Special Note: Morgan Oh contributed towards very early development of the settlement before she graduated high school and could no longer participate
“The Ender Settlement is a result of an unquenchable curiosity and love for the cosmos. It is designed with the desire to bring mankind to the final frontier. Humankind has gazed up at a mysterious Universe, waiting for a time where it may live among the stars. The Ender Settlement aims to expand human presence in the solar system in a safe, efficient, and pleasant manner, while breaking technological barriers, making a dream become a reality…”
14.1: Organization of municipal government……………………………………….60
14.2: The Election of Government Officials………………………………………..60
14.3: Legal system………………………………..…………………………………61
14.4: Postal Service………………………………..………………………………..61
14.6: Public Health………………………………..………………………………..62
14.7: Public Safety………………………………..………………………………...64
14.8: Defense of the Ender settlement and its population (internal and external)….65
14.8.1: Police Defense………………………………..……………………..65
14.8.2: Special Operations Forces………………………………..…………65
14.8.3: Jailing System………………………………..…………………...…66
14.8.4: Asteroid and Debris Defense………………………………………..66
14.8.5: Systems security forces……………………………………………..66
14.8.5: Distribution of authority among Ring Rotational Control systems, Emergency lifeboat arming systems and Navigation systems………………66
126.96.36.199: Rotational Control Systems……………………………….66
188.8.131.52: Navigation systems……………………………………….67
184.108.40.206: Emergency Lifeboat arming systems (only applies to the arming of all lifeboats at the same time on board the settlement)………….67
14.9.1: Crew of Spacecraft………………………………..………………………..70
Ender will support 10,000 permanent citizens and 300 temporary citizens at LaGrange Point 2 (L2). Ender is comprised of three main rings: business/industry (inner), agriculture (middle), and residential (outer). Public works systems are in place to handle waste management, temperature control, and ventilation. To protect public safety, law enforcement, paramedics, firefighters, and a small military will be present. To protect public health, social programs to vaccinate all residents and ensure access to health insurance will be implemented. The two main sectors of Ender’s economy are agriculture and mining. Critical materials will be mined from asteroids and the Moon. The municipal government of the Ender settlement is based on the United States’ three-branch republican system. Laws and policies of the United States will also apply on the settlement; however, laws can be created or changed by the legislative branch due to the new environment of space that is ever-changing. The main differences between the U.S. government and the Ender settlement’s government is that there is one legislative house, elected by the population, one Judge, elected by the population, and no electoral college for Executive voting.
2.0 Executive Summary
Ender is a space colony that will house 10,300 citizens year-round, operating completely independently from Earth. The settlement consists of various central structures including a large hangar with airlocks, elevator transfer facilities to transport people and cargo from a non-rotating center to rotating rings (there are two of these elevator complexes), emergency evacuation center, and scientific research facilities. There is no artificial gravity generated in the center sections. Surrounding the center structures are three concentric rings. These rings are not single hollow structures. Instead, they are lattice-work frame structures in the shape of rings. Within these frames, individual component habitats of varying sizes are constructed. This modular-based construction is much simpler and practical when compared to single hollow rings that are difficult to construct, difficult to protect from oxygen leakages, and difficult to seal if rapid-decompression occurs. The innermost ring structure is primarily dedicated to business and Industry. The second largest ring structure is dedicated to agriculture. The outermost ring structure consists of residential housing, community facilities, and recreational and entertainment centers. The outermost ring is unique in the sense that it is not a full ring. Instead, it consists of four equidistantly spaced semicircle segments of equal size. This was done because the surface area necessary to support up to 10,300 people was significantly less than what the surface area of a full ring would have been. The ring complex is secured to the center by “spokes” that contain all of the primary elevators. The middle ring and outer segmented ring structure are attached to each other and are attached to the inner ring via various structural beams and smaller elevator structures. The smaller elevators in between each ring are used to travel between the rings. Artificial gravity is generated by the rotation of the entire ring complex around the center structures. Ender will be placed at LaGrange Point 2 (L2), approximately 1.5 million km from Earth, providing relatively easy access to near-Earth asteroids and the Moon for mining. Mining will be a major industry on Ender because the materials mined from nearby bodies will be crucial to daily operations as well as construction of the colony. Some materials to be mined from nearby bodies include water, platinum and other precious metals, iron, and silicon.
