Space habitats: the way of the future?

Matthew S. Williams has written a good and elaborate article about space habitats on Interesting Engineering:

Are Space Habitats the Way of the Future

Williams discusses the basics of orbital space settlement and the major benefits and the important problems associated with this concept.

A pair of O’Neill cylinders, one of the habitat types discussed by Williams (source: NASA).

Coriolis effect

As pointed out in a previous post centrifugation is the method proposed in space colonization literature to replace gravity in orbital space habitats. Though the centrifugal force is the most well-known effect of a rotating object (if not, consider your washing machine for a moment), its sister force, the Coriolis force is less known. Continue reading Coriolis effect

The Case Against Mars

We are, to put it mildly, no fans of the colonization of Mars and instead we favor orbital space settlements. In the video below Simon Whistler of the TopTenz YouTube channel gives a nice summary of the challenges people will face on Mars.

It is not to say that orbital space habitats will be easy to build but given the particular difficulties Martian settlers will face, it will be the better alternative.

Of related interest: Interesting Engineering has an in depth article on the challenges of building human settlements on Mars.

Organ cultivation

Last week Japan announced it would allow experiments to grow human organs in animals. These experiments are controversial, not in the least place because of animal welfare concerns and the possibility of cross-species diseases. However, xenotransplantation is not the only line of research pursued to solve the shortage of donor organs. Continue reading Organ cultivation

For the establishment of secular, liberal, humanist and republican orbital space settlements