Isn’t it time we left Earth behind? Sure, the old place has had its use over the centuries but the future is in space, isn’t it?
The good news is that there are other people who think like this as well. They work for the British Interplanetary Society and their idea of an orbiting space home might not be a loopy as it first sounds.
The plan for this kind of home in outer space can be traced back to an idea from the 1970s which the late Princeton scientist Gerard O’Neill came up with. The space colony is 16 miles long and 4 miles wide, sitting in a huge cylinder which drifts through space. O’Neill worked out the idea after his students at Princeton came to the conclusion that the surfaces of others planets wouldn’t be great places to set up human colonies.
They Got it Right Before
Meanwhile, the British Interplanetary Society wants to revive this idea and it has been proved right in the past. For example, their 1930s ideas for how to land on the Moon were pretty close to the actual details used in the Neil Armstrong led mission which happened decades later.
Jerry Stone is a leader of the group’s Study Project Advancing Colony Engineering and he pointed out that back in the 30s their work was about letting the public see that space exploration wasn’t such a crazy idea after all. He says that their mission now is to show that living in a space colony is possible.
For those readers who love the technical details, the colonists would live inside the cylinder, which would have an artificial gravity system. There would also be clouds, plants to recycle oxygen and trying to make it look like the most beautiful parts of that old planet we all used to live on.
What would you miss about Earth if you lived on a space colony?