To support the population of Ender, many public works systems and environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) will be implemented, including water and waste management, ventilation, temperature control, roads, plumbing, and fire detection and prevention systems. A very important aspect of waste management is the treatment of human fecal matter. An innovative technology called the Janicki OmniProcessor will recycle all of the human fecal matter into water, electricity, and ash (which will be added to compost). There are many categories of waste management, and a detailed description of each type (such as medical waste, fecal waste, and industrial waste) can be found in the Public Works and Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) section.
Radiation protection will consist of plastic and lead coatings on Ender’s outer walls to protect against alpha, beta, and neutron radiation. A magnetic field that surrounds Ender will be used to protect against gamma and X-ray radiation using twenty-nine 1 Tesla magnets.
To maintain Ender’s position, reaction control systems will be used. The rotation rate of Ender will be controlled using ion drive engines because the force can be applied over long periods of time, making adjustments of the rotation rate nearly imperceptible by residents.
Agriculture will support all of Ender’s food and clothing needs, as well as other industrial needs (clothing dyes or ethanol production, for example). The crops to be grown aboard ender include corn, cotton, soy, hemp seed, potatoes, black beans, and plants for clothing dyes, such as mountain alder or bloodroot. This is not an exhaustive list. Other fruits and vegetables will be grown seasonally to give variety to the food supply.
Emergency protocols for structural damage and criminal activity will be implemented aboard Ender, with color codes and recommended procedures for each type of emergency within each category (structural and criminal). Public safety will be maintained by law enforcement, and a small military will guard Ender against external threats. Public health will be maintained through social programs to provide vaccines to all residents and ensure that each resident has access to health insurance, should a serious health issue arise. There will be one school aboard Ender, with an elementary school, middle school, and high school in the same building. Bayberry College, a small institution, will grant degrees in agriculture, mining and manufacturing, medicine, and teaching. Residents will be able to send mail back to Earth on ferries used to transport businessmen and tourists, if they are willing to pay the expensive postage.
3.0 Placement in Space
The Ender Station will be placed at LaGrange Point 2 (L2), approximately 1.5 million kilometers (km) from Earth. L2 is the optimal placement of Ender because it is relatively close to the Earth, Moon, and asteroid belt, and provides excellent conditions for construction.
At 1.5 million km from Earth, Ender will be accessible for business and tourism without spending months in transit. Because Ender will be relatively close to the Earth, the Moon will also be within reach for mining, science, or tourism. L2 will also provide a platform for reaching Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). The relative proximity to the Moon and NEAs provides opportunities for mining water, precious metals, and other materials from these bodies (see Mining section for more information).
LaGrange points are known for their characteristic “lock-step” orbit with the Earth around the Sun. When observed from Earth, an object at a LaGrange point appears to be stationary in the sky. This important attribute makes a LaGrange point perfect for construction because materials can be launched from Earth (or mined from nearby bodies) to the LaGrange point and left in a stable orbit, awaiting more materials. When enough materials have been collected, construction can start. The stable, “lock-step” orbit of objects in LaGrange points makes L2 the perfect construction site for Ender.
If Ender were to orbit another planet or moon, transportation for business and tourism would be extremely expensive and time-consuming due to the complex nature of interplanetary travel. This would diminish the available market for tourism and cause inefficiency in business. Another possibility was a “nomad” colony, which would drift among planets in the solar system. This, however, complicates tourism and business for similar reasons as discussed above. The movement around the solar system would also require vast amounts of energy in propulsion. If the goal of the Ender Station was to achieve interstellar travel, a nomad colony would be more reasonable. Ion drive engines could be used to apply small amounts of energy over large amounts of time, eventually propelling the colony beyond the heliopause and into the interstellar medium. This, however, is not the goal of Ender, and placement in a stable orbit at L2 provides the optimal conditions to achieve Ender’s goals.
4.0 Design of the Ender Space Settlement’s Physical Structure
Business and Industry Ring
Residential layer segmented ring
Microgravity Scientific Research Facility
Elevator shafts and support “spoke”
The entire settlement consists of several rings and segmented rings that rotate around center structures in order to produce artificial gravity. The center structures will not experience artificial gravity. The center structures consist of a large hangar for spacecraft storage, maintenance, and cargo transfer, zero-gravity scientific research structures, viewing areas, large emergency evacuation areas, and two sets of elevator complexes that provide access to the rotating rings. These elevator complexes consist of multiple elevators that are able to transport cargo and personnel from a non-rotating center to the rotating rings through a mechanism that will be further described in the “Elevator Transfer Complex” section.
