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RE: starship-design: Interesting, if large idea...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Paul
> Sent: Saturday, April 10, 1999 1:22 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: starship-design: Interesting, if large idea...
> That's a huge scale - modern craft are microscopic by comparison. I've
> been thinking about a much larger craft, a cylinder, approximately 50,000
> miles long and 1,500 in diameter, with a suitable bar in the middle to
> provide illumination. A spin is put on the vessel to produce artificial
> gravity, and buildings are built on the interior surface. I've been told
> by certain sources that such a vessel over 23 kilometres is unfeasable to
> construct (wall thickness becomes incredible), any thoughts on using
> braces to overcome the limitation?
What you seem to be describing is a Dyson Sphere redesigned as a cylinder on
a somewhat smaller scale. Nevertheless, it is still way, way beyond any
foreseeable technology. Not only must you deal with mechanical loads far
beyond even what diamond is capable of withstanding, you also have to worry
about gravitation loads. This structure is large enough to produce its own
tidal forces and due to its shape they are not going to be very evenly
If your central "light source" also produced a gravitational gradient, then
I suppose in theory you could use it to balance the tidal stresses on the
cylinder and remove most of the structural difficulties. Now the only thing
you have to do is build a small, thin, cylindrical star....