Uranus Helium 3 Ram Scoop Spacestation for NASA Future Space Fulldome Planetarium Show


So if you are over a billion miles from the Earth and Sun, the need to create your own energy to power your living needs can be difficult. But if you have a giant gas planet with lots of Helium 3 nearby, all you need to do is find a way to scoop up some for your needs. As a sequence for a planetarium program showing possible future NASA exploration directions, Home Run Pictures, working with NASA scientists, visualized engineering concepts for a spacestation that would dive into the upper atmosphere of the planet Uranus. Since this was an educational program, avoiding being too science fiction-like was difficult at times, but the concept involved a spacestation in an eliptical orbit that would once every several orbits, dive into the upper atmosphere of the planet.

Designed in a style folowing the classic giant ring spacestations, so that while in high orbit, the station can spin to provide the crew with artificial gravity... during the lower orbit pass into the atmosphere, the station would also spin to provide stability. A front fabric-like ram-scoop stretched across the rings would funnel the gasses into a collection chamber, then compressed to be stored in large tanks mounted to the central axis of the station.

Shuttlecraft-tankers would then off-load the gasses from the station while in high orbit... delivering the much needed fuel to human-occupied bases on the nearby moon Miranda.

For recreational purposes, those living in the Uranus system might use smaller aerodynamic spacecraft... and if looking for some extreme thrills, dive into the gas giant's upper atmosphere for some stunt-like flying. The near weightless conditions of the orbital trajectories may allow for some rather dramatic maneuvers.


The Uranus Helium 3 Ram Scoop spacestation sequence is part of NASA funded "The Great Planet Adventures" fulldome planetarium show now being presented at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Art and Science Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Click here for Quicktime movie of Uranus Ram Scoop spacecraft sequence

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