Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

How Israel Can Finally Win the Peace

 by Marcel F. Williams

After Israel wins the war against Hamas in Gaza it must also do what is necessary-- to finally win the peace.  

The winners of wars decide the fate of the future geographical territory under their control. And Israel must configure this territory in a way that insures the safety of its citizens while finally giving non Israeli Palestinians an independent geographical state of their own.

Israel needs to annex Gaza. There will never be peace in the Gaza strip as long as Palestinians live there. Polls show that most people in Gaza approved of the Hamas attack on Israel. So non-Israeli Palestinians there will never be good neighbors for Israel. Palestinians need to be relocated to the West Bank territories.

Jewish settlers  also need to be removed (nearly 400,000 people) from the West Bank. Resettling in Gaza could be an option for Jews leaving the West Bank territories.

Israel needs to carve out an independent Palestinian state out of West Bank— with no borders with Israel and only borders with Jordan. That would mean returning some West Bank territory to Jordanian control (new Jordanian territory). Jordan already has a significant Palestinian population, so accommodating more in a region where Palestinians already exist shouldn’t be a problem. Israel already has long borders with Jordan and should recognize this West Bank territory as  also Jordanian territory making  Jordan fully responsible for any border incidents with Israel. 

Palestine and new Jordanian territory

Such a geographic configuration would, of course, make all of the city of Jerusalem Israeli territory and its more than 240,000 Palestinian residents— Israeli citizens.  As Israeli citizens some of them would be allowed to move to Gaza or anyplace else in Israel-- if they desired.

If Jordan refuses to accept the new Jordanian territory derived from the West Bank then Israel could make that remaining West Bank territory a refuge for Christian Arabs. It is estimated that there are ten to 15 million Christian Arabs in the Middle East. In fact there were more Christians in the Middle East than Jews before Muslims invaded the area nearly 1400 years ago.

Once Israel has established an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, it needs to apply for NATO membership to ensure that any foreign attack on Israel would also be an attack on all NATO members.

But if NATO is reluctant to add Israel as a member then the US should invite  Israel  to join an alternate international military alliance consisting of free and democratic states with core members consisting of: the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Such a powerful military alliance might be of interest to nations like Ukraine and Moldova.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Celera 500L: The World's Most Fuel Efficient Airplane


Celera 500L patent illustration (Credit William M. Otto, Otto Aviation Group)

 General characteristics

  • Capacity: 6 passengers
  • Cabin height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
  • Cabin volume: 448 cu ft (12.7 m3)
  • Powerplant: 1 × AO3 RED diesel piston engine, 550 hp (410 kW) approximate at takeoff


  • Cruise speed: 400 kn (460 mph, 740 km/h) estimated minimum
  • Range: 4,500 nmi (5,200 mi, 8,300 km)
  • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 22:1
  • Fuel economy: 18–25 mpg‑US (13.1–9.4 L/100 km)

Links and References 

Otto Aviation

Otto Celera 500L

The Celera 500L Just May Revolutionize Business Aviation

Future of flying: Introducing the new Otto Celera 500L aircraft

World's most efficient passenger plane gets hydrogen powertrain

Utilizing Renewable Methanol to Power Electric Commuter Aircraft 

MY-Methanol for Aviation

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

SLS Derived Artificial Gravity Habitats for Orbital Havens and Interplanetary Space Travel

Notional spinning artificial gravity producing AGH 1500 orbiting 600 km above the Earth's surface. Rectractable solar arrays and radiators produce power and regulate temperatures for the twin habitats.    

by Marcel F. Williams

Microgravity environments are inherently deleterious to human health in space. 

Weight loss, the clumping of perspiration and tears, facial and speech distortions, a degraded sense of  taste and smell,  and even an increased frequency of  flatulence are minor problems associated with short term exposure to a microgravity environment. 
But months or years under microgravity conditions can cause much more serious problems for  human health in space. Without regular exercise, 20% of muscle mass can be lost in just 12 days. 1.5% of bone mass is lost in a single month. And this bone demineralization can increase the calcium concentration in the blood stream, increasing the risk of developing kidney stones.  Significant reductions in cardiovascular fitness can also result from long periods of microgravity conditions. Vision problems of varying degrees of severity can occur in men in their 40s or older.  And the use of medicine can be hampered due to the changes in blood flow redistribution under microgravity conditions. 
After  a few months aboard the ISS, the blood pressure of some astronauts drops to abnormally low levels when they move from a lying position to a sitting or standing position. Some astronauts even have problems standing up, walking, and turning and stabilizing their gaze.
 The deployment of small habitats that are capable of spinning to produce artificial gravity could alleviate the health problems associated with a microgravity environment. Artificial gravity habitats could allow humans to:

1. Remain in orbit perpetually without the need to return to the Earth’s surface reducing the number of launches necessary to maintain a human presence in space 
2.  Remain physically healthy during long interplanetary journeys 
3. Receive quality medical care while in orbit including major surgical procedures. 
4. Have a  permanent human presence in orbit practically anywhere in the solar system 
5. Test  variable levels of gravity on the health of humans and other animal species
Notional 10 meter in diameter AGH 1500 in launch configuration on top of the SLS compared an SLS vehicle with an EUS and 10 meter in diameter payload faring.
An SLS Block I configuration would easily be capable of deploying a 60 tonne artificial gravity habitat to LEO. Reusable EUS derived ROTV 100 orbital transfer vehicles cold to deploy the habitat to the appropriate orbit where thrusters could rotate the structure, expanding its  twin counter balancing pressurized habitats at the ends of a 224 meter in diameter  boom. 
Directly derived from the SLS oxygen tank architecture, each habitat would be 8.4 meters wide and 16.8 meters tall. This would allow at least five 8.4 meter in diameter habitat levels that are  at least 2.5 meters high, ten human habitat levels in total for the habitat.    This should be enough room to easily accommodate 12 to 32  astronauts and their guest within the twin counter balancing pressurized modules. Because the combined pressurized  area of the twin habitat modules exceeds 1500 cubic meters in volume, the notional artificial gravity habitat is here referred to   as the: AGH 1500 (Artificial Gravity Habitat 1500).
AGH 1500 both contracted for trajectory burns and expanded to rotate producing 0.5g of simulated gravity
In order to mitigate the physiological effects of Coriolis, the habitat would be approximately 224 meters in diameter, rotating at approximately 2rpm (two rotations per minute) to produce 0.5g of simulated gravity (higher than the gravity on the Moon and Mars).  Slower rotations could be used to simulate the gravity on the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Callisto, low gravity worlds that could potentially be colonized by humans someday. 
X-Ray of AGH 1500 showing floors levels on one of the counter balancing pressurized habitat modules

X-Ray of the top or bottom of the microgravity habitat area of the AGH 1500

Housed within a ten meter external cylinder would create a 80 centimeter gap between the pressurized habitat. Less than 20 centimeters of water within an external  polyethylene bag or pipes  could provide astronauts on interplanetary journeys with protection against the heavy nuclei component of cosmic radiation and from major solar storm events while also reducing cosmic radiation exposure in general during multi-month interplanetary journeys. 

Permanent artificial gravity habitats located beyond the magnetosphere within cis-lunar space and in orbit around other planets, moons, and asteroids will have to be provided with much more shielding to protect against excessive radiation exposure and potential micrometeorite damage. About 2 meters of lunar regolith would be required to shield the the pressurized habitat. But less than 80 centimeters of space would be available. However, lunar regolith is rich in much denser iron particles   that could be mined and deployed for external shielding.  So only 40 centimeters of lunar iron could be used to permanently shield artificial gravity habitats. Thorium is an even denser lunar material could also be utilized since there appears to be substantial thorium deposits in certain regions on the Moon. 

SLS EUS (Exploration Upper Stage) next to a notional EUS derived ROTV 100 (Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicle +100 tonnes of propellant)

The telescopic boom cylinders are approximately 5 millimeters thick (much thicker that the fuselage for an airplane).  Five cylindrical booms would be  housed within the ten meter in diameter cylinder that accommodates radiation and micrometeorites shielding before the booms are expanded. One centimeter would be added to the top of each cylinder in order for each segment of the boom to securely attach to each other. So 1.5 centimeters would be required for each cylinder. Plus you have to add a centimeter for the boom cable that allows the boom to expand and contract. So ten centimeters would have to be utilized for the telescopic boom. That would allow nearly 70 meters to be used for radiation and micrometeorite shielding. But, as previously stated, only 40 meters or less would be required to permanently shield the twin habitat modules. 
AGH 1500 being deployed to a low Earth orbit 600 km above the Earth's surface by an EUS derivied reusable ROTV-100

Reusable EUS derived ROTV 100 vehicles could deploy the AGH 1500 600 kilometers to mitigate frictional drag from the Earth's atmosphere. After refueling at LOX/LH2 propellant depots, two ROTV 100 orbital transfer vehicles could deploy the AGH 1500 to various locations within cis-lunar space: NRHO, DRO, L3, L4, and L5. And twin ROTV orbital transfer vehicles could also deploy the AGH 1500 from cis-lunar space to the orbits of Mars and Venus-- allowing a permanent human presence in orbit above the surface of Mars and the clouds of Venus.

