Solar Thruster Sailor (STS) - Links -

- © Frank Ellinghaus -

I N D E X - G E R M A N

POST & AUTHOR & Vision
STS - Solar Thruster Sailor
RSS - Ring Segment System LTH - Launcher Transport Head EFO - Experimental Flying Object RSC - Rotational Slingshot Catapult

Presentation of a Solar-Sail-Power-Station (SSPS)- pdf-file 12 MB NEW on Aug.14/2010
This space based power station could launch a solar cell area of more than 3000 square meters in one single launch into space, considerably more than the solar cell area of the ISS, which has been mounted in years of construction works. The SSPS is also a hybrid solar sail spacecraft, which uses the power of the solar cells for solar electric propulsion, combined with high precision attitude control and fuelless station keeping by "Roller-Reefing".

new on Dec. 26/2009 Space based Solar Power Stations -

new on March 08/2006 Fig.16 Mobile Thruster Unit - Fig.18 Fuelless Steering - Fig.19-21d Solar Sail Launch System

Here are some links with relation to my web sites object. As German law practice holds the publisher of a website accountable for links to other sites when those offend the law I emphasize that I am distancing from all content of the websites I am linking too, which might be unlawfully.

Search - Solar Sailing - Solar Power Stations - Propulsion Systems - Thruster - Lifters - Magnetism, Diamagnetism - Gravity, Antigravity, Gyroscope, Rotation - Space Tethers and Catapults - Space - UFO - Materials> - Space Settlement - Space Mining - Space Tugboats - deflection - Sun - micro-/ nano spacecraft - Billboards, Message Lists - News - Newsgroups - Search -

Solar Sailing Sites
Benjamin Diedrichs Solar Sailing Site , the most complete informations on solar sails I could find on the internet. on solar sailing

1St International Symposium on Solar Sailing Herrsching, Germany 2007

ISSS2010 - The Second International Symposium on Solar Sailing in New York City 2010

Solarsailing 2013, the third International Symposium on Solar Sailing in Glasgow - N E W

IKAROS, the first successfull Solar Sail mission in space.
The Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator 'IKAROS' was launched in July/13/2010 and verified solar sailing, successful Attitude Control by Liquid Crystal Devices and solar power generation with solar cells on the solar sail panels. Congratulations to JAXA!

Cosmos I, the first solar sail mission
Cosmos I has shown, that building and launching a solar sail on a shoestring budget is possible. The launch had been accomplished on June 21/2005. According to the Makeev Rocket Design Bureau "no stages separated and the whole launch vehicle, plus spacecraft, flew on a much-shortened trajectory into the Barents Sea." Hopefully the Planetary Society will not give up and the solar sail community will move on, to try again.

Light Sail
a series of 3 solar sail projects of the PLANETARY SOCIETY, whereby the launch of LightSail-1 is planned for the end of 2010
Papers and presentations by Dr. Dipl._Ing. Bernd Dachwald, mainly on Low Thrust Trajectory Optimization (for solar sails and SEP-systems) and "Interplanetary Mission Analysis Using Evolutionary Neurocontrol". Take a look onto his PhD-thesis. On chapter 7 he compares SEP and solar sail propulsion for "Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous and Sample Return Missions".

Union pour la Promotion de la Propulsion Photonique (U3P)

Sailing by Sunlight
Good explanation of solar sailing technique around sun and around earth by Hawaii Windward Community College.

Yahoo Query on solar sail calculations

Solar Sailing
Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications, Colin R. McInnes presents the state of the art in his book

DLR (German Space Agency) Solar Sailing Home Page

Solar Sailing Breaks Laws Of Physics?
"Thomas Gold from Cornell University in New York says the proponents of solar sailing have forgotten about thermodynamics "

Thomas Gold´s thesis at his own website at
"It seems that the failure to apply the thermodynamic limitations to radiation physics has shown up in many experiments involving radiation pressure."

Benjamin Diedrich´s letter on Thomas Gold´s thesis
"Light pressure does work. It is derived directly from Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism. It has been measured in laboratories since 1900, and has played a major role in space missions since the beginning of spaceflight."

"JPL Accomplishes Laser Sail First" (article of 3/2000)
"Engineers have used a laser beam to move a sample of extremely lightweight material using nothing more than the pressure of light."
"We're convinced -- and I think the paper we're writing will be convincing -- that we actually showed photon-momentum propulsion,"
"Last year we were talking about hundreds of degrees centigrade. This year we realized, with this new material we can go to as much as 2,500 degrees centigrade, ..."

Solar Sail Mission Analysis by Colin Mc Innes
"As a result of the internal NASA interest in solar sailing, proponents of solar-electric propulsion re-evaluated their performance estimates and in the end were competing directly with solar sailing. After an evaluation of these two advanced propulsion concepts NASA selected the solar electric system in September 1977, upon its merits of being a less, but still considerable risk for a comet Halley rendezvous. A short time later a rendezvous mission using solar electric propulsion was also dropped due to escalating costs."

