As in-space transit becomes increasingly sophisticated, increasing options in the overall on-orbit transit system may become necessary, serving to integrate varied systems with differing payload capacities and orbital intercept windows. Much of this would be supported by the use of orbital transfer vehicles that can rendezvous briefly with other spacecraft. But such vehicles do not have the ability to consolidate or redistribute payload and passenger traffic. Thus it may become necessary to deploy orbital stations in various positions specifically for this purpose in addition to the use of more comprehensive orbital stations and settlements. These would be deployed in many places, from Earth orbit to lunar and planetary orbits and eventually solar orbits.
These Inter-Orbital Way-Stations would be based, during the Asgard phase, on the same technology and systems employed in the construction of Valhalla stations and would be largely identical to the smaller and earlier forms of these. The key difference would be that these facilities would be designed for intermittent use, spending much of their time in a ‘hibernation’ mode that relies entirely on teleoperation or more advanced automation and being ‘wakened’ for use before the docking of spacecraft. Pressurized portions of the station may be nitrogen filled in this hibernation mode, their active life-support systems cycled down and relying largely on stored reserves rather than the more intricate CELSS systems employed in larger settlements. Passenger accommodations would tend to be based on simple small compartments rather than the more elaborate ‘suites’ of tourism-focused Valhalla facilities and would be supplemented by shared quarters with deployable facilities for infrequent larger passenger numbers. Much maintenance of passenger facilities would rely on the ‘honor system’ among those using them in order to minimize the amount of dedicated maintenance missions for these stations. This might be further assisted by the design of facilities that enable internal robotic servicing. They may also include more sophisticated automated docking and cargo management systems, some employing the equivalent of automated warehousing systems for containerized cargo using large pressurized and non-pressurized storage structures. For some way-stations these could become extremely large, far out-scaling the passenger traffic facilities.
As has been noted many times in the articles of TMP2, communities tend to emerge at strategic logistical nexuses, typically places concentrating intermodal transit like road-to-rail, rail-to-ship, etc. As different destinations in the solar system become more prominent, it will increase the traffic through specific Way-Stations, and where these see enough traffic that they are rarely or never left in hibernation there would be potential for them to assume more logistical roles, like materials processing and spacecraft servicing, and thus they would have the potential to evolve into a permanent Asgard settlement. Conversely, others may have diminished roles, being abandoned and salvaged or relegated to the role of emergency survival shelters. As settlement in orbit becomes more comprehensive, a large fleet of these facilities may be deployed solely for the purpose of transit safety, providing more abort options for spacecraft traveling about the solar system.
- Life In Asgard
- Modular Unmanned Orbital Laboratory - MUOL
- Modular Unmanned Orbital Factory - MUOF
- Manned Orbital Factory - MOF
- Asgard SE Upstation
- Asteroid Settlements
- 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