New Space and Tech

Space Colonies – Retro Idea – Suddenly Hip Again

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
Filed under ,

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.”

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.