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 Projects, Projects and More Projects

Will someone please donate a few trillion so we can

colonize near space?

We have quite a few different projects which we have undertaken since we created ISECCo in 1988. We have tried to arrange them in a logical order. Eventually we will fill out a lot more links explaining what we plan (or expect to happen). For now this is primarily an outline.

If any of you would like to take a portion of this page and fill it in we would very much appreciate the help!

Overview of Projects

These are all the projects ISECCo has ever thought about. They range from the mundane to complete fantasy.

Note: These are poorly organized, and few are even written. We'll be working on this over the next year (decade?!) to improve it, so check back often! A few of the places have duplicate links; I hope this isn't too confusing.

This group of projects is well within our abilities. Many are already finished; the rest are scheduled for completion before we tackle any of our 'far out' projects.

CELSS Research

Nauvik (note: this link is the same as that found on our main page), our primary project: a Closed Ecological Life Support System--CELSS (Commonly called a Biosphere).

Super Tube

Creation of ISECCo

Building membership

Web site


Remote control vehicles

Papers, conferences, interviews, press releases etc

As our productivity increases we are becoming better known in scientific world. This is due in part to the papers we have presented at conferences, published or otherwise distributed as well as a few classes we have given lectures to. This isn't quite complete yet, but we are working on it!


These projects start a little bit far out, and go way off the deep end (at least in terms of our ability to accomplish them). As far as that goes many of these are more goals we'd like to see the nation (or international community) tackle.

Disclaimer: We do not, nor do we expect to, have the resources to do many (if any) of the things listed below. They should be viewed strictly as our fantasies about how the future will come about.

We are looking for comments we can add to all of the following. Please mail any you may have! What have we missed? Which are so far out that they aren't practical?

Obtaining $10,000 per month

Aero-space plane

This is for our more ambitious members, and for the sedate ones to fantasize about.

Orbital CELSS

This one is getting up there.

Preliminary space station

So is this one.

Lunar 'railway': a transport & support system

This is more about what is needed, not how to do it.

Lunar Orbiter

Lunar circumnavigation

Just a fun idea.

Lunar exploration

Research into the lunar resources

Lunar transport system

If there were a way to get to the moon without spending huge amounts of money, we are confident it would be quickly colonized.

Lunar base

The first few permanent people

2nd Lunar 'Power' Base

Lunar colony

We (abstractly) define a colony as 100 people or more. Though we don't think anything under 2,000 people would be a viable community, (mostly independent from earth), and it is more likely to be much closer to several hundred thousand.

      1. Is this a reasonable number? It is 1,000 times more costly than residential construction in Alaska. But it must include the terribly expensive transportation costs.
      2. What kinds of construction materials can we obtain locally?
      3. What kinds of materials need to be imported?
      4. How much weight, per square foot constructed, must be transported to the lunar surface?
      5. It capping a crater a reasonable idea?
      6. How porous is the lunar rock? Can a sealer be used, or must it a metal or rubber surface be used?
      7. What will be needed to do in the way of surface preparation?
      8. What sort of heavy equipment will we need?
      9. Should the top be glass?
      10. If it is not glass, should we try to get away with a very thin interior surface, covered with lots of soil to counteract the force of the air inside (70' thick, estimate, to get earth normal)?
      11. How much work will be required to build a sheet metal plant?
      12. What kind of man-hours will be required to build the colony:
      1. What kinds of ancillary support facilities will be needed to run the structure:
      1. CELSS functions

Space elevator

This is by far the most economical way to get to space.

Martian exploration

Mankind has already started. But there is lots left to do, and some sort of surface exploration is needed. Money to properly explore mars has yet to be found, though both NASA and ##Russian## have taken several steps in the right direction.

Martian base

The first few permanent people


The semicycler is an orbital device, which would provide comfortable transportation between earth and mars. It would be a larger space station orbiting between the two planets, allowing you to save the costs of accelerating/decelerating a large support structure more than once. All you need is a shuttle between the earth (or mars) and the semicycler, just big enough to transport your passengers.

Martian colony

Mars is a planet that has long fascinated mankind. In general, given a choice, many people would prefer to live on mars rather than on the moon

Huge space colonies

Gerald O'Neil, founder of Space Studies Institute, believes mankind's destiny does not lie on the surface of planets, but in large space colonies. Who are we to argue?

Mining the asteroids

By the end of the next millennium mankind will be getting the majority of his raw resources from space. Since asteroids are a huge resource, their mining & processing is likely to be one of the major industries. This will also relieve earth's ecosphere from having to absorb the toxins produce by smelting ore.

Mass driver to the stars

This is just an idea, but suppose you build a mass driver that was a million miles long (naturally this would have to be in space). Then you put a projectile that had whatever instruments you wanted on it. Accelerate it at 26,000 g (this is quite a bit less than a rifle bullet, the fastest of which accelerate at over 100,000 g). The final velocity would be 10% the speed of light-or fast enough to make it to the nearest star in one lifetime. Of course if technology progresses to the point where we can boost at, say, 2.6 million g we'd be able to get very close to the speed of light (90%). Of course we aren't any where near being able to build such a device. Nor could we launch people with it: 10 g is as high as is safe for any length of time! But as a means to explore the near parts of our galaxy it would be a good way to start.

Copyright © Summer 1999