Branching off from the center, the various elevator shafts will also act as the structural support “spokes” that attach the rings to the center structures. The settlement design consists of layered rings and ring segments that are in reality frame/lattice structures constructed in the shape of a ring. Within these lattice structures, hundreds of individual components (cylindrical shaped structures of varying size) will be inserted into the gaps between the frameworks of each ring. The innermost lattice-work ring (the ring closest to the center) will be dedicated to manufacturing, industry, and businesses, as well as several recreational and entertainment areas. The next largest lattice-work ring, which has a radius larger then the innermost ring, is dedicated to agriculture and all food processing. The outermost ring is not a full ring, but instead four semicircle segments that are equidistantly spaced. They are constructed symmetrically in order to preserve the balance of the spinning parts of the settlement. These outer partial-ring segments are dedicated to the living spaces of the settlement’s population. These areas have components similar to individual homes as well as a variety of community centers and recreational facilities. The primary evacuation systems for the settlement include “ejectable lifeboat habitats,” evacuation to the center structures, and removal of population via ferry spacecraft docked in the hangar.
The settlement is self sufficient, consisting of all aspects of a normal functioning Earth Society. However, the settlement can interact with Earth, important supplies and products as well as exporting and visitors can travel to and from the settlement.
4.1 Initial Ring Design Considerations (Problems and Solutions)
Initially, a single hollow ring structure was considered for the design. This design would have been Taurus-shaped and would have consisted of wide open spaces since the entire interior would be hollow. This would be very Earth-like since spaces would be large and unobstructed. However, many design issues were discovered in this structure. Firstly, preventing leakage of oxygen and other elements for life support would be extremely difficult in such a large area. In addition to the difficulties of constructing a massive hollow structure, if debris or micrometeoroids struck and breeched part of the hollow ring, the oxygen and other gases would leak out. Depending on how severe the damage was, the entire ring may have to stop spinning for repairs. This would upset the lives of the entire population because of a loss of gravity.
The solution to this design was a new design that involved building a large lattice-work frame in the shape of a ring and inserting components of different sizes and purposes. Building a frame is less complex and inserting much smaller structures is much easier than building a single, hollow ring. While the structures may be smaller and less Earth-like, many will be large enough for comfort. In addition to this, damaged areas can be easily sealed off, protecting undamaged portions of the ring.
Another issue that came about after the lattice-work ring was designed was the lack of enough surface-area to support the livelihoods of 10,000 people plus 300 transient individuals. This issue was solved by created separate rings within each other, maximizing surface area.
4.2 Design Details (Center sections with no artificial gravity)
The hangar is designed to be a large, protective structure for spacecraft to be stored and serviced/repaired. The hangar is also a structure for cargo processing. This cargo could include materials from Earth or mined materials from the Moon or asteroids. The hangar is designed to manage and process cargo in preparation to be transferred to the rotating rings. The hanger is also the first structure all incoming people will visit when they travel to the settlement for the first time.
The hangar has two main components. The first component is the airlock section which consists of four separate airlock structures. Two of the airlocks are constructed above the other two, making a generally square shape. It was decided to have four separate airlocks so that multiple spacecraft could enter and exit the settlement, increasing efficiency immensely. In addition to this, smaller airlocks have a smaller volume compared to larger airlocks and so the time it takes to purge or fill the airlock is much less. The airlocks are also designed to “clean off” incoming vessels. First, the spacecraft is secured in the airlock by a frame structure that grapples the spacecraft and adjusts to the spacecraft’s size and general shape. Next, the airlock is filled with air because the airlock has just been exposed to the vacuum of space. Then, air is blown at high pressure from above the spacecraft (above relative to a designated hangar floor, despite there being no sensation of up or down) and that air carries any loose particles such as dust or small rocks into the “floor” which is providing suction to increase the success of the process. There is also a horizontal blowing and suction mechanism.
The airlocks as viewed from the entrance are numbered in this order. Note the gaps between each airlock which are for the passageways, ducts, and mechanisms for both purging and filling each air lock as well as for the cleaning process.
One wall, either the left or right, depending on the airlock, will blow air at high pressure past the spacecraft. The opposing wall will “vacuum” up the incoming particles, dirt, etc. In the case of airlocks one and three, air is blown from the right to left and left to right in airlocks two and four. The purpose of this cleaning mechanism is to prevent tiny particles from collecting in the main hangar. Since there is no artificial gravity in the hangar, small particles will float around and may damage spacecraft and machinery or injure people.
