Recently in the Space Colonies Category

Dr. Cameron Smith of Portland State University delivers the third lecture of the 2014/15 Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Smith's lecture explores the biological and cultural challenges associated with multigenerational interstellar space travel.

Humans must expand to other planets and that requires building a spacecraft capable of crossing interstellar space. The craft will have to house thousands of people, and it's too big to be built on Earth.

The Elysium film has reignited interest in the concept of human settlers living off the surface of our planet inside enormous space stations and extensive colonies.

6-12th Grade Students, Building 262, Room 180, March 27-28

Since 1994, NASA Ames has hosted an annual Space Settlement Design Contest for 6-12th grade students. Thousands of students and hundreds of teachers from around the world have involved themselves in space settlement, some devoting months of intense effort. Prize winners now find themselves at Harvard, Stanford, MIT and other top universities and at least one flew a zero-gravity experiment for the European Space Agency (ESA). Contestants work at home and send their entries to Ames each March. Extensive reference materials are supplied on the web. All entries are judged in a two-day period by a panel of NASA and contractor personnel. Judges commit to one hour or more anytime on Wednesday and/or Thursday, March 27-28, between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Judging will be in Building 262, Room 180. No experience or specific technical expertise are needed and it is a lot of fun (less expert judges can evaluate entries from the younger students). Contest details are at

Design a space settlement! Space settlements are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to being on the moon or other planets. Designing a space settlement involves physics, mathematics, space science, environmental science and many other disciplines.

The NASA Space Settlement Design Contest is intended for students in grades 6-12, although younger students may enter. Individual or teams from anywhere in the world may enter. Grade levels are judged separately, except for the grand prize. All participants will receive a certificate. Submissions must be received by March 15, 2013.

For more information about the NASA Space Settlement Design Contest, visit If you have any questions about the contest, please email Al Globus at

"Imagine returning from an exhausting adventure only to find that your home is abandoned, empty. Not just your home, but your neighborhood, your city, in fact, everyone, everywhere, seems to be missing. This is what happens to the crew of the first manned mission to Barnard's Star -- they return after awakening from suspended animation to find that their ship-board AI has sent them on a relativistic tour of the stellar neighborhood while they slumbered, dilating time so severely that nearly 200 years have passed on Earth. After coming to, they discover their vessel is adrift at LaGrange point 5, within visual range of a vast O'neill cylinder-colony." More.

Subtly Shaded Map of the Moon Reveals Titanium Treasure Troves

"A map of the Moon combining observations in visible and ultraviolet wavelengths shows a treasure trove of areas rich in titanium ores. Not only is titanium a valuable element, it is key to helping scientists unravel the mysteries of the Moon's interior. The new map is a valuable tool for lunar exploration planning. Astronauts will want to visit places with both high scientific value and a high potential for resources that can be used to support exploration activities. Areas with high titanium provide both -- a pathway to understanding the interior of the Moon and potential mining resources," said Robinson."

New 3D app lets you imagine living inside an orbital space habitat, io9

"What would it be like to live inside an orbital space colony? A new online app lets you glimpse the possibilities. Created by author Joan Slonczewski to tie in with her new novel The Highest Frontier, Frontera 3D takes you inside a rotating cylindrical colony, similar to the O'Neill cylinders envisioned in the 1970s by NASA artist Don Davis."

Frontera 3D -- Tour the Space Habitat of The Highest Frontier, Kenyon College

Think about this:NASA's original space colony studies were (creatively) funded in the 1970s. Forty years later, what can advances in technology in the intervening four decades - and changes in collective strategic and cultural thinking - bring to this idea that just won't go away - one that could lead to humans becoming a species capable of existence independent of living on a planetary surface. You now, spacefaring, and all that. Thoughts?

Space Colonies - A CoEvolution Book, September 1977

"The book is organized into three sections - Vision, Debate, and Space. The Vision is Gerard O'Neill's domain - progressing from broad propaganda to technical details to anecdotes. The Debate section is probably the most unique to this book since no one else has published the highly intelligent attacks that have been stung into life by the Space Colony idea. And the third section - Space - is natural history, accounts from people such as astronaut Schweickart and space scien tist Sagan and politician Brown. Finishing, if you please, on a note of reality. By the way, "co-evolution" is a term of recent coinage, co-conceived by biologists Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven to explain something terribly obvious but not before formally recognized about living organisms. They spend most of their adaptive effort getting along with other life which is likewise busily competing, cooperating, and avoiding at them. Life co-evolves with life. That includes us. So as you study your work, your yard, your watershed, your bio-community and human community, your weather, your access to tools, your night sky, and your prospects in Space, be aware that they are studying you."