Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Inflatable Expansion Bubble  
  Inflatable chamber to provide temporary additional space for cramped space craft.  

Space travel in Niven's Known Space stories is best accomplished with one of the General Products hulls; however, space inside was typically very limited. Additional space for exercise or living was available in the form of inflatable expansion bubbles.

This item comes from the story Flatlander, published in 1967.

We were in the expansion bubble when it happened. The bubble had inflatable seats and an inflatable table and was there for exercise and killing time but it also provided a fine view; the surface was perfectly transparent.
From Crashlander, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1994
Additional resources -

The bubble itself could be unfolded without air pressure using an electromagnetic field (normally used to collapse the bubble after use).

(Thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting this item.)

An early expression of this idea is seen in this concept from Werner von Braun in the 1950's:


(Von Braun flexible space station concept)

In a 1952 series of articles written in Collier's, Dr. Wernher von Braun, then Technical Director of the Army Ordnance Guided Missiles Development Group at Redstone Arsenal, wrote of a large wheel-like space station in a 1,075-mile orbit. This station, made of flexible nylon, would be carried into space by a fully reusable three-stage launch vehicle. Once in space, the station's collapsible nylon body would be inflated much like an automobile tire.

See also an earlier version of this idea, the airtight tent from Raymond Z. Gallun's 1951 novella Asteroid of Fear.

Compare to the space bubble from The Planet Strappers by Raymond Z. Gallun and to the Survival Bubble (Beach Ball) from Footfall (1985) by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle).

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Crashlander
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Crashlander
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Inflatable Expansion Bubble-related news articles:
  - Genesis Pathfinder: Space Inflatable Module
  - Genesis Inflatable Space Module Gets Go-Ahead
  - Bigelow Genesis I Inflatable First Look
  - Genesis 2 Successfully Inflates Module
  - Inflatable Lofts For NASA 'Campers' On Moon And Mars
  - Bigelow's Inflatable BEAM Module Ready For ISS In 2015

Articles related to Space Tech
Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.