Twin ROTV 100 orbital transfer vehicles deploy an AGH 1500 from lunar orbit to a high Mars orbit beyond the orbit of the martian moon, Deimos

Links and References 


Monday, May 22, 2023

Commercial Utilization of Spent EUS Upper Stages after SLS-C Launches

Latest configuration of EUS for the Space Launch System (Credit: NASA, Boeing)

by Marcel  F. Williams

Boeing's development of the EUS (Exploration Upper Stage) for the Space Launch Systems super heavy lift configuration (Core stage/2 SRBs, EUS) should also enable the SLS to be deployed as a simpler two stage rocket. 

SLS Block I and Block IB (Credit: NASA)

The SLS core stage plus and EUS upper stage should be   capable of deploying more than 30 tonnes of payload to low Earth orbit. In this article, I refer to this SLS variant as the SLS-C.

Notional SLS-C (SLS core stage plus EUS upper stage) capable of deploying a CST-100 crew module plus nearly 17 tonnes of payload or more than 30 tonnes of payload to LEO (After NASA/Boeing).

Utilizing the SLS-C as a much more frequently launched crew launch vehicle could significantly reduce the cost of its super heavy lift variant. The SLS-C would also be more environmentally friendly since it won't produce the CO2 and the black carbon (soot)  created by hydrocarbon fueled rockets (methane and RP-1).  Black carbon is also deleterious to the Earth's ozone layer. 

Deploying Boeing's crewed CST-100 Starliner would allow the SLS-C to deploy the 13 tonne spacecraft with nearly 17 tonnes of additional payload to LEO.  So an   SLS-C should be capable of deploying a crew plus satellites to LEO. And since orbiting propellant producing water depots are now being developed by Blue Origin, a crew plus nearly 17 tonnes of water could also be deployed to LEO. The SLS-C could also be routinely used to deploy 30 tonnes of water to orbiting space stations or propellant manufacturing water depots at LEO.

Notional Mega orbital habitat deployed to LEO with-- a single-- SLS super heavy lift launch. The EUS hydrogen tank derived space habitats are attached to a spent SLS core stage retrofitted by robots or astronauts with airlocks. Combined with the spent core stage, the Mega habitat provides more than 4000 cubic meters of volume; more than four times the total volume of the ISS.  Solar panels and radiators are viewed laterally. One CST-100 Starliner his attached to an airlock while the other has detached before heading back to the Earth's surface.    

But if commercial space stations are deployed to LEO then the EUS upper stages could be retrofitted for other commercial purposes. This could be done by astronauts or  by robots teleoperated from the Earth's surface or by astronauts and robots working together in space.

Flexcraft could be crewed or teleoperated from Earth to retrofit spent SLS core stages or spent EUS upper stages for a variety of commercial uses (Credit NASA).

The EUS hydrogen tank in particular will be 8.4 meters in diameter and 7.5 meters tall. And such a substantially spacious  tank could be used for a large variety of commercial purposes that could allow-- each spent EUS-- to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings annually.

X-ray of the EUS showing the large 8.4 meter in diameter hydrogen tank and the small oxygen tank (Credit NASA/Boeing).

 An EUS retrofitted near a commercial space station with airlocks, pump connectors, or solar powered cryocoolers could be used for:

Water storage: Both the spent hydrogen and oxygen tanks of the EUS could be modified to store nearly 300 tonnes of water. Water can be used by commercial space stations for drinking, food processing, the the production of air, and to enhance radiation shielding. Propellant depots can convert water into hydrogen and oxygen propellant for spacecraft destined for beyond LEO cis-lunar and interplanetary missions. 

Large habitat module: Retrofitted with an airlock, the empty hydrogen tank could be pressurized and  attached to a small or large habitat, adding a huge amount of additional habitat area:  7.5 meters high and 8.4 meters in diameter.  Such a substantial increase in space could be used for  microgravity recreation  or used to add three or four 2.5 meter high habitat levels.

