(ORDO NEWS) — Living and working in space for a long time is associated with a number of difficulties. Radiation can be included here, since areas outside the Earth’s protective atmosphere are subject to intense exposure to solar and cosmic rays.
Also, a lunar or martian base must be able to use local resources or recycle waste, since they will be located too far from the Earth to provide them with regular supplies from our planet, as is the case with the International Space Station (ISS).
Finally, there is the problem of low gravity, which is especially important for long-term missions and bases located outside the Earth. If the future of mankind is connected with the exploration of space, then we must find ways to solve these problems.
One of the popular ideas for creating artificial gravity is to create rotating structures. One of the new variants of this design was proposed recently by a team of Japanese researchers – they proposed to build a huge rotating base on the moon.
On July 5, representatives of Kyoto University and construction firm Kajima Corporation (one of the oldest and largest construction companies in Japan) announced the start of joint research on this concept and its application to realize the goals of modern humanity in the exploration of the Moon and Mars.
The influence of microgravity conditions on the human body has been studied quite deeply, in particular, within the framework of numerous experiments on board the ISS.
It is shown that under conditions of weightlessness there is a loss of muscle mass, rarefaction of bone tissue. There were also changes in the cardiovascular system, in the functioning of organs, visual impairment, psychological effects and influence on gene expression.
Unfortunately, studies on the impact of microgravity on human reproductive function and the early stages of fetal development have not yet been conducted.
Therefore, from the point of view of the health and safety of children who may be born in the lunar or Martian colonies, it is preferable to create gravitational conditions close to the earth.
To achieve an acceleration of free fall at the ground level of 9.8 meters per second squared, an appropriate centrifugal force is required, which occurs when the station rotates.
In the proposed design, the station is a truncated cone standing on the [lunar or Martian] surface supported by a smaller base and rotating around its own axis. This vertical “funnel” is supported by a scaffold-like lattice structure surrounding it, which has a significant footprint to distribute the station’s gigantic mass over a large surface area.
Outside, this “lunar Eiffel tower” is surrounded by tracks for a high-speed train carrying passengers from the lunar surface into the “funnel” and back, as well as between different zones within the station. People inside such a station “walk along the walls”, and on the same walls trees grow and water bodies splash, according to the concept presented by the authors.
According to the description of the researchers, this project is only a concept that can form the basis of a future long-term lunar base and does not pretend to be quickly implemented at the current level of technology development. The implementation of this concept can be expected around 2050, the authors of the idea note.
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