Following on from my last post, here are the final stags of Ecorium development, moving beyond VotNF and into Sciror. Here things start to become a little more speculative (if that is possible!) and some fantastical elements creep in towards the end. All these Ecoria are the final development stages to get us off-world and to colonise the stars!
Stage 6 – Underwater
A redesign of the subterranean Ecorium for deep sea construction. Airlocks added, along with attached decompression chambers, and universal docking ring for coupling with submersibles. In shallow waters; humans, drones, and subs can use the airlocks. Drones are not used for maintenance of the early prototypes, but training data of humans performing maintenance was recorded for drone reference. Internally, a major overhaul of the ventilation systems was needed to allow for internal bulkheads to contain water in the case of an outer wall breach scenario. The environment system does not use free-flowing air vents. Instead, a network of compressors, pumps and valves are used to move air or liquid from one chamber to another to equalise pressure or expel liquid. This system was hard tested by blowing a 2m hole through the outer wall with a limpet mine. The shutdown saved 92% of the internal space, and once the outer wall was patched with automated (test) drones, the environment system expelled the seawater.
When Ecorium are constructed below 200m, SCUBA diving is considered impractical for humans. The airlocks are used exclusively by drones and subs (with a grey area of the ADS anthropomorphic submersible, but not used) All external maintenance in the deep is done by remote drones. These drones are not human-like as the environment is so hostile to humans there is no need to implement the human redundant design. If a human were to perform maintenance using an ADS (very rare), they would not use normal human hand-held tools, as ADS do not expose the hands, and instead have mechanical claws and hard-points to attach the drone tools.
Stage 7 – orbit
A rotating wheel space station with cermet based Ecorium in the ring, using centrifugal force to create a simulation of gravity. Similar to Space Station V from 2001. All building material, prefab parts, and drones are put into space using a Mass Launcher. Due to the incredibly high acceleration of objects launched using this system: it is unsuitable for astronauts. Instead, astronauts are launched into orbit using a traditional (by then) hypersonic SABRE engines.
The Ecorium is a fundamental part of the recycling of air in the life-support system. The growing-rooms house banks of sealed rack-farms to reprocess the air, and absorb carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen. All powered with Thorium Reactors, used for efficiency of fuel use and safety. The rack-farms produce food for the astronauts. Careful calculations were made to ensure sustainability, with the excess food production being incinerated to balance the system (else the CO2 will be used up, and the remaining plants die). Aeroponics uses little water, and most of the water is stored in underfloor tanks in the growing-rooms, arranged in a cell structure, where each cell can be isolated and severed from the system. Water is run through the reactor, for cooling, and to ensure the water is sterilised.
Also used in early space flight by humans with our solar system, using the principles rotational ring design. The ships used in the colonisation of Mars used this system, while the Ecoria built on the Martian surface used a variant of Stage 6.
Interstellar starship design. These Ecoria are spun to produce centrifugal force to act as artificial ‘gravity’. Stage 8 systems use ‘grav-plates’, based on phased-materials, which do not produce gravity! These materials were created by the Artilects.
There is a long gap between stage 7 and stage 8. While humans colonised the stars, we did not travel there using interstellar ships using stage 8 designs. Instead, it was only the machines that travelled to the stars, and when they arrived thousands of years later, they constructed humans out of base elements They wove our DNA, incubated the first generation, and then Artiloid nannies brought up this founding generation. The history of a human colony is always a fiction, designed to give humans a functioning culture and psychological stability. Most colonies think they are still on Earth and never went anywhere, completely unaware they are thousands of light years from humanity’s birth, and still dreaming of going to the stars.
For untold millennia, there was no faster way to travel between the stars. The Artilects had created warp-drives for the human expansion into space, but they could not navigate, so the program was put on indefinite hold. Suspended animation was ruled out due to the extreme timeframes of getting to the stars, as was frozen embryos (or sperm and eggs) due to vulnerability, so the machines decided to build humans once they arrived at their destination. The alternative, and less desirable, constructor ships were used. Stage 8 only became a reality when organic based psionics become noticeable on certain high-density hive worlds, and the machines discovered that some humans could sense the flow of the warp. This led to the ‘navigator’ program, selective breeding, and genetic engineering. Once a machine-human hybrid could navigate the warp, the Supremacy dominated the galaxy.
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
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