Oi. I am tired and not really in the mood to write alot, but I am inordinately jazzed about the above snapshot of the Mars vessel I have been designing. I created the above model at home with my student version of Proe-2001 (which is crap-at work I used Proe Wildfire 2.0, which is much better).
This version has an outer diameter of 200ft. It would need to rotate roughly 5.5 times a minute to simulate Earth gravity at it's outer most diameter. Like I said, I am not really in the mood to work through all the math and details tonight. The two "funnels" in the middle of the spaceship measure 300 ft end to end- long enough to stash two modern space shuttles in. The idea in my mind right now is to send about four of these type vessels to Mars, with spaceshuttles to carry crew members between ships during the year long voyage, and also to land on and take off from Mars.
Having laid this design out in 3d a couple weaknesses become apparent- one: the space shuttles are much bigger in comparsion to the rest of the ship than I had been thinking. I am afraid trying to dock a shuttle inside one of these ships, would be inviting a destructive collision. The solution as I see it right now is two fold, and obvious: Make the ship bigger. Make the shuttles smaller.
I am thinking it would not be hard to make the shuttles smaller because Mars is smaller than Earth (much see earlier post) so a shuttle will need less thrust to escape Mars's gravity. I would suggest using modern shuttles to escape earth's gravity initally, but then to leave those shuttles on Earth. These Mars shuttles might be able to be more along the lines of the LEM from the Apollo missions than the modern shuttle.
Making the ships bigger has alot of good points as well. The larger the radius of the ship, the less fast it has to spin to simulate Earth gravity for one. A really big ship- say 800 ft diameter- would only need to rotate about 2 times a minute to get the outer level to 1G.
I guess the next step for me is to find the dimensions of the LEM and modify this deisgn to accomodate something more like a robust LEM instead of a spaceshuttle.
Why I am I doing this? I dunno. Kinda the same motivation that compells kids to draw spaceships I think, whatever that is. Only I am 34 and know some physics and Pro-e. But I am having fun.
Oh here's a birds eye view:More Later.