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§ 6.1 Colonies in Orbit vs. Colonies on Planetary Surfaces

Colonies in orbital space are superior to colonies on other planets and moons, contrary to popular belief. "Planetary chauvenism" is the tendency for people to think that colonies in space would preferably be located on planetary surfaces like Mars or the Moon instead of in orbital space.

Consider the advantages of a habitat based in orbit:

  • A habitat based in orbit can be wheel-shaped and rotated to produce artificial gravity by the centrifugal (centripetal) force. Choose the healthiest gravity you want. Earth-normal gravity may be needed for good health for long-term stays.
  • A habitat based in orbit has access to sunshine 24 hours/day. No nights. Crops can grow faster by varying sun (but not sunlit 24 hours/day since many plants need nights, but opening/closing sunshades or mirrors for optimal sunlit periods), for more economical output per unit of habitat and time. Year-round growing season. Orbit-based habitats will be very green, glassy structures with some very exciting architectural and recreational features, including areas for human flight.
  • Products and services for selling to Earth economies will be manufactured and assembled in orbital space, and operated there. So, the suburbs in space will be located where the demand is, namely, next to the factories, like it or not. (Why the manufacturing facilities will be located in orbital space instead of on the Moon is discussed elsewhere.)

There will eventually be settlements on other planets as well, as there will be all kinds of people with diverse preferences, but settlements on other planets and moons will be feasible only after we have settlements in orbital space and the economic support and physical infrastructure to support them.






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PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
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  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

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