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February 08, 2011

Space Settlements: A Design Study (1975)

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NASA SP-413 - Space Settlements: A Design Study: "This report grew out of a 10-week program in engineering systems design held at Stanford University and the Ames Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration during the summer of 1975. The project brought together nineteen professors of engineering, physical science, social science, and architecture, and two co-directors. This group worked for ten weeks to construct a convincing picture of how people might permanently sustain life in space on a large scale. The goal of the summer study was to design a system for the colonization of space."

The focus of the system is a space habitat where 10,000 people work, raise families, and live out normal human lives.

The question, "What is feasible?" can be finally answered only by future historians. If in the 14th and l5th Centuries when new technology first made transoceanic voyages possible, European rulers had inquired what they should do with this new capability, no man could have been long-headed enough to perceive all the possibilities, nor persuasive enough to communicate his vision to others.

Table of contents. Link to illustrated .pdf file.

Directly related: Clarke's Law.

...new ideas like this pass through three stages:

Stage 1: "It can't be done."
Stage 2: "It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing."
Stage 3: "I knew it was a good idea all along!"

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 8, 2011 06:24 AM