This image illustrates the direction of air flow during the cleaning process in each of the airlocks as viewed from the entrance.
After the cleaning process is complete, the door facing the interior of the hangar will open and the spacecraft may proceed into the hangar and to its assigned docking port.
Each airlock is 220 meters long, 134.6 meters wide, and 100 meters tall. These values were determined based on a spacecraft the size of the Space Shuttle Orbiter traveling safely without being too close to any walls. However the airlocks are designed to hold even larger spacecraft such as large mining spacecraft. The Space Shuttle Orbiter, used in preliminary size testing, has a length of 37.24 meters, a maximum width of 23.79 meters, and a height (minus the lowered landing gear) of 14.12 meters (“Diagrams-Space Shuttle,” n.d.).
The airlocks allow spacecraft to travel from the vacuum of space into the settlement’s hangar. When a spacecraft first enters, the interior of the airlock is a vacuum. Once the outer doors are sealed, air can flow into the airlock and pressurize the space. Once complete, the spacecraft may travel into the pressurized hangar.
Docking and servicing beam
Gaps between airlocks are visible to illustrate the space where air used for the cleaning process will flow.
Note: The green colored surfaces indicate a surface a spacecraft can dock against. Red colored surfaces indicate a surface that cannot be docket against due to navigational hazards.
Beyond the airlocks is the main hangar structure. Within this massive structure, spacecraft ranging from passenger “ferry ships” to large cargo and mining spacecraft will be stored, maintained, repaired, unloaded, and loaded with cargo or people. The hangar’s main structure also is an area for processing and checking incoming cargo, whether it is mined materials or products from Earth. Cargo personnel will check for illegal items such as firearms. This cargo is transported off the spacecraft and is sent through the various central structures towards the elevator transfer facilities where the cargo can be taken to the spinning rings. Since there is no artificial gravity in the hangar, no spacecraft will “land” on any surfaces. Instead, spacecraft will dock to protruding docking port structures that protrude from beams that run the entire length of the hangar. These beams are not solid and are in reality frame structures with spaces for workers, robotic machinery for loading and unloading cargo, cables and lines providing fuel and other materials for spacecraft, and opportunities to repair and maintain spacecraft. The spacecraft dock against these beams. Because there is no gravity, the beams are enclosed on top so that workers do not float out into the main hangar space.
Because the spacecraft is docked, like a boat with walkways running the length of it, it is easy to access and repair all areas of a spacecraft. Wherever a problem may be or wherever cargo is located, it can be easily accessed. Robotic machinery can maneuver along tracks over each spacecraft, adapting to changes in size. With this design, a spacecraft can be easily processed without putting workers at risk. Conveyer systems transport goods, resource supplies, and mined materials from the hanger to the Elevator Transfer Rooms. Since no artificial gravity exists, all materials are contained very carefully and all conveyer systems are attached to tracks like a roller coaster car (with wheels that wrap around the rails instead of just sitting on top of rails) in order to avoid any risks of floating away. Each beam contains multiple docking ports and a plethora of machines and systems for processing.
When a vessel first arrives in the hangar, it must travel to a docking port that it has been assigned to. Each docking port initially protrudes far from the beam so that docking is not as hazardous. If the docking port was too close to the beam, the spacecraft might crash into it. Once a spacecraft has docked, a frame structure will grapple the rear of the vessel and adjust to its length by traveling along rails. Next the entire spacecraft will be gently and slowly pulled towards the beam so it can be up against it for various operations. The personnel on board the spacecraft will travel through their hatch and into a structure that is similar to a jet way but instead, oriented vertically relative to the floor. Since everything is weightless, the people can float up the passageway and into the beam where they can then maneuver themselves to different areas of the settlement. At this point, whatever work needs to be done on the spacecraft can be accomplished.
The hangar is a rectangular solid with a length of 800 meters, a width of 650 meters, and a height of 550 meters. The hanger contains six primary beams that run the length of the hangar (800 meters).
This image depicts the layout of the six primary beams as viewed from the front. The four smaller squares in the middle of this image mark four individual spacecraft docks that are on the opposing wall as viewed from the entrance to the hangar.
On the wall directly opposite from the entrance to the hangar, there are four individual spacecraft docks. These docks expand the storage capacity within the hangar.
Each beam frame is roughly 40.6 meters wide, 36 meters tall, and 800 meters long (the same length as the hangar).
Emergency Evacuation center
Microgravity Research Facilities (Quantity: 8)
Microgravity research facilities and emergency evacuation structure is visible