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SpacePod

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Introduction

The "shirtsleeve" utility space pod is probably common to all space efforts. It is a self-contained and portable/drivable container/ship that allows for the operator to work in the field, but in an environmentally controlled space that requires no special equipment for life support (working in nothing more than your "shirtsleeves").

Any project that is attempted in space will require extended periods of construction or repair in a Zero-G environment. This is especially true in terms of space stations and space shipyards.

Spacesuits, while advantageous in tight environments, are ultimately inadequate to jobs lasting more than a few hours. This is because they are rather inadequate protection from micrometeorites and other space borne debris, and the maneuverability requirements of a suit limit the oxygen supply size that can be attached.

The space pod allows for a larger and more rigid protective shell, room for greater air supply, as well as room for a more numerous and varied assortment of tools. Ultimately, this allows for the opportunity to take jobs further from base, and to tackle larger and more complex jobs that require many different types of tools or large scale tools that would be otherwise impossible to carry around and/or utilize without mechanical assistance. The pod also has the added advantage of completely eliminating the operator specific customization requirements that spacesuits pose - pods do not need to be sized or tailored for the operator, and can be handed off from one worker to the next at shift change time with no modifications.


Goals

The space pod may need to provide these functionalities:

   * Easy maneuverability in medium to large spaces
   * Enough Oxygen for a 6 hour or longer working shift
   * Maximized protection from radiation and debris
   * Adaptable tool mount and control mechanism/scheme
   * Room for 1-2 operators to work
   * Possible minimal sanitary facilities for mid-shift needs
   * Computer, communications equipment, and other electronics
   * Emergency supplies and procedures 

Obstacles

   * Creating standardizations for tool mount configurations and/or control mechanisms/schemes
   * Creating standardizations for docking facilities and equipment for both pod and base
   * Creating durable, field-repairable shielding for both pod body and tools
   * Creating communications equipment designed to be reliable no matter under what conditions they are used:
         o in or out of atmosphere
         o in the presence of interference
         o in and out of line-of-sight range 

Visualization

Lunch in Pod Bay Three:

Do not know how to add the picture.

Space Pod has mining attachment currently; alternate arm is beside it, ready for changeover after lunch.

Can you spot the safety violation in the picture?



Resources

Images of the 2001 pod:

   http://images.google.com/images?gbv=1&um=1&hl=en&q=space+pod+2001 

Maybe this person might free this utility space pod VRML as a starting point if asked?

   http://home.earthlink.net/~alprojects/2001/ 

"Ever wish you could explore the worlds in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? Now you can, in 3D! These models were created in VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). Sit inside the Orion III cockpit and watch the moving navigation displays as you rendezvous with Space Station Five. Also, walk inside the Space Station Five hotel lobby! Get a close look at the Discovery spacecraft; click on the pod bay doors to open them. Sit inside a Space Pod and fly it around the Discovery."

Or we can re-engineer from scratch as free?

   "Google SketchUp is a powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software tool" http://sketchup.google.com/ 

With ever more detail in successive iterations?

And then a parts list and production/mining logistics web?

Maybe someday a physical simulator?

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_simulator 

"A flight simulator is a system that tries to copy, or simulate, the experience of flying an aircraft. It is as realistic as possible. The different types of flight simulator range from video games up to full-size cockpit replicas mounted on hydraulic (or electromechanical) actuators, controlled by state of the art computer technology."

Other design ideas:

   "space pod" http://images.google.com/images?gbv=1&hl=en&q=%22space+pod%22 
   Lost In Space Space Pod http://www.culttvman2.com/dnn/Default.aspx?tabid=500 
   Shuttlepod (Star Trek) http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Shuttlepod 
   Proprietary game http://www.spacepod-game.com/ 
   "Escape pod" From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_pod