This shouldn´t happen aigain. With the Solar Thruster Sailor (STS) solar electric propulsion and solar sail propulsion will complement each other in an optimal way, where solar electric thrusters are used to steer the sail, land on and start of asteroids and in mission critical steering phases while the solar sail adds it´s strength in providing free, fuel-less propulsion for long range transportation.

Solar sail spacecraft might be space based solar power stations as well. Using solar cell panels as sails, which are covered with thin film solar cells they might generate both - electric power and also thrust with the same appliances. Space based solar power stations are also solar sail spacecraft. Since they have to be pointed towards Sun to generate energy, they generate thrust also - (depending of the tilting angle to Sun and the reflection grade of the solar cells up to 9 N per square km of panel area).

Ikaros Solar Sail Spacecraft with thin film solar panels at

"The sqaure Ikaros sail, with a diagonal diameter of 66 feet, is covered with thin film solar cells to generate electricity."

Thin film solar cells at wikipedia

"PowerFilm is a developer and manufacturer of thin, flexible solar panels based on a proprietary low cost production process."

Propulsion Systems

Research based on Propulsion systems for interplanetary travel.

NASA - Revolutionary Propulsion Research - Text Only

"New Satellite Propulsion System Has Mass Below 100 Grams
Directorate scientists invented the micropulsed plasma thruster (microPPT).1 It is a simple, miniaturized propulsion device designed for propulsive attitude control on present 100 kg small satellites, and for stationkeeping and primary propulsion on next-generation 25 kg-class microsatellites. The primary attractive features are the use of a solid inert propellant (Teflon®); expected high specific impulse when combined with electromagnetic acceleration; and a simple, lightweight design based largely on commercial, flight-qualified electronic components."

SPL- the Swiss Propulsion Laboratory

Rockets and Space Transportation Delta-V in the Solar System


New Ion Drive Passes Initial Tests - Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT) at

"Now the European Space Agency has conducted successful tests of a new kind of ion drive, one designed to provide greater thrust than its predecessors. The Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT) uses radio waves to ionise argon gas, creating two layers of plasma between which charged particles can be accelerated in a beam."

ESA accelerates towards a new space thruster - Confirmation of the HDLT-principle

"Calculations suggest that a helicon double layer thruster would take up a little more space than the main electric thruster on ESA’s SMART-1 mission, yet it could potentially deliver many times more thrust at higher powers of up to 100 kW whilst giving a similar fuel efficiency."

Advanced Dual-stage Gridded Ion Thruster for Ultra High Specific Impulse, Power Density & Thrust Density - at

" A small experimental laboratory model thruster called SAFE has been developed and built to ESA-ACT requirements by ANU, and its performance is being measured during an extensive test campaign in ESA’s Electric Propulsion Test Facility."

Details on the SAFE thruster design ------------------------- SAFE thruster test campaign

The SAFE test diaries by Roger Walker
"Here you can find my daily journal entries on the SAFE thruster test campaign in full technicolour. Follow the intrepid test team on an adventure into the unknown which we hope will lead to a thruster that, one day, can take spacecraft from Earth out to the edge of the solar system and beyond!"

Russian Electric Propulsion Thrusters Today

featuring informations and product data on different electric thruster models.
"During the 25 years of EPTs use in space, they proved to be highly reliable and compatible with different satellite systems. In addition, EPTs ground test results have not been much different from operational characteristics. EPTs are a priority and basis of Russian Space Agency’s program in the field of rocket engines development."

Busek electric propulsion product data on their electric thruster models.

"We are a leading developer of advanced electric propulsion thrusters for use on military, government and commercial satellites."

NASA's Project Prometheus High Power Electric Propulsion (HiPEP) ion engine.

"The HiPEP ion engine was operated at power levels up to 12 kilowatts and over an equivalent range of exhaust velocities from 60,000 to 80,000 meters per second." "This new class of NEP thrusters will offer substantial performance advantages over the ion engine flown on Deep Space 1 in 1999. Overall improvements include up to a factor of 10 or more in power; a factor of two to three in fuel efficiency; a factor of four to five in grid voltage; a factor of five to eight in thruster lifetime; and a 30 percent improvement in overall thruster efficiency. GRC engineers will continue testing and development of this particular thruster model, culminating in performance tests at full power levels of 25 kilowatts."

On such a 4 tonne spacecraft, 600 kg less propellant would be needed"..."Missions using electric propulsion offer greater flexibility in space navigation, more opportunities for planetary gravity-assisted fly-bys, wider launch windows and less powerful launchers."

