Designing Delta-v


Image 2 - A closer view of the Konstantin, illuminated by running lights. Were the crew to remain in micro-gravity for the entire multi-year expedition, they would suffer severe physical deterioration. Thus, the Konstantin is a spin-gravity vessel. Three radial arms extend 106-meters from its central, inflatable habitat (or 'hab'). The central hab rotates like a wheel, while the z-axis of the ship (the axle) does not rotate. Each radial arm is traversed via a tunnel that ends in an inflatable hab module.


When the central hab is 'spun up' at nearly three revolutions per minute, the inflatable habs at the end of each radial arm experience the equivalent of one Earth gravity in acceleration. Two of the three habs are crew quarters, while the third is a fabrication habitat (or 'fab hab'), containing CNC milling and 3D printing equipment, as well as small chemistry, geology, and robotics labs.

Note: a 200-meter rotational radius is generally considered the minimum that an untrained human can tolerate without risk of motion sickness related to the Coriolis effect ; however, a 100-meter radius (or less) can be tolerated with some additional training.


Note also the four robotic 'Honey Bee' optical mining craft docked on the z-axis, just beneath the central hab, and forward of the reflective solar shield. These largely autonomous robots are typically deployed in a terminator orbit around Ryugu. They 'bag' boulders pulled from the asteroid's surface by other robots, and concentrate sunlight via twin parabolic reflectors to 'spall' the surface of a boulder in bursts, releasing volatiles, and powdering the regolith for later processing in the refinery.