In the Belarusian edition «Zvyazda», there was published the second part of the interview with Anatoli Unitsky about the project of the rocket-free industrialization of space with the help of the General Planetary Vehicle (GPV). As a reminder, the first part was published in July 2019. In his new interview, Anatoli Unitsky continued telling about the prospects of using the GPV and answered the readers' questions.
We offer you the full interview text:
THE BEST PLACE FOR COSMIC WASTE IS THE SUN
The following readers' questions of the newspaper «Zvyazda» are answered by the engineer, inventor, full member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, as well as of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Doctor of Transport Philosophy, our compatriot Anatoli Unitsky.
– Dear Anatoli Eduardovich, we have received from our readers a lot of questions which need your clarification regarding your international, and, I would say, the interplanetary program «SpaceWay». Please, let us refer to some of them.
If it is successful, the General Planetary Vehicle (GPV) will gradually, over the course of decades, bring industrial production, primarily heavy industry, to the near Earth orbit. And it will be a huge success of our civilization. But what do you plan to do with the waste of space production?
– Most of it can be reused. Something you can't use anymore could be sent somewhere. Would you believe that the safest place to bury waste is our Sun? It won't be difficult to send the waste we can't reuse from the orbit to the Sun. It's difficult to do that from the Earth to the Sun.
Why to send to the Sun? Billions of tons of meteorites fall on it every year, and everything burns up. And if some millions of tons of our waste get to the Sun, the Sun will recycle it easily. So, there won't really be any waste problems, everything can be reasonably arranged.
– Many people were interested in the idea of mining on asteroids, which are numerous even in the near space. The readers are wondering, what it would look like in practice?
– Such questions are not surprising in these matters. I asked them myself more than once. […] It may look differently depending on the specifics of resources and their extraction technology. It's possible to fully automate the process without human involvement. It's also possible to "ride" an asteroid. You can make a cavity inside and place equipment, housing, something else, as it's not safe to travel in space. I'm talking about the danger of colliding with asteroids, the powerful radiation from the stars, especially from the Sun. Astronauts aren't protected from either during the flight. They're lucky that so far all space « garbage» has flown by not hitting them. And now they've already learned to avoid large objects. And what's more, astronauts are in space below the radiation belts because in low orbits the radiation isn't very powerful. But if you go higher, it's going to increase by several times: orders of magnitude higher than the Chernobyl one.
So, if to travel safely, it is better to do it by hiding behind asteroid walls that are many metres or even kilometers long. To ride an asteroid and, again, I repeat, to make inside inhabited modules, laboratories, production facilities – everything that is necessary. And choose a meteorite that flies in the right direction. Or, if it doesn't take a lot of effort and money, to adjust this meteorite's flight rout. To set up the extraction and processing of raw materials on it and take everything that's been mined from there: palladium, molybdenum, nickel, or even gold. There are titanium and even diamond asteroids.
The equipment for their extraction can, of course, be shipped from the Earth, but it will be too expensive. So, it's better to do so from the GPV – the General Planetary Vehicle. And you don't have to use rockets when sending the stuff from the GPV. In the perspective, you could use solar wind and solar sails, electromagnetic guns.
The following space logistics option is also possible: our space geologists with all their towers «settle » on an asteroid near the Earth and fly on it, following its orbit. The time when the asteroid is flying its own orbit, which can be three or five years, can be used to prepare the infrastructure and setting up production, accumulating the finished products. When the space traveller is close again to the Earth – to unload the warehouses and leave the board. That's a pretty optimal option, but practice will show.
– Here is an interesting question. The readers are wondering how we are going to find a common language, get along with unearthly civilizations. The readers refer to ufologists who claim that, according to recent observations, some asteroids are spaceships from close or distant planets.
– From the point of view of radiation and meteorite safety of spacecrafts, which I mentioned above, nothing would be illogical here, because thick walls of asteroids would reliably protect both us and representatives of unearthly civilizations. Only I do not share the anxiety of the readers, because I do not understand in what these representatives can prevent us, and why it will be necessary to negotiate with them in some special way.
Personally, I have no doubt that extraterrestrial civilizations exist. According to modern ideas, the Universe originated about 14 billion years ago. The Solar system – about 5 billion years ago. The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Does that mean that it's been so long, and life only appeared here on one planet, and the Earth being the only place where life was born? I don't think that's true. I'm sure there are civilizations that are billions of years ahead of us in development. Billions of years! We know how much usefull stuff we've done in the last 100 years, and can you imagine what could be done by others, who emerged billions of years ahead of us?
Civilisations aren't what they show us in science fiction movies on the subject. There, in those movies, the civilizations are always at war with each other, and we're taught to be afraid of them. In my opinion, a civilization that developed into a cosmic one before us should be very humane, because only by understanding what is good, evil, changing the attitude to themselves, to their planet, to the future, a civilization will have a chance to go into space, to become the space one. And it will not conquer the others' worlds. The inhuman civilization will kill itself before it's even settled in space. Look at what's happening on our home planet – if we continue to be like that, we will not survive for long. So, we won't be a cosmic civilisation, and we won't be able to spread our militancy and anti-humanism in space.