Muses C The First Asteroid sample return craft is underway

"Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft is on its way to intercept and collect samples from asteroid 25143 Itokawa."
"asteroid 1998 SF36 - was selected. Current estimates measure its size at 490 by 180 meters. A near-Earth asteroid, its orbit around the Sun brings it to within 1.8 million kilometers of Earth's orbit."
The craft uses 4 ion drive electric propulsion engines and will try to land with them on the asteroid 3 times for taking samples. This should be possible, because the expected gravitation of the asteroid is only one 750.000th of earth gravitation. If this works, it will show that the thruster ring crafts proposed at this site will be able to land on asteroids also!

Two-Way Asteroid Trip Takes Off

"A Japanese rocket lifted off Friday on the world's first mission to collect samples from the surface of an asteroid, part of a four-year journey covering nearly 400 million miles. " Muses-C space probe scheduled to visit the 1998 SF36 asteroid in Nov. 2005.

Muses-C homepage

"The MUSES-C spacecraft is equipped with solar powerd electrical propulsion system, and autonomous navigation and guidance system."

Space plasma experiment "Shadow" - at TsNIIMASH

"onboard International Space Station (ISS) with participation of radio amateurs".
"Integration of ET with onboard equipment poses a certain set of problems to be solved such as electromagnetic compatibility of ET. Particularly the matter is that highly ionized exhaust plumes of ET may scatter RF-signals producing large "dead" zone for communications. This plasma screening effect should be thoroughly studied before electric thrusters become standard onboard equipment. The investigation will help designers of future electrically propelled spacecrafts to minimize the hazard of communication disruption by ET plasma plumes."

SFPT - The Serrano´s Field Propulsion Thruster

Jean-Louis Naudin, a French physicist, built and tested different propulsion devices as the SFPT, and "The NASA Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster", both patented propulsion devices. He documents and gives out the results of his work freely onto the internet.

The importance of this thruster technology is that applying electricity replaces the fuel which is needed in conventional rockets.

Electricity can be generated for free and in abundance with solar cells in the vicinity of our sun. That would mean, a fuel-less space infrastructure with space crafts using solar sails and some kind of force field propulsion thrusters would be a viable option for space transportation and space exploration around the sun to the inner planets (Merkur, Venus, Earth and Mars).

When do we stop burning billions of dollars to bring mission spacecrafts again and again from earth into space and start using this money to build up a space infra structure with a fleet of spacecrafts staying there, which is reuseable, can do numerous and different tasks and doesn´t need fuel at all?

The Solar Thruster Sailor (STS), a spacecraft combining solar sail propulsion with thrusters and payload area has ample room for solar cells and payload on it´s whole disk area (unlike nowadays first solar sails to come with their already overcrowed payload/function bus). This craft is Low Tech with High Tech materials and uses only a few parts.

Deep Space 1
the first successfull operational ion-propulsion spacecraft engine system - at

Boeing on Xenon Ion Propulsion Boeing XIPS Factory Walk
RMT Ion Thruster (ESA) Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory, University of Michigan

NEXT Generation Ion Engine begins Atlantic Research Corporation
Fiat Avio Low Power Arcjet Systems Electric Space Propulsion (Uni Stuttgart) on micropropulsion MEMS Mega-pixel Micro-thruster Arrays for Small Satellite Stationkeeping
Micropropulsion Cold Gas Thruster - The Angström Space Technology Center EAS division of Engeneering and Applied Science on micro propulsion
M2P2 - Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion Technical Information, University of Washington Science@NASA article on M2P2 Propulsion
"Busek offers a family of Hall Thrusters spanning the power spectrum from 100W to 20kW." "Australian researchers claim to have developed a super-efficient ion drive which could make space exploration cheaper "
NASA-release "Ion Engine Records No Tuneups, No Problems"
NASA researchers finally shut down an ion engine that had been running continuously for 30,352 hours
NSTAR (NASA Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Application Readiness) Program
"Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP, also known as Ion Propulsion) is a revolutionary technology developed and managed by NASA Glenn Reseach Center's On-Board Propulsion Branch."
Butan fuel propulsion
"Building the 1-pound (450-gram) thruster system for $15,000 with off-the-shelf parts" for micro satellites.
Richard Hofer on Electric Propulsion (EP)
Short description and links on EP.


Lifters in this case are levitating devices using a high voltage power source instead of fuel for propulsion. 150 successful devices have been registered until Febr. 2003. There are different designs in development pushed forward through a growing base of enthusiastic hobby builders.

The lifter doesn´t seem to use magnetic repulsion, it doesn´t need a separate counter base of opposite charge. The origine of the lifting force is not yet fully understood; but the lifter seems to accelerate ions which produce the lifting thrust.

The Lifter Project Pages
How to build a levitating craft? Jean-Louis Naudin shows just that using a high voltage power source from an old monitor and some light weight materials. "The purpose of the Smart-LifterCraft project is to build an electrokinetic propulsion flying craft." On his site you can see pictures of several amateur builders with their working crafts. For the latest additions take a look on the The Worldwide Lifters builders LogBook.

