Space Habitat Concepts


NASA

Space Habitat Concepts proposed by NASA studies include:

Bernal Sphere

The Bernal Sphere is a model of a space station designed to provide a permanent, long-term habitat for its inhabitants. Also knwon as "Island One", it is a spherical habitat for about 20,000 people. It was envisioned in 1929 by British physicist John Desmond Bernal and is intended to accommodate a population of about 20,000 to 30,000 people. Constructs with a similar purpose include the O'Neill cylinder and the Stanford torus.

History

The first approach describes a cylindrical hollow body construction with a diameter of 1.6 kilometres, which is enclosed by solar rings on the outside and on the inside a biosphere filled with air. By rapidly rotating the hollow body, centrifugal force creates an earth-like artificial gravity on the inner walls. Additional solar modules capture sunlight for lighting and energy management of the colony.

In later project designs for space colonisation, such as those of Gerard Kitchen O'Neill and NASA, Bernal's idea was also taken up again under the names Island One and Island Two.

Science Fiction

In the Babylon 5 universe, the namesake Babylon 5 space station is based on a Bernal sphere, as is the Medina station in The Expanse.

The Orbis and Ocellus type stations in the computer game Elite Dangerous resemble Bernal spheres with diameters of 2 and 3 km respectively. In them, an artificial gravity of about 0.7g is generated by a rotation period of 95 seconds. The landing pads, superstructures, possibly tourist attractions such as gardens, are located on the inside. The Coriolis stations in the same game use the same rotation principle, but look like a blunted cube from the outside.

External view of a Bernal Sphere.
External view of a Bernal Sphere.
Interior view of a Bernal Sphere.
Interior view of a Bernal Sphere.

Stanford Torus

A Stanford Torus is a concept for a ring-shaped permanently inhabited space colony. It is a smaller alternative to "Island One." The inhabitants would feel the same gravity as on earth because the ring would make a rotating movement that would create centrifugal force. The ring would be 1.8 km in diameter and would rotate on its axis once a minute. Sunlight will be projected inward by large mirrors, which can turn away when it becomes night. The concept is named after the American Stanford University where the idea was presented in 1975. The colony could house between 10,000 and 140,000 inhabitants.

The idea of a torus-shaped space station is, however, much older and had already been put forward by Wernher von Braun and Herman Potocnik.

Residents of a standing torus, however, will have to get used to the artificial gravity because the human organ of balance is not used to it and they will suffer from dizziness in the beginning. Although gravity is the same, even a slight turn of the head confuses the balance organ.

External view of a Stanford Torus.
External view of a Stanford Torus.
Interior view of a Stanford Torus.
Interior view of a Stanford Torus.

O'Neill Cylinder

The O'Neill Cylinder, also called the O'Neill Colony or "Island Three", is a space settlement concept proposed by US physicist Gerard K. O'Neill in his 1976 book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space. O'Neill's envisioned space colonisation for the 21st century using materials that would be extracted from the Moon and later from asteroids. An O'Neill Cylinder would consist of two counter-rotating cylinders. The cylinders would rotate in opposite directions to compensate for any gyroscopic effects that would otherwise make it difficult to align them with the Sun. Each cylinder would have a diameter of 8.0 km and a length of 32 km and would be connected at each end by a rod via a bearing system. They would rotate in such a way that centrifugal force would create an artificial gravity on their inner surfaces.

External view of a O'Neill Cylinder.
External view of a O'Neill Cylinder.
Interior view of a O'Neill Cylinder.
Interior view of a O'Neill Cylinder.


Media

Visit our media section for a complete overview.



Keywords

Bernal Sphere
International Space Station
ISS
Mars Colony
Moon Colony
O'Neill Cylinder
Orbital Colony
Space Architecture
Space Colonies
Space Colony
Space Habitat
Space Habitats
Space Settlement
Space Settlements
Space Station
Stanford Torus

Cite

DeepDove: Space Network (2021-09-21). Space Habitat | Space Habitat Concepts. Retrieved , from

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This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.