Tag Archives | Space Colonies

1970s NASA Space Colony Art

This could be your neighborhood. Via the Public Domain Review, think tank concepts for possible off-Earth colonies — a glorious glimpse at what could have been in an alternate reality:

In the 1970s the Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, with the help of NASA Ames Research Center and Stanford University, held a series of space colony summer studies which explored the possibilities of humans living in giant orbiting spaceships. Colonies housing about 10,000 people were designed and a number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made.

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After Earth: Where Will Humanity Go?

5efc3c27f081463e8c9e31fd93d45164If and when Earth is no longer able to sustain human life, where should we go? NASA says that a colony could be dug several feet below the surface of our moon (with a cover to protect residents from high-energy cosmic radiation, which can damage our DNA and lead to cancer).

Or we could head for the resource-rich moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Mars is very Earth-like, with enough carbon in its soil to grow plants, and daytime temperatures that reach 70°F. And that’s only the start of our options. Popular Science explores:

Earth won’t always be fit for occupation. We know that in two billion years or so, an expanding sun will boil away our oceans, leaving our home in the universe uninhabitable—unless, that is, we haven’t already been wiped out by the Andromeda galaxy, which is on a multibillion-year collision course with our Milky Way. Moreover, at least a third of the thousand mile-wide asteroids that hurtle across our orbital path will eventually crash into us, at a rate of about one every 300,000 years.

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The Space Colony That Should Have Been

space-colony-2000As we close the book on the final U.S. space shuttle mission ever, it’s heartbreaking to watch NASA videos from the groovy 1970s, a time of incredible optimism regarding the final frontier in the aftermath of humankind’s first walk on the moon. Preliminary plans and concepts were being outlined for self-sustaining space colonies where people could live and work. A space station called Taurus would be home to 10,000 people, with dairy farms, manufacturing, vegetation, solar power stations… and then somewhere along the way we became sidetracked.

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Silicon Valley Start-Up To Mine The Moon

Moon BaseA new lunar gold rush? Via Phenomenonica:

A Silicon Valley start-up, founded by an Indian-American entrepreneur, plans to mine the moon and is in the process of building robotic rovers that will search the lunar surface for precious metals and rare metallic elements.

Moon Express Inc or MoonEx, co-founded by Naveen Jain, is building the robotic rovers alongside scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Centre near San Jose, a report in the Los Angeles Times said. “MoonEx should be ready to land on the lunar surface by 2013,” Jain said.

While there is no guarantee that the moon is “flush” with these materials, MoonEx thinks it “may be a gold mine of so-called rare earth elements.”

“From an entrepreneur’s perspective, the moon has never truly been explored,” the report quoted Jain, chairman and company co-founder, as saying. “We think it could hold resources that benefit Earth and all humanity.”

MoonEx’s machines are designed to look for materials that are scarce on Earth but found in everything from a Toyota Prius car battery to guidance systems on cruise missiles, the report added.

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