Jean-Louis Naudin´s Enhanced Propulsion Page

Lifter Theory - by Evgenij Barsoukov

Mark A. Tecson engineered an improved kind of vortex lifter

t-spark, German lifter site in English and in German language


I do consider Magnetism of our sun and some planets like earth, mars, jupiter as a source of propulsion and steering - eventualy enabling electromagnetic thrusters or steering devices. With respect to my "Solar Thruster Sailor" this could enable a "No Fuel Space Craft" using magnetic repulsion from sun and planets magnetic fields to steer the solar sail. Exchange some of the ion thusters at the thruster ring of my STS-design against magnetic coil thrusters and this would be just such a craft using suns photon pressure as main propulsion and the magnetic field as means of steering the device.

As those thrusters would sit on the rim of the solar sail they move a large lever and weak forces could be sufficient for steering. Another concept for lever-usage to steer the solar sail are the steering vanes on the square solar sail shown at

The Magnet Man's web site
Rick Hoadley provides us a wealth of information about magnetism AND Magnetism In Space!

A new type of levitation using diamagnetic forces at HFML (University of Nijmegen)
(diamagnetic means ALLWAYS pushing away from magnets - no matter if the magnet´s north or south pole is used)
"Photographs shows a magnet hovering in mid-air between fingertips of Nijmegen's researcher. The fingertip levitation is far from being only fun. It breaks down one of the most lasting prejudices in physics that stable levitation of a magnet was impossible. The other side of the coin - no less beautiful - is that the illustrated principle allows frictionless magnetic bearings which, being passive and cheap, find their way into high-tech devices."

Everyone's Magnetism (Diamagnetism) (from Physics Today, September 1998)
"Though it seems counterintuitive, today’s research magnets can easily levitate seemingly nonmagnetic objects, thereby opening an Earthbound door to microgravity conditions."

Magnetic Phenomena - Original by Philip Gibbs and Andre Geim

Learning paper written by Dr. David Harrison

Building a Levitator with Bismut plates at

Levitron - Spin stabilized magnetic levitation
"Since Earnshaw's theorem of 1842 rules out stable magnetic levitation for static magnetic dipoles, it was not obvious to us how the Levitron worked. A simple theory of gyroscopic stability against flipping proposed by the manufacturer and others is not sufficient to explain the stability. "

Levitron Homepage
"A scientific theorem, that was advanced over a century ago, states that this is impossible - yet this amazing top levitates right before your eyes!"

Levitron geklont
Levitron experiments on a German Gymnasium (in German)

Experiments with magnetic levitation - Superconductor - by Rick Hoadley - Superconductor Information for the beginner

Gravity, Gyroscope, Rotation, Alternative Propulsion, UFO

Dr. Eric Laithwaite did gyroscope experiments with large spinning tops most of the mass in the rim of the wheel. Those did something, that seemed impossible. They appeared to produce a force without a reaction. After his retirement he and his partner William Dawson realised, that a gyroscope could move mass through space - getting a force through prescession without using a rocket. They filed an international patent through their company (Gyron) for a reactionless drive and gyroscopic thrust apparatus (UK Pat. appl. GB 2 289 757, filed 05.05.1994).

Using the RSS (Ring Segment System) mainly a huge pipe ring with thruster mountings (see picture) you´ll get a spacecraft which is also like the spinning part of a gyroscope having the most of it´s mass in/on the rim of the wheel. Could this device also produce linear thrust?

"Gyroscopic precession & tapping aether"
Harold Aspden describing the late Eric Laithwaites experiment.

How a gyroscope works
"I have searched through many texts. but I have never found an explanation of why a gyroscope should resist being turned in any direction perpendicular to it's axis."

Gyroscopes Experiments at

The Antigravity "Underground"

"Alien Technology Back Engeneered" by Paul E. Potter

California Institute for Physics and Astrophysics on Gravitation and Inertia

Antigravity and the ideal spacecraft propulsion - by Noel Huntley

Ah ha! Antigravity!

Gyroscopic Propulsion at on gyroscopes Alex Frolov from Russia about Gyroscopic Propulsion
Rotation Defeats Gravity? on thix theme Gyroscope Workshop
Theory for Gravitic Propulsion on UFO propulsion on properties of gravity
NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) Project NASA Aerospace Flywheel Development
Antigravitations Experimente - German bulletin alternative science on Prof. Eric Laithwaite
The Inventor of the magnetic train and his troubles when demonstrating a gyroscopic device
producing artificial gravitation by rotation in space
International Highschool Space Settlement Design Competition
Ring Segment System - (RSS)
This System makes it possible building Space platforms big enough to provide artificial gravitation through rotation. And yet in a light weight low cost manner WITH TODAY´S TECHNIC.
"Gravity and enhanced propulsion" - Yahoo Search

Tethers, Catapult- Propulsion

JPL´s Robert H. Frisbee on Electromagnetic Catapults
Describing the catapult-concepts of rail gun, mass driver (coil gun) and magnetic levitation to propell a payload through space.

