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ET2 Architecture?
luis palomares
Immortal since Nov 1, 2007
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    ET2 Architecture?
    This research studio will focus on architectural horizon and ground in a new way; from the perspective of what was called the big blue marble in...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Another report by RS&H Aerospace & Defense (

    Suborbital adventure space travel (space tourism) companies will have numerous choices
    regarding their launch location. In many cases, the selected location will influence the long term
    viability of the enterprise because it may or may not provide an enhanced ground-based or
    flight-based experience. Potentially, these launch companies could follow the cruise ship
    example and change sites with the seasons in order to provide their passengers with the most
    beautiful or thrilling space experience. The quality of the space experience at a given location is
    influenced by several factors including the time of day, local terrain or geological features, the
    presence of natural phenomena (ex: Northern Lights) and local terrestrial entertainment. This
    paper examines what types of characteristics could provide such enterprise enhancing
    capabilities and surveys several sites for their ability to deliver them.

    Natural Phenomenon
    Aurora: The Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, is a variety of Aurora Polaris, a
    type of electromagnetic storm caused by the collision of charged particles, like electrons, with
    atoms in Earth’s atmosphere. The other variety of Aurora Polaris is called Aurora Australis.
    The Northern Lights occur in the northern hemisphere, such as Alaska, Canada, Britain, etc.
    The Aurora Australis is mostly centered around the continent of Australia. A space tourist
    could see several different lights outside the window on the earth’s horizon, though some
    colors are more often associated with particular regions.

    Aurora Borealis from Space Shuttle

    Lightning Storms from Space: Lightning storms are an incredible sight to behold from the
    ground. By some accounts, they are just as incredible from space. If flight schedules are
    quick enough, this could be a potential attraction for space tourism, especially since there are
    several places that are more prone to lightning storms, such as the southwest and southeast
    United States The frequent occurrence of lightning in these areas increases the chances of
    witnessing this event and make the visual experience of the flight more thrilling.

    Lightning as seen from Space

    Natural Earth Features
    Impact Craters: Large asteroid impact craters are often visible from space. Many are eroded
    from millennia of wind and weather, while some are fresher being only several thousand
    years old. Considering there are hundreds of impact craters visible on Earth’s surface, the
    potential sites for launches and flights are many. They complement the space theme of the

    Meteor Crater in Arizona

    Erupting Volcanoes: Erupting volcanoes building new land are a unique vision from space.
    Each volcanic eruption represents earth-changing events. There are thousands of volcanoes
    but, there are only a few large eruptions a year. As such, the volcanoes that offer the best and
    most consistent viewing options are ones that either are consistently erupting or who have
    formed large craters or calderas such as Kilauea in Hawaii or Sakura-Jima in Japan. These
    provide large vents frequently visible from space.

    Straight Line of Volcanic Craters in Java

    Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon is one of the largest natural features on earth. Each year,
    millions of people visit the canyon to revel in its magnificence. The view from space is a
    very unique perspective that can really give a person some perspective of the sheer size of the
    canyon. It is best to view the canyon at some angle, since viewing it from directly above will
    lose some depth due to lack of shadowing on the canyon walls. Locating a launch site to take
    advantage of this feature does limit options to the southwest.

    Grand Canyon from Space (Left: good viewing angle; Right: at 58 miles, poor viewing

    Large Reefs: The Great Barrier Reef sits along the eastern coast of Australia. The water here
    is warm, clear, and teaming with life. The different colorations of the water due to differences
    in depth is still visible hundreds of miles off of the earths surface. Also, if viewing the Great
    Barrier Reef from space, a tourist may also view the whole eastern coast of Australia from
    their window. The same can be said for several reefs. The reefs around the Florida Keys and
    the Bahamas are also readily visible.

    Great Barrier Reef

    Earth Geography: Depending on the elevation of the flight, a traveler potentially could see the
    Mediterranean, Italy, and several other countries at the same time. If looking north, the view
    could include Northern Italy, the Alps, Switzerland and others. West: France, possibly Spain,
    and parts of Africa. Launching from Sicily would provide an excellent vantage point to see
    Africa on one side, Italy on the other. The boot of Italy may even be recognizable. There
    could also be an advantage to see a country like Italy at night, when the cities are lit.

    Europe and North Africa from Space

    Man Made Earth Features
    Great Wall of China: The Great Wall is one of the man-made objects on the Earth’s surface
    that can be seen from space at an elevation of 100-200 miles. Made up of several different
    individual walls, the Great Wall was built between the 5th and the 16th Century. It is the
    world’s longest man-made structure, stretching over 4,000 miles.

    Great Wall of China

    Many other man made features are visible from space. But which ones will add to the space
    flight experience? Space enthusiasts may want to view Cape Canaveral, where tens of launch
    pads are visible. They may be interested in seeing the islands in the Persian Gulf now being
    created. It may be possible to arrange the Spaceport infrastructure in such a way that the
    combination of buildings, transport routes and landscape preparation creates a unique and
    visible daytime or nighttime experience for the returning space traveler. Numerous
    possibilities exist.

    Download full report
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    What entrepreneurial launch companies are looking for in a spaceport
    Report by RS&H Aerospace & Defense, a facilities and infrastructure consulting firm(

    Entrepreneurial launch companies have different requirements for Spaceport
    technical capabilities, costs and schedules than do the historical government supported
    launch operators. Certain aspects of existing and planned spaceports provide both
    appealing and disturbing features to these companies. There are examples of “If you
    build it, they may not come.” Work to date by the authors has accomplished detailed
    design and / or environmental planning for four spaceports for entrepreneurial launch
    vehicle programs. Some of these spaceports involved state participation in their
    development, while some were completely privately developed. This paper compares and
    contrasts these differing requirements. It provides the basic guidelines for new
    spaceports to implement in order to attract the new innovative launch vehicle operators.

    Download full report in pdf format
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    Here's some general information about spaceports all over the world:

    List of Spaceports
    Hobby space/spaceports

    The main website, ( has all kinds of information and resources related to space exploration such as art, history, blogs, news, software, 3d models, space tech, space culture, etc.
    Tue, Dec 4, 2007  Permanent link

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