(ORDO NEWS) — Glass Dome – This structure will be one of the tallest and largest fantasy space domes ever built, 400 meters high and 200 meters across.
To recreate the earth’s gravity, six times the gravity of the moon, centrifugal force will be used due to rotational motion.
Space explorers have to overcome a number of obstacles. In extremely harsh conditions, where there is no clean water, breathable air and food, they must extract them.
In addition, they must co-exist with small groups of their comrades for a long time, while minimizing exposure to the scorching radiation that is ubiquitous everywhere.
Assuming that researchers overcome these difficulties and establish a permanent presence on the Moon, they will face another problem: gravity. Microgravity can lead to muscle atrophy, bone loss, loss of vision and changes in the immune system, according to research by astronauts who spend weeks or months in microgravity.
If this problem is not somehow mitigated, the first space colonists and their descendants may suffer from health problems.
In partnership with Kajima Corp. Kyoto University has unveiled a new idea aimed at exploring futuristic concepts that could one day invite travelers and settlers to enjoy Earth’s good, beneficial gravity.
Idea? Named “Glass”, the structure will be one of the tallest and largest fantasy space cones ever created, 400 meters high and 200 meters across.
Since the habitat will rotate on its axis every 20 seconds, the people living inside it will enjoy the earth’s gravity and admire the trees, grass and lakes inside these domes.
“There is no such intention in the space development plans of other countries,” said Yosuke Yamashiki, director of the Center for Spatial Human Research at the Kyoto University Research Center, during a press conference at which the plans were announced.
“Our plan represents important technologies that are critical to enabling human spaceflight in the future.”
In addition to habitat, the proposal describes a transportation system that will connect Earth to future colonies on the Moon, in Earth’s orbit, and on Mars itself.
The system will be called Hexatrack and will be based on orbiting satellites that will generate artificial gravity and act as railroad tracks for the entire system.
When traveling between planets, train cars will be enclosed in hexagonal capsules so as not to expose themselves to cosmic rays by disconnecting at stations.
“As the idea of life in space becomes more realistic, the problem of low gravity, which I intuitively knew as a child, becomes a problem that we need to overcome,” said Takuya Ono, assistant professor at the center involved in the project and principal investigator at Kajima, a large general contractor.
“We strive to make this design useful to people.”
In the short term, all this is more of a concept than something that can be used in practice. A massive undertaking would require an enormous amount of resources and technical expertise, comparable to building the Empire State Building upside down on the Moon or Mars, spinning it upside down, and then laying water, soil, and other structures inside.
Living in a place where the earth buckles underfoot and local gravity collides with artificial one can be disorienting. Without proper design, living in such an environment can be a challenge.
Despite the optimistic timing of work of this magnitude, scientists and engineers predict that we will begin to populate the Moon and Mars no earlier than the second half of this century.
It is likely that until then more attention will be paid to other, less ambitious concepts closer to home.
Like any step towards larger concepts like the one presented here by Kyoto University, each represents a small step towards realizing plans that would be more successful if artificial gravity were provided on a lunar base.
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