I realized it a long time ago, when I was lecturing children being asked to do that by the «Knowlege» organization.
Unfortunately, we haven't matured yet to come into contact with advanced civilizations. We are still primitive beings to them, sorry. They have nothing to talk to us about. It's like talking to ants, even though we've outdone them in development by hundreds of millions of years, not billions. But the transition point between our levels of development may be the construction of the GPV. The laws of physics cannot be avoided.
The GPV is the only solution I see as a physicist to make us also a space civilization. The laws of physics are the same everywhere, and any community of sentient beings had to go through this stage. In particular, the civilization that came to us, had to go through the stage of the GPV. That civilization had also rockets first, then, they understood their inefficiency, unecologicity, and began to look for another solution.
– And then, they had their own Unitsky…,
– who thought: «So, here's what it is: the big wheel, which is the only way where the principle of Baron Munchausen is implemented, when the internal forces of the system allow to get out of the planet's embrace into space».
And it's a hundred percent environmentally friendly solution when there's no environmental impact. And it is 100% possible to do everything here on electric energy, not to use the thermal engines (jet engines are also thermal ones), but a linear electric motor, which will be spun by the flywheel. The efficiency of this system can be increased literally to 99%, which is the maximum possible efficiency, and for the planet it is important. Otherwise, if there is an inefficient transport like now, it will kill the biosphere with its waste (including energy, heat and power waste) even faster than the whole industry. It's physics, I'm telling you about that again. And physics is physics everywhere: both in Africa and Alpha Centauri.
And all the civilizations that became cosmic ones had had to go through this understanding. That is why, when they see that we have reached this stage too, they will understand: we could be dealt with.
So, we have no other way in tomorrow other than to take the industry into space, saving our planet by that and to become humane. Unite, not fight, as when countries are fighting, who could think of a GPV? We need to sit down at the negotiating table, join forces, finance and do THIS together. And together to get the most out of finally becoming a space civilization.
– Once again about asteroids, and this time, about them as cosmic bodies that pose a serious threat to the Earth in a possible collision. Will it be possible to build a well-equipped space defense base from asteroids on the big wheel?
– It is possible, and such a base must be built, stopping unwanted «guests» when they are still in space approaching us. To do that from the Earth is unlikely, because it's too expensive. By the way, it's also possible to build a cosmodrome or cosmodromes on the GPV which will have their own tangible benefits.
The cosmodromes for exploration of the Solar System and the Universe on the GPV will be hundreds of times more effective than those ones built on the Earth. And not just because spaceships won't have to get out of the Earth's gravitational pit. The Earth's atmosphere will not be destroyed by either the GPV or something beyond its borders. And the launches from the GPV will be without destroying the ecology of the planet itself. You don't even have to use jet engines for that: it could be a sling, or electromagnetic guns and other methods.
If to be more precise, the bridgehead for space exploration will be built not on the GPV, but on the Space Industrial Necklace (SIN), which will cover the Earth in the equator plane at an altitude of about 500 km. The GPV is a vehicle that will transport passengers and cargo to and from the SIN to the Earth in a linear equatorial city built at the equator.
– And what if, however at first, with jet engines?
– Anyway, it will happen already outside the ionosphere, atmosphere and ozone sphere, so, there is no risk of their destruction at the launch. And yet, you don't have to launch by burning, as it is done now. You can use the solar sail. There are a lot of other methods that will be available. And there, at the SIN cosmodromes, it is easier to prepare an expedition to deep space, where the mankind will want to look at in the end, including the expedition to Alpha Centauri. There could be built a spaceship, where there will be thousands of people living inside of it in the closed biosphere that will simulate the Earth's one. And the people will probably go on a thousand year long- journey and will live, work, develop themselves. Their generations will change, and one of their generations will surely get to the destination. From the orbit of the SIN, it will be possible; from the Earth – it won't be.
–And the last question for today. What do you think, Anatoli Eduardovich, can the «virus threats» of the recent months somehow be related to the general degradation of the biosphere that you have been warning about long enough and persistently?
– Certainly, they are connected: something like this could be expected. All because there's ongoing degradation of the Earth's shell – its biosphere, including degradation of its immune system. The biosphere above and around us is developing as a living organism that has its own immune system (and this is primarily the soil and soil microorganisms, which when being destroyed, are mutating.) All diseases used to die in soil – plague and others.
Due to the fact that the immune system of the biosphere is weakened, the human immune system is also weakened. When the biosphere and soil degrade, we get a micronutrient deficiency. And all this in combination contributes to the emergence of pandemics. As the result, we have something that mankind is struggling with today. In the future, if we leave the biosphere as it is, there could be pandemics which no one will be able to stop.
So, it is necessary to radically change the attitude to the soil, for the human body to receive all the necessary micro-elements and useful microorganisms – the most complex micro factories and micro-plants (more than 30 trillion), live in our intestines and process food into what our body can absorb. They feed and treat us. And we should also deal with chemical fertilizers and other chemicals that are brought into the soil, including in greenhouses. But that's the topic for a separate conversation.
Well, and we should do everything possible to get the industry off the Earth faster. That's our mission. And that's the common salvation for the people of the Earth.