"Unlike the chemical catapult systems, these systems can be used for launching vehicles from the Earth, Moon, Mars, asteroids, etc. because they use electromagnetic forces to accelerate the vehicle."
I would object this statement through my concept of the Rotational Slingshot Catapult (RSC).
My momentum transfer machine using conventional chemical thrusters and speed and force lever to gain a shooting speed, orders of magnitude higher as in direct thrust mode - the speed lever would enable a catapult with conventional chemical propulsion using the possible higher thrust of this propulsion method.

Space Tethers and MEMS Research on Space Tethers

Andrew Nowicki on Tapered Slings and Gunslings


Space Island Group - SIG

"Creating A City In Space" "based on the use of the Shuttle's External Fuel Tanks. These huge tanks (consisting of slightly over 100,000 cubic feet of interior space) once retrofitted are called Geodes" Those geode tanks will be used to create huge rotating ring stations in space. 12 to 16 modified Geodes could be joined together to form a rigid wheel, rotating at 1 RPM, providing 1/3 of earth´ gravitation. - Good luck to you, may your vision become reality.

European Space Agency (ESA) German Space Agency (DLR)

Russian Space Research Institute
Japanese Space Agency (EOC/NASDA) Indian Space Agency (ISRO)
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center - space projects and infos
Brian's Space Hotlist
Space Frontier Foundation advanced spacepropulsion workshop
Space Design Links (University of Maryland) NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts - A wealth of studies and concepts!
Basics of Space Flight ( NASA, JPL ) NASA on Space Settlement
Internet Aerospacelinks by Philippe H. Adam Affordable to the Individual Space Flight
"Yet here we are, 30 years after the first manned landing on the Moon, struggling to launch the Space Shuttle 6 times a year at $500 million per flight, and no one talks about making the development of Affordable to the Private Individual Space Flight a primary goal of NASA. "
(Rustourism) - NEW
Adventure and Space training at the Russian Cosmonaut Training Center: Zero Gravity flight, Hydro-Space and tour to Cosmodrom Baikonur, flights by Russian combat jet fighters MiG-29 and Su-30

UFO - German UFO-site

Roland M. Horn, author and amateur astronom - Advancements in Flying Disc Research
not an UFO site but investigating flight characteristics of frisbee´s

IFO-site (Identified Flying Objects)
- means disced shaped, vertical takeoff and landing

Materials - stronger and lighter than steel

Polygonal spiral-shaped carbon nanotubes discovered article at - N E W
JFE Holdings, Inc. and Shinshu University have discovered a new type of carbon nonotubes. The company has begun test marketing them now under the name "nanocores". ..."When the researchers analyzed the new CNT structure, they found that electron emission was at least several times better than conventional cylindrical CNTs, and they discovered that its strength as a material was at least dozens of times greater."

Nanotube Cable Can Connect The Earth And The Moon
The scientists from Russian Academy of Sciences at Chernogolovka have designed a device that allows to produce pretty large amounts of high quality nanotubes.

The Space Elevator - at
"Based on three years of NASA-funded studies and written for the technically literate layperson, Edwards and Westling discuss the recent technological advances that now make the space elevator feasible."
This book also gives a good description on status of Carbon Nanotubes production in 2002 and design and production of Carbon Nanotube fibers for the proposed 100 000 km ribbon.
"With its unique PCS©(Particle Coagulating Spinning) process, Nanoledge can produce fibers loaded with up to 100% nanotubes" In 2002 Nanoledge was planning to have fibers of 5 GPa tensile strength and producing kilometer length.

ESA Product Catalogue
According to their product datasheet they claim to be able to deliver Spectra©2000 fibers 10 times stronger than steel (for instance for space tethers) with a low specific weight of 0.97 g/ccm.

IsoTruss Structures Inc.
- patentholder, claiming "Lightest of All structural tubes and beams, IsoTruss products are up to 75% lighter and 50% lower cost compared equally to ordinary carbon composites tubes and beams."

12 times stronger than steel
article about BYU technology licensed to the above Utah firm.

yahoo search on materials stronger and lighter than steel

Carbon Sailmaterial Breakthrough

Space Settlements

Space Settlement - by Mike Combs - his Space Settlement FAQ

Space Colonie and Sun System graphics by John F. Hadden
This useful and well thought graphics show a two cylinders space habitat for ten million people, the relations of our sun system (orbits and planet diameters) and the Earth and Sun Lagrange points which are good places for space habitats and colonies.
© by John F. Hadden for print out.
TwoCylinders - EarthMoonLagrange - SunEarthLagrange - PlanetDiameters - PlanetOrbits

NASA´s Space Settlement Site

OSCOMAK - Destinations

"In 1928, J.D. Bernal (in the book The World, The Flesh and the Devil) proposed creating a network of self-replicating space habitats which duplicate themselves from sunlight and asteroidal ore."
"It is the ultimate aim of the Oscomak project to begin to create the social and technological infrastructure required to bring this seventy year old dream into reality. "
"The revolutionary aspect of this project is the use of the internet to allow large numbers of interested individuals to work together to accomplish this goal."

