• Dec. 26, 2020, 4:37 p.m.

    Orbital rings are fun, but require enormous up-front construction before you can even start using one.
    They can't be built incrementally. Or can they?


    Start with 3 ordinary satellites, and then either use projectiles:

    Bullets.png


    Or if you're feeling ambitious, lasers, to exert light pressure:

    Lasers.png


    The 3 platforms would start as ordinary satellites in geosynchronous orbits. Then after linking together they become 'lagites', still geostationary but much closer to Earth than ordinary geosync orbits would allow. This would give you the benefits of a geosync orbit but with less communication lag.

    Growth.png


    As the number of lagites increases and the net outward push increases, the circle can shrink deeper into Earth's gravity well, until you have stationary platforms with maybe a light Moon's worth of onboard gravity. After a few hundred years of adding more platforms, you can fuse them together and voila - Orbital Ring.

    Of course lasers or projectiles would both require fantastic aiming abilities, but that's a tiny problem compared to a full-scale orbital ring anyway.

    Growth.png

    PNG, 104.0 KB, uploaded by MultiTool on Dec. 26, 2020.

    Bullets.png

    PNG, 79.7 KB, uploaded by MultiTool on Dec. 26, 2020.

    Lasers.png

    PNG, 65.5 KB, uploaded by MultiTool on Dec. 26, 2020.

  • Jan. 12, 2021, 1:50 p.m.

    Wow-it actually looks like your scheme would work pretty well. But I was curious why you need to space out the launching lagites over several hundred years? Is that just a practical thing because launches are expensive or was there some physical reason? I'd like to calculate how expensive this would be and compare it with Issac's plan for building a thin continuous metal wire around the equator and then layering on stuff. Your idea seems neater.

  • Jan. 13, 2021, 11:57 p.m.

    Thanks!

    I only said centuries because I assume people are lazy.