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8 Ways NASA Planned To Colonize Space


In the seventies NASA commissioned artists to produce what they thought space colonies would look like. NASA has thankfully released these to the public for our viewing pleasure. So check out what our potential future after we’ve ravaged our own planet and have to escape to space.

This pictures was done by Rick Guidice, and is a cutaway of a Bernal sphere, which would be a long-term space habitat for humanity. The Bernal Sphere would also have agricultural rings for growing food and raising animals.

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Here, thanks again to artist Rick Guidice, we see what it would look like to live in the Bernal Sphere. To maintain the same amount of gravity that we’ve become accustomed to on Earth. the sphere would rotate twice per minute. That doesn’t seem like much but I would trust NASA on their numbers.

Here artist Don Davis shows us what a solar eclipse would look like in an O’Neill cylinder, or O’Neill colony. The idea behind this is basically that there would be many cylinders travelling through space, all the while aimed at the sun.

Another from Don Davis, this image was inspired by a suggestion from the physicist Gerard K. O’Neill, that the Golden Gate bridge would be a good way to show off the scale of the cylinder. The cylinders would be five miles in diameter and twenty miles long, so you’d most definitely be able to fit a big bridge in there, you know, for reasons.

Here is the proposed interior of the O’Neill cylinder by artist Rick Guidice. Here you see how the cylinder could be laid out, and the multiple tracts of land for human consumption. What this doesn’t show is that the cylinder would contain two rotating cylinders that rotate in opposite directions to keep it pointing in the right direction.

Thanks to the artist Don Davis we see the what construction on a Stanford torus might look like. The torus was proposed during a 1975 summer study at Stanford University. Gerard O’Neill’s sphere was in response to the torus, fun fact!

Here Rick Guidice shows a cutaway view of the Stanford torus, we get to see how everything is contained in a ring. This is like a much more peaceful version of Halo, although if you look very close you could probably see the Master Chief.

Artist Don Davis gives us a fantastic view at the what the interior of a Stanford torus would look like, and how it could be inhabited by humanity. It shows off the necessary layers that it would take to house what looks like Earth’s malls. Because those are what we need to keep alive.

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