12. Research

Because of DaedalusaL4’s unusual location, i.e. not on terra firma, there will be much industry in the way of research. Most research will fall into five categories:

1.       Life Sciences

2.       Space Science

3.       Micro-gravity Science

4.       Engineering Research

5.       Space Product Development

1.       Life Sciences

Basically, what can be done in this area is to “integrate the physiological and behavioural responses that are responsible for space-flight-related biomedical changes in humans and risk assessment to human health and performance, and to develop countermeasures that allow humans to live and work in micro-gravity for durations over a year, minimise the risks in readapting to Earth’s gravity, and optimise crew safety, well-being and performance” as laid out in the Biomedical Research and Countermeasures Programme, managed by the NASA Johnson Space Centre.

The Gravitational and Biology Programme, managed by the NASA Ames Research Centre, emphasises research in:

·         Self-organising molecular structures,

·         Cellular and molecular biology,

·         Growth and development,

·         Comparative biology and

·         Evolution of biological and ecological systems.

All of this can be done on DL4.

2.       Space Science

The four major themes of NASA’s space science programmes are:

·         Structure and Evolution of the Universe,

·         Exploration of the Solar System,

·         The Sun-Earth Connection,

·         Astronomical Search for Origins and Planetary Systems.

From DL4, scientists will be able to observe, record, characterise and assess the impact of cosmic events when they occur.  DaedalusaL4 will provide a unique vantage point for observation, because it will be a permanent structure allowing for the construction of large on site space telescopes as well as other probes and satellites.

3.       Micro-gravity Science

This section of research includes research on the effects of micro-g in Materials Science, Fluid Physics, Combustion Science, Biotechnology, and Fundamental Physics.  Conducting experiments in these areas in micro-gravity gives scientists the opportunity to overcome gravity-related phenomena, as well as to investigate phenomena and processes normally masked by gravity’s effects.  It is also possible to investigate fully the effects of micro-g on humans and/or animals.  In the area of Biotechnology, topics such as protein crystal growth (see fig. 12a) and cell and tissue growth can be researched.

4.       Engineering Research and Technology

This can be used to develop, test and demonstrate technologies which can improve vehicle systems or payload capabilities, lower the cost of maintenance and operations and reduce power and crew time requirements. It also gives engineers the opportunity to develop entirely new robotic systems and engineering concepts.

5.       Space Product Development

DL4 will also provide private industries with the unique opportunity to exploit the benefits of space-based research.  This can be an important source of revenue for the settlement, helping to cover the high-costs of DL4 development.

In conclusion, research can be performed in the following areas:

·         Macromolecular Crystallography,

·         Fluid Physics,

·         Fundamental Physics,

·         Biotechnology,

·         Advanced Electronics,

·         Satellite and Hybrid Communications,

·         Materials,

·         Agriculture,

·         Space Automation and Robotics,

·         Telemedicine,

·         Engineering Research and Technology,

·         Food Technology,

·         High-Vacuum Research/Development and

·         Nanotechnology Research.