Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Space Habitat images from Steve Gunn

The following are images from Steve Gunn, a colleague from the British Interplanetary Society, as part of Project SPACE, the Society's ongoing study of space habitats. Click on the images for a larger view.

This is a view of Island One, one of the space habitats proposed by Dr Gerard O'Neill.
There is a manufacturing area at the sunward side and docking facilities at the rear.

This is a variation on Island One using a cylinder instead of a sphere.
The three main mirrors are static to save wear and tear, with a loading at their outer edge of 3g at 1.9 RPM (Earth normal gravity in the cylinder. Day/night lighting is achieved by polarizing the windows. The cylinder measures 500m in diameter and is 500m long. Subtracting the area taken up by the windows, this gives a surface area of 635400 square meters (not including the farm areas).

This is an image of Marina, a habitat constructed using an asteroid.
Access to the rotating area is gained in two ways. To dock new modules, the wheel is de-spun. This would be an infrequent event. Crew and cargo transfer are done from the asteroid-based docking facility. A ‘train’ mounted on the rotating portion of the inner ring can slow down to mate with the docking area, then accelerate to match velocity with the wheel.

A different view of Marina.
Seen around the outer edge of the wheel are modules attached to the extensive docking facilities. The smaller of these are sized to fit a Skylon payload bay, some of which house cabins for the small crew. The rest are ‘customer’ modules of various types and uses, being provided a docking berth, power and life support services.

A close up of the habitat of Marina.
The asteroid, docking facilities with attached spacecraft and the inner ring do not rotate. The outer ring, spokes and a small, ring-shaped, section of the inner ring, form the ‘wheel’, which rotates around the rest on the inner ring along a track, probably electro-magnetic in nature to reduce friction.

It's great to have images to help visualize the concepts involved in the study. Steve is a talented computer graphic artist and used Bryce to create these images.

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