With large span spaces serving as an ‘interior outdoors’ for the large space habitat there would come a natural human desire to enter these spaces in some way. In a practical sense, very large span microgravity spaces have limited use. But the desire to float and fly free of constraints is a natural inclination for the space inhabitant and a key attraction of the space settlement. That there will be recreational activity in these space is a given. And, though limited largely to construction and maintenance activities, there are practical reasons for people to do work in these spaces. But with this comes a minor hazard; the potential for people to drift at slow velocity out of the reach of handholds and thus become ‘stuck’ in open space. For this reason the spans of spacecraft and space outpost interiors have traditionally been kept quite small –a restriction unlikely to remain as space activity moves toward truly permanent habitation. With simple precautions, training, and an avoidance of situations that leave people alone in these large spaces this hazard can be largely eliminated. But the inconvenience of being stuck in this way is still a potential problem, especially for those who deliberately operate in these spaces.
Though not considered an issue inside spacecraft, this was considered a very great danger for astronauts operating outside a spacecraft and from a very early period in human space activity designs were developed for portable propulsion devices to aid the suited astronaut. Early on various forms of hand-held rocket propulsion were common but were ultimately abandoned as a practical means of man-maneuvering in space in favor of systems better integrated to the whole suit, capable of more precision motion, larger propellant capacity, and leaving the operators hands freer. However, the simple concept of a small hand-held propulsion device remains valid as a back-up device, thus we arrive at the concept of the WristRocket.
The WristRocket would be a very small single flush-mounted nozzle nitrogen thruster with just enough propellant for, perhaps, 30 seconds of continuous thrust. Worn on a single fore-arm, it would be used by crossing the arm over the chest or belly pointing the thruster away and using the opposing hand to activate it while securing the wrist. It is not intended as a transportation device or precision maneuvering device but simply as an emergency extrication device for people stuck in large spaces, providing about the same amount of force and velocity as a strong push off a surface by an arm. Simple push-button control would allow for short thrusts, used to stop spin or provide crude positioning, and long thrusts used to push the individual toward a wall or surface. Usually, there would be only sufficient propellant for a single use and most users would be equipped with a single unit. Some training would be required for optimal use, but the device would be considered more-or-less intuitive for those familiar with a microgravity environment.
Used in pairs and with a larger belt or back pack propellant supply, WristRockets may also be used as a more general movement device and the technology would also have some potential to evolve into a form of MMH or Man Maneuvering Harness capable of precision control, though this would more likely be the province of microgravity sporting enthusiasts and performers due to high degrees of skill involved in their use. More general microgravity personal transit would be served by the more sophisticated RocShaw Personal Mobility Units.
- Urban Tree Housing Concepts
- Asgard Digitial Infrastructure
- Carrier Pallets
- RocShaw Personal Mobility Units
- Pallet Truck
- ZipLine Tether Transport System
- MagTrack Transport System
- SkyGarden and SkyFarm Systems
- Meat Culturing
- Microgravity Food Processors
- Pools and Baths in Orbit
- Solar Sails
- Plasma and Fusion Propulsion