One man's incredible plan for humanity to migrate into space


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Tessier-Ashpool S.A. is working on a better version, so I’ve read


Weren’t these the space stations in Interstellar, essentially? Was this plan the influence for that?


My bags are packed and I’m ready to go.


Home on the LaGrange…


That was a doozy!





Look at all that undeveloped land. Can you imagine how much it would cost to move to the station and buy one of those houses?

How would a plan like this be able to evacuate enough of the population to make any difference at all? How would it be preferable to reducing our consumption here? What about the space debris that would collect at the LaGrange point if there was that much building work going on there?


Is that you standing there outside my door?


In 1984, I attended Worldcon, which was in my hometown of Chicago that year, and I recall stopping by the table of the L5 society while I was there. Interesting to be reminded of that after all these years.

And it makes me wonder what they had against L4.


But… Radiation.


I’m in!

(Unless the Emo Philips haircut is mandatory, in which case I’m out!)


The biggest hurdle to living in space is one nobody seems to talk about much: radiation. It literally shortens astronauts’ lives upon exposure, and no amount of shielding can keep it all out.

All the rest, weightlessness, energy, materials…these can all be resolved using current techniques.

But until the radiation question is dealt with, we’re stuck doing short dips into the black pool, or sending sacrifices to the stars.


Yes, I definitely thought that when I watched the movie.


Our magnetosphere seems to do a pretty good job. So some amount of shielding is enough. Admittedly, we don’t know how to reproduce that, but a few metres of water is a pretty good radiation shield.


And while that could be impractically heavy for a small spaceship, for a large static structure it just adds a little to the construction costs.


It would make a difference to the people who migrate from Earth. Much like my living in Australia rather than England. If you were building at a LaGrange point you would certainly create debris but its relative velocity compared to yours would be small, so it wouldn’t do much damage on impact.


In passing, this book contained one of the first predictions of the personal computer.


No, the water doesn’t keep out the gamma radiation we’re worried about.
At all. For that you need magnetic fields a dozen kilometers thick with enormous power backing it.

And even then, some slips through.