The ultimate form of Asgard phase settlement may take the form of a colony structure developed as an Upstation facility for the Bifrost Space Elevator. Evolved from early GEO Modular Unmanned Orbital Laboratory - MUOL and Modular Unmanned Orbital Factory - MUOF facilities intended to work within the limits of tether climber payload capacities, as the Space Elevator evolves to support progressively higher traffic volumes and eventually human traffic, so too would its Upstation evolve in sophistication. And just as terrestrial cities emerge at nexuses of intermodal transit, growing in scale in proportion to their strategic significance, so too would Upstation and Downstation facilities alike tend to evolve into large communities as the Space Elevator evolves toward being the dominant means of Earth-to-space transportation. In fact, the Asgard Upstation may ultimately become the largest of Earth-orbital space colonies.
As noted in the section on the Space Elevator, anticipated evolution for the system would ultimately produce an increasingly massive corrugated tether structure internalizing its transit and the communication of power from both from Earth and space. (using hollow internal channels as waveguides) As it approaches this configuration and scale, the tether itself would become increasingly used as a support structure for retrofit structures; in particular, solar collector arrays extending outward beyond the Upstation point and terminal facilities at the Upstation. With the advent of routine large volume human transit on the SE demand would increase for larger more sophisticated pressurized terminal facilities. The simplest way to address this would be to adopt the standard EvoHab hull system as a retrofit enclosure around large portions of the tether structure, effectively turning the SE tether and terminal facility into the core truss of a large Asgard habitat. The result would be a large habitat identical to any previously described Asgard EvoHab habitat only with the SE tether running through its center and surrounded by an Urban Tree retrofit to its structure, the whole growing incrementally in some proportion to the incremental expansion of the SE itself.
The ultimate terminal facility constructed at this Upstation would tend to be a much larger and more complex structure than a typical core truss, the tether structure being ‘expanded’ to make room for vehicle access much like the tether terminus at the Aquarian Downstation terminal facility on Earth. Like a thick piece of rope pushed to separate its strands and create a hollow volume in its middle, the Upstation terminal would separate the tether into a series of radiating strands around a compression structure that opens up the concentric array of channels inside the tether and allows vehicles to accessed through the sides of the tether structure and be switched whole in and out of channel tracks using automated handling systems. The compression structure would then brachiate into the Urban Tree, the outer EvoHab hull system attaching at non-expanded points on either end of the Upstation terminal position. Farther up and down the tether would be MUOF/MOF facilities positioned at non-pressurized terminal structures supporting external tether climbers used for maintenance and expansion of the tether. And beyond them in the spaceward direction, a long train of solar arrays.
At the distant space terminus of the tether may be another terminal facility and EvoHab structure, this one cylindrical and spaced very close to the surface of the tether. Here the space elevator would provide partial gravity as a consequence of the centrifugal force on the tether system. So the habitat here would have to be much more compact, relying more on the internalized structures of the terminal facility and organized into levels rather like an office building. This would merge with industrial facilities at the very end of the tether, where one or a few tether channels may be used as launch tubes for sending simple spacecraft into escape trajectories.
Farther on in development, beyond the Asgard phase, the Bifrost Space Elevator may be joined by a series of similar tethers running along the Equator and potentially linked by a horizontal tether running in a continuous loop around GEO. This horizontal tether would integrate with the SE tether through its expanded terminal structure, creating a complex basket-weave structure surrounded in a very large two-axis EvoHab enclosure. This horizontal loop tether serving as both transit system and core truss for a vast series of habitats built along it, it may form the basis of the first collective MegaHabitat, dubbed Geopolis, which we will discuss in more detail in the section on the Solaria phase.
- Life In Asgard
- Modular Unmanned Orbital Laboratory - MUOL
- Modular Unmanned Orbital Factory - MUOF
- Manned Orbital Factory - MOF
- Asteroid Settlements
- Inter-Orbital Way-Station
- Solar Power Satellite - SPS
- Beamship Concept
- Inter-Orbital Transport
- Cyclic Transport
- Special Mission Vessels
- Orbital Mining Systems
- The Ballistic Railway Network
- Deep Space Telemetry and Telecom Network - DST&TN
- Asgard Supporting Technologies