Sewage storage: Waste water from commercial space stations can be stored and later reprocessed into potable water.

LOX storage: During the production of LOX/LH2 propellant  through electrolysis at an orbiting depot, 25% of the oxygen is wasted. Retrofitted with a pump connectors and cryocooler, the spent EUS hydrogen tank could be used to store more than 200 tonnes of excess oxygen saving more than a billion dollars in additional launch cost from Earth. 

Micogravity lettuce farm: a large variety of edible lettuce can be grown under microgravity conditions. A spent EUS would allow substantially more area for growing food.

Microgravity Mushroom farms: mushrooms can be grown in microgravity and when exposed to UV light than can be enriched with vitamin D.  Growing mushrooms within spacious EUS hydrogen tank could help to reduce the cost of shipping food from the Earth's surface.

Artificial gravity aquaculture: attached to two thruster modules, the EUS hydrogen tank could be filled with water or seawater and used to raise brine shrimp, fish, or oysters. 

Micrometeorite and radiation shielding: A spent US transferred to the lunar gateway or other cis-lunar Lagrange point areas for utilization could still have value after its no longer used for habitats, water, sewage, or oxygen storage. If the EUS is simply crushed and grounded up into fragments by solar powered machines in orbit, the high density fragments could be used to enhance the  radiation shielding for  habitats beyond the Earth's magnetosphere while also enhancing micrometeorite protection. 


Links and References

NASA's Space Launch System Exploration Upper Stage completes critical design review

The Commercial Case for an SLS-B

Deploying a Ginormous SLS Derived Dry/Wet Workshop Habitat with a Single SLS Launch

The Logistical Viability of an SLS EUS Derived Reusable Lunar Crew Lander

Substantially Enhancing the Capability of the SLS Architecture by Utilizing EUS Derived Propellant Depots and Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicles


NASA FlexCraft 2015 - Marshall Space Flight Center

How Fungi Can Support Life in Space




Thursday, March 2, 2023

Transitioning to a Carbon Neutral Energy Economy in California

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant - San Luis Obispo County, California

 by Marcel F. Williams

As California continues its attempt to keep its carbon neutral nuclear power plants operating at Diablo Canyon, its essential that the state prioritize and focus on transitioning  from a fossil fuel economy to a-- carbon neutral methanol economy-- using nuclear, solar, wind, hydroelectricity, and bio-waste. 

California's natural gas electric power plants (more than 50% of in state electricity production) can  be quickly retrofitted to use renewable methanol. Methanol electric power facilities should be coupled with small solar farms to reduce methanol fuel demand during daytime hours. Methanol/solar micro-grids can be quickly deployed practically anywhere in the state without the need for fire hazardous long distance power lines.

Carbon neutral sources of methanol can come from urban sewage and agricultural animal waste. Carbon neutral sources of CO2 can produce substantially more methanol when synthesized with hydrogen.

Carbon neutral sources of CO2 can come from the flu gases of methanol electric power plants and from the flu gases of bio-waste power plants that burn: urban garbage, agricultural crop waste, and the fire hazardous dead trees and fire hazardous foliage from forest.

Carbon neutral sources of hydrogen can come from California's nuclear, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and wind generation. Electricity production at Diablo Canyon should be-- quadrupled -- using newly licensed passively safe small nuclear reactors to produced hydrogen for methanol production.

Carbon neutral methanol can also be used as a marine fuel for retrofitted sea vessels. Methanol can also be converted into carbon neutral: gasoline, jet fuel, and dimethyl ether (diesel fuel substitute). 


Links and References


PG&E can keep operating Diablo Canyon — at least for now, feds say

 Diablo Canyon Power Plant

California Energy Commission: 2021 Total System Electric Generation

Methanol Institute: Power Generation

Green methanol key to energy transition net-zero plans

Methanol as a Marine Fuel

Methanol as a motor fuel

 ExxonMobil developing methano-to-jet SAF technology

Utilizing Renewable Methanol to Power Electric Commuter Aircraft

Jupiter Venus Conjunction

Jupiter and Venus Conjunction (Alameda Island in Northern California)


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon in the Celestial Skies

Jupiter, Venus, & the Moon above the western horizon of Alameda, CA


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Jupiter and Venus in the Celestial Skies

Jupiter and Venus above the western horizon of Alameda Island in Northern California.

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