DaedalusaL4 a space settlement design

"Although most of the technological capability exists now to build DL4, we would hope that the economic and political will power could be in place by around 2020, allowing, after rigorous research and development phases, construction to be complete by 2050. Our settlement consists of a torus, of major radius 1,066m, with simulated gravity of 1g in the human habitats and a spin rate of 0.97rpm."

Island One Society - intended as a meeting place for future space colonists

The Babylon Project
Moving the Asteroid Eros - using "linear electromagnetic accelerators, or "mass drivers." A mass driver is a long track with electromagnets spaced along it at regular intervals."

Space Studies Institute - - Funding research about space manufacturing

Space Island Group - SIG

"Creating A City In Space" "based on the use of the Shuttle's External Fuel Tanks. These huge tanks (consisting of slightly over 100,000 cubic feet of interior space) once retrofitted are called Geodes" Those geode tanks will be used to create huge rotating ring stations in space. 12 to 16 modified Geodes could be joined together to form a rigid wheel, rotating at 1 RPM, providing 1/3 of earth´ gravitation. - Good luck to you, may your vision become reality.

External Tanks in Orbit -
"devoted to the concept that the Space Shuttle's External Tank is a valuable resource which can be used for a variety of on-orbit purposes"

Dyson Sphere "is a gigantic metal habitat built around a sun"

Tank Farm Dynamo Short Story 1998 by David Brin (good read)

Space Mining

The Hera Mission - N E W
Multiple Near-Earth Asteroid Sample Return

Hayabusa ( Muses C ) Japan´s asteroid sample return mission
"Japan has realized a mission that employs a small spacecraft owing to a discovery of more approachable asteroid and the development of a highly efficient electric propulsion system for the spacecraft."

A Comparison of Energy Requirements Between Terrestrial Metal Extraction and Recovery of Asteroidal Metal Resources

Gold rush in space? - BBC-SCI/Tech/News
"In the 2,900 cubic kms of Eros, there is more aluminium, gold, silver, zinc and other base and precious metals than have ever been excavated in history or indeed, could ever be excavated from the upper layers of the Earth's crust." - "No one knows how much a robot mission to mine an asteroid would cost but I am willing to bet it would be the best return on an investment since Leonardo da Vinci bought a sketch pad or Paul McCartney a guitar."
"The scarcity of the precious metals is not really that there are not lots of them on Earth, it is just that over 4 billion years of tectonic mixing they have mostly moved to Earth's core.""These same metals are not hidden on asteroids, since there has been no tectonic action and almost no gravity."
Papers and presentations by Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Bernd Dachwald, mainly on Low Thrust Trajectory Optimization (for solar sails and SEP-systems) and "Interplanetary Mission Analysis Using Evolutionary Neurocontrol". Take a look onto his PhD-thesis. On chapter 7 he compares SEP and solar sail propulsion for "Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous and Sample Return Missions".

Mini STS, a solar sail able to land on and start of asteroids

This craft could land on near sun asteroids taking a probe and getting back to earth with a head start through the enhanced solar pressure at the asteroids perihelion. The solar pressure relation to it´s distance to sun is 1 / r^2. A solar sail taking off at the asteroids perihelion with it´s load get´s the most off the solar pressure acceleration possible there. At 0.25 AU the solar pressure is about 16 times as strong as near earth. In this region you could use a 16 times smaller solar sail having the same power as near earth. But since this craft is also lighter, it can gain higher acceleration or use the saved weight for payload! It could be brought to the asteroid using a " solar sail mother ship " (see Fig.5) or the Rotational Slingshot Catapult (RSC) AND it could get back to earth delivering the payload through using the sail as a parachute when landing.

Ring Segment System (RSS)

Why settle on an asteroid or moon for Space Mining? This System would enable a space platform providing room and artificial gravity for ore separation. How does it get to the asteroid? Since this platform is convertible to a solar sail, it could be assembled at LEO, stuffed with a sail and reaching it´s destination using it´s own propulsion. When the destination is reached, the sail can be skipped again for the main application. - Micro Planet lists

Atens are the most promising targets for Mini solar sails since they are nearest to sun and not far away from earth. Apollos are also promising if they have a close near sun approach.

