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Title: Gene Ark Design
Authors: Kelly, William
Advisors: Choueiri, Edgar
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2019
Abstract: This thesis addresses the design of a Gene Ark: a massive spacecraft carrying cryologically preserved human zygotes on interstellar missions. The primary design challenge within this thesis is twofold: first is to determine the necessary mechanisms and inherent limitations of cryopreserved zygote transportation in space. These parameters will inform the design of a spacecraft which serves to both preserve and transport this payload, extending possibly for thousands of years (or indefinitely) as a genetic reserve for the human species. Second, External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion will be evaluated and incorporated as a potential propulsion mechanism for the Gene Ark spacecraft to accelerate to velocities required for interstellar travel. This concept is derivative of research done in Project Orion on fission propulsion. The Gene Ark is designed as a specialized craft with many possible mission variants. For purposes of this thesis, the greatest care is taken to design a modular storage platform that maximizes zygote density and zygote survival within the confines of a spacecraft. Proof of concept is achieved, opening up additional possibilities for designs and missions involving transportation of Earth's embryonic life. Multiple missions are proposed and ethical implications are considered.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2019

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