There are two main approaches that humanity can take to live in vast space. The most commonly described way is to colonize other celestial bodies, such as the Moon and Mars. This approach comes with some major disadvantages, including the treatment of toxic soils, dust, but also the problem of gravity. The alternative is to build our own habitats.
Instead of trying to build settlements on the surface of the Moon or Mars, a team of engineers believes that we should expand the extent of humanity in the cosmos by building orbital habitats from scratch.
In this regard, aerospace engineers at A&M University in Texas have designed their own orbital habitat, which they say could accommodate up to 8,000 people, potrivit Universe Today. Most importantly, they wanted the habitat, which takes into account artificial gravity and other aspects, to be habitable for ordinary people, rather than for specially trained astronauts.
In addition to gravity, engineers have also designed shields to protect residents from deadly cosmic radiation.
Thus, the habitat has been specially designed to create a gravitational attraction as realistically as possible, according to research published in the journal Aerospace Science and Technology. This is difficult work for the concentric cylinder-shaped habitat, which runs a fine line between realistic gravity and the induction of a horrible motion sickness.
Researchers in Texas are not the first to suggest rotating around an axis to simulate gravity, but engineers have solved a common problem with the idea. They believe they have found the right radius around which they should rotate to ensure that a person’s head and legs will not experience different gravitational pulls, which would cause a terrible feeling of nausea in space.
The entire habitat, according to the work, would be sealed with an outer layer of water and rock five meters thick. So while it might create a safe space trip, the view probably wouldn’t be too interesting.
So the alternative to colonizing other planets is to build our own habitats. They could be located anywhere in the solar system, they could be of any size that building materials science allows, and they could have different characteristics, such as temperature, climate, gravity, and even day lengths. Unfortunately, we are still far from building something like a fully sized habitat. However, we are now one step closer to doing so with the launch of this paper.