  • How far does the surface vacuum reach into the regolith/mega-regolith? At some point it’s effects will be negligible. How will that effect our Pressure Hull or Shield Wall sealant?
  • Lots more I don’t even know about yet!
Conclusions
  • Whether SPORE uses a Shield Wall/Iron Pressure Hull combo or simply a pressurized Shield Wall doesn’t matter at this point. Both designs require me to work on the Shield Wall first. If I’m lucky, that research will either validate or invalidate the pressurized Shield Wall idea.
  • Clearly art isn’t one of my talents!

I’ll expand on this post as I think of, and find, new things. I’ll start a new post if/when I find information that radically effects the design. I’m sure that will happen sooner rather than later.

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