Reaching for the Asteroids at

"Near Earth asteroids constitute the most accessible source of pristine extraterrestrial material in the solar system, apart from the Moon, These bodies hold, in their chemical makeup, fundamental information about the conditions under which the planets formed and evolved. For a modest cost, inexpensive missions can be mounted to rendezvous with or return samples from a selection of these objects. Human missions to NEAs are also seen as a logical first step to the utilization and settlement of the solar system." - on Near Earth Object Fuels (neo-fuels): Discovery, Prospecting and Use

"The 1992 discovery of a water-ice, near-Earth object (NEO) in the space near Earth is evaluated as a source of rocket fuel and life support materials for Earth orbit use."
"This August 14, 1992 an active comet named (4015) 1979 VA = Wilson Harrington, has been reported in the swarm of asteroidal, near Earth objects (NEO's), whose orbits cross or come close to that of Earth. It would provide massive quantities of water to be used either as rocket fuel ore or directly as rocket propellant. Engineering analysis discovered that even the simplest nuclear heated steam rockets would enable the return of massive quantities of the comet's water to earth orbits. Calculations estimate that the cost to users could lie somewhere between $5 and $100 per pound. The first uses would be as rocket propellant or fuel to take commercial satellites from low orbit to their operational high orbit. "

Using small solar sails to collect small asteroids at AsterAnts

Technology for Mining the Near Earth Asteroids - at

Near Earth Asteroids and asteroid mining at



Extraterrestrial Ressources at

Space Mining Links at

The Challenge of Space Mining at

Extraction Techniques for Minerals in Space

Asteroid-Mining at

Mining in Space at

Asteroids at SEDS

Drilling Technology for Mars - article at

Galactic Mining Industries

Asteroids & Kuiper Belt Objects at

Taking samples, the first step to space mining operations

Luna 16 first robotic space probe landing on moon and returning samples of moon regolith to earth in 1970

Also pictures and vrml-files of Lunar 16, 20 and 24 sample return capsules.

"The drill was deployed and penetrated to a depth of 35 cm before encountering hard rock or large fragments of rock. The column of regolith in the drill tube was then transferred to the soil sample container. After 26 hours and 25 minutes on the lunar surface, the ascent stage, with the hermetically sealed soil sample container, lifted off from the Moon carrying 101 grams of collected material...".

among others pictures and vrml-files of Lunar 16 and lunar soil samples

Mission proposal for sample return from asteroids

using a Mini-STS solar thruster sailor (solar sail which is able to compound solar sail with ion thruster propulsion).

Space Tugboats

Asteroid Tugboat Backed for Trial Run - at

"an expert team of astronauts and space scientists has blueprinted a safety strategy for Earth: an asteroid tugboat." Considerations to employ a deflection strategy of earth threating asteroids using a spacecraft with Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) engines. The tug would gently push the asteroid into the desired direction "the tug must use onboard engines for months to accelerate the asteroid in the desired direction."

Thruster Ring Spacecraft with Catch Net as a Catcher Space Tug - N E W
A space craft which would serve as a space tug. It´s light weight outer ring is driven by electric thrusters ( ion or hall for instance ). Inside a thruster ring is a net placed which serves as a device to "catch" space debris for cleaning orbital space from hubris or to enhance the orbit of satellites. It is also thought to catch materials throwed through a mass driver for instance from the moon to moon orbit. Even catching or deflecting asteroids and comets for planetary asteroide defence seems possible when a huge space tug is used.

Thruster Ring Spacecraft with Docking and Loading Ring as a Space Tug
This craft consisting of an Outer Ring carrying the thrusters (or even an additional solar sail) and an Inner Ring which carries docking and load handling devices could carry objects like spacecraft, smaller comets or asteroids or space debris inside it´s Inner Ring held taught with the help of electric winches.

Asteroide / Comet Deflection N E W

Asteroid Deflection Strategies by Wikipedia

" NASA can't wait to smash spacecraft " at
With the Deep Impact mission NASA wants to deliver an impactor to Comet Tempel 1. The 317-pound solid copper disk impactor should produce energy like 4.5 tons TNT. Deep Impact will barely alter the comet's orbital path according to NASA. "Yeomans calculates that to move Tempel 1 or a piece of it into an Earth-intersecting orbit, the impactor would have to be 6,000 times more massive than what will shoot out of the mothership on July 3. The relative speed at the moment of the collision will be 23,000 mph, enough to vaporize the impactor."

Nuking or Nudging at

Asteroid deflection at
SSI is suggesting a mass driver to deflect an asteroid.
"Up until recently, the conventional wisdom on this issue has been that one would use nuclear explosives for this purpose. But according to a paper published in the June 4th, 1998 issue of Nature, this may not be as easy as previously thought. It points out that many asteroids are multi-lobed. A nuclear detonation might be largely absorbed by one lobe, with little course deflection resulting in the whole."

