Friday, March 23, 2012

Space Settlements-Space Colony Art from the 1970s at NASA

spreading life throughout the solar system

"I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond." Mike Griffin, former NASA Administrator.
Humanity has the power to fill outer space with life. Today our solar system is filled with plasma, gas, dust, rock, and radiation -- but very little life; just a thin film around the third rock from the Sun. We can change that. In the 1970's Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill with the help of NASA Ames Research Center and Stanford University showed that we can build giant orbiting spaceships and live in them. These orbital space colonies could be wonderful places to live; about the size of a California beach town and endowed with weightless recreation, fantastic views, freedom, elbow-room in spades, and great wealth. In time, we may see hundreds of thousands of orbital space settlements in our solar system alone. Building these settlements will be an evolutionary event in magnitude similar to, if not greater than, ocean-based Life's colonization of land half a billion years ago.
A couple of space colony summer studies were conducted at NASA Ames . Colonies housing about 10,000
people were designed. A number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made.

Cylindrical Colonies
Exterior view of a double cylinder colony
Exterior view of several two-cylinder colonies
Interior view including looking through large windows
Interior view with long suspension bridge
Interior featuring clouds and vegetation
Toroidal Colonies
Cutaway view, exposing the interior
Part of the rim including many nearby space vehicles
Interior view
Exterior View

Exterior view of several neighboring colonies
Bernal Spheres
Interior including human powered airplane
Photograph of a model of the Bernal Sphere
Exterior view
View with cutaway to see interior
Colony construction crew at work
View of Bernal Sphere agricultural module (multiple toroids) with cutaway
Space Colony Art from the 1970s at NASA

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