Apr 8 2019, 18:35 Group: Heroes, Level 10
I don't have a lot of details set in my mind but I think a great name for an orbital ring around Earth would be Jormungandr (the Norse mythological serpent large enough to encircle the world and grab its own tail). Most people would call it J-Ring or J-Station. Maybe one of the lead designers could be Norwegian or just a big fan of mythology. Since Jormungandr is a critical part of Ragnarok, a world ending event, J-Ring could be critical to the possible idea of eventual catastrophic destruction of Earth by having that destruction originating from within it (orbital bombardment, lasers, missiles, releasing a plague, etc) or even from its destruction (pieces falling to Earth, etc).
Just an idea that came to me last night.
Apr 9 2019, 03:28 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI
It's a good evocative name, at least. Less enamored of the technophobic "great achievement is secretly the instrument of our DOOOOOOM!!" thing, which I've seen way too often.
Apr 9 2019, 16:32 Group: Heroes, Level 10
Fair enough. The second part about it becoming an instrument of doom is more in line with having a Bond villain or a Cobra or a Hydra or some doomsday cult or whatever using it as part of their scheme.
Well, pieces falling from the ring due to it's destruction isn't likely to be a problem. If it uses real-world physics, the fast-moving inner ring would be traveling at above orbital velocity (remember, the ring's net velocity has to be orbital speed, with the outer part moving just fast enough to remain stationary over the planet while the inner part travels much faster, balancing the speed), so it just goes flying off into space.
If the ring is built to be modular, though, the pieces of the destroyed ring can easily be rigged with parachutes and explosive bolts to reduce any damage to the ground below. That would be more inline with real-world designs.
A more fictional ring design, however, poses more problems. Kuat Drive Yards in Star Wars, for example, have an orbital ring that is thicker than a star destroyer (hell, that is the dockyard used to build them), so you can't really blow it apart on the way down. Of course, it would also be that much harder to destroy it in the first place, but that's the trade off.
Apr 10 2019, 00:55 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI
IIRC, the KDY ring orbits a planet that's being mined out, not an inhabited one.
Apr 10 2019, 20:28 Group: Heroes, Level 10
I was picturing something more along the lines of a orbiting space-habitat/defense-system/spaceport/tourist-destination orbital ring rather than the "thin cable" launching platform. I suppose once you get enough material up there you can expand outwards and make it habitable. At least that's what some of the videos I've been watching have been suggesting.
The mathematics have been interesting. If you were to have a solid ring 1km wide and at a height of 80km, the surface area would be just a little over 40,500 km2 which would make it slightly smaller than Switzerland. If only half of that space was functionally usable (structural elements, life support, transportation, power generation, etc) you'd have an area slightly smaller than Slovenia. Even though an orbital ring seems huge, it wouldn't necessarily be as huge in area as we might first think. Would still require a massive amount of materials though.
I guess I'm picturing a high-speed rail transportation system flanked by half-kilometer usable space. Some of it would be spaceports, some would be living habitats, some power, some industry, some farming, some defense systems. Because of space limitations, nothing could be very large in the N-S dimension (but could sprawl in the W-E direction) and everything in the N-S dimension is walkable once you're in the right place W-E (by rail). The outside and the opposite side of the ring could be used for things like docking and defenses. All together, maybe on the medium side of science fiction rather than hard or soft but not entirely outside the realms of science.