Asteroid Earth impact in 2029 ruled out by N E W

Thruster Ring Spacecraft with Catch Net as a Catcher Space Tug - N E W
A space craft which would serve as a space tug. It´s light weight outer ring is driven by electric thrusters ( ion or hall for instance ). Inside a thruster ring is a net placed which serves as a device to "catch" space debris for cleaning orbital space from hubris or to enhance the orbit of satellites. It is also thought to catch materials throwed through a mass driver for instance from the moon to moon orbit. Even catching or deflecting asteroids and comets for planetary asteroide defence seems possible when a huge space tug is used.

Thruster Ring Spacecraft with Docking and Loading Ring as a Space Tug - N E W
This craft consisting of an Outer Ring carrying the thrusters (or even an additional solar sail) and an Inner Ring which carries docking and load handling devices could carry objects like spacecraft, smaller comets or asteroids or space debris inside it´s Inner Ring held taught with the help of electric winches.

Our Sun

Towards sun, this is the way to go first for human space development. The sun provides free power in abundance which could be used for space manufacturing and fabrication. Using solar sail technology for transportation coupled with electro-magnetic steering taking advantage of sun´s force fields, will allow spacecrafts which don´t need fuel - as long as the craft stays in sun´s vicinity. The shortest way to outer space and even to Mars could lead to sun first since spacecraft gains most acceleration as close to our star as possible.

Solar Physics by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Sun-Earth Days 2003

ESA and NASA working together "to explain the newest theories about the way in which the Sun connects to and affects life on Earth".


"SOHO is a cooperative mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). SOHO studies the sun from deep down in its core out to 32 solar radii. The spacecraft orbits the L1 Lagrangian point"

The very latest SOHO-Images

STEP/S-RAMP Solar Optical Data On-Line

"aiming at the understanding of the solar influences upon the earth's environment in terms of energy flow from the sun."

Some links about - Sun´s Magnetic Field -

One more sun-source, which could be used for propulsion or space craft steering. In his short story Tank Farm Dynamo David Brin uses solar cell power to charge a space teather, turning it into a magnetic thruster which repelled the tank space station from the magnetic field of our earth. Used in the vicinity of sun, with electricity for electro-magnetic thruster coils and light for solar sails in abundance the sun´s magnetic field together with photon pressure and electric power all derived from sun could enable "The Artificial Perpeteum Mobile Space Craft". This craft would need no fuel at all since it get´s ALL it´s propulsion and steering sources free of charge from our mother star.

Solar Loops by L. Körtvélyessy

"This electric model explains not only the deep origin, the form and the ions of these beautiful filaments but also the matter transport in them, their missing sections and their missing infrared emission. This very new model has no corona problem and does not need any "dynamo"."

Magnetic Field of the Sun lecture at

Magnetism - the Key to Understanding the Sun by NASA

Suns Magnetic field has a memory
"It's interesting that the solar magnetic field varies in strength and direction, but not in longitude," said Dr. Edward Smith, senior research scientist at JPL. - found at

Micro- and Nanospacecrafts and satellites

Snap-1 - A Low Cost Modular Nano Satellite with Cold Gas Propulsion System
Snap 1 was successfully lofted into orbit on June 28th 2000 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on-board a russian Cosmos Launch Vehicle. In this paper D. M. Gibbon discusses the university of Surrey´s design philosophy for COTS-based nano-satellites and reviews the initial results of the SNAP-1 mission.

NANOSPACE-1 - The First Swedish Nanosatellite due to be launched in late 2003 or early 2004
using miniaturization and Multifunctional Microsystems (MMS). It will weight about seven kg and test highly advanced Micro Systems Technology (MST). "This new class of high performing small sattellites will provide the ground for a better and less expensive exploration of space."

Solid Propellant Micro Thruster - an alternative propulsion device for nanosatellites.
This LAAS-CNRS-paper comes along with an overview of micropropulsion developments. The concept of the Micro Solid Propellant Thruster is based on the high rate combustion of one sigle propellant or explosive stored in a combustion chamber. The lack of restart ability is compensated by the fabrication of arrays of microrockets.

A Micro Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) for the "Dawgstar" Spacecraft
"The AFOSR/DARPA sponsored University Nanosat program aims to produce a small fleet of nano- satellites in the 10 kg class. This challenging project has resulted in a variety of concepts from the student design teams. Among the most ambitious is the "Dawgstar" from the University of Washington. It proposes to use micro-PPT thrusters to formation fly with two other student built satellites in a constellation known as ION-F. At 10 to 20 kg, it will be the smallest spacecraft ever to fly with a propulsion system."


How to build a space habitat message group
"How to build a Space Habitat - Our future is in space, we need to start building"

SSI list
"Maillist for the Space Studies Institute (SSI), a non-profit organization funding research into space development."´s The Cats Board

Frontier Files Online

The meteorite-list a meteorite discussion forum


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