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Inflatable Habitats at The Poles Will Lead To Space Colonies

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posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:03 PM

Humanity has long since established a foothold in the Artic and Antarctic, but extensive colonization of these regions may soon become economically viable.
If we can learn to build self-sufficient habitats in these extreme environments, similar technology could be used to live on the Moon or Mars.

The average temperature of the Antarctic coast in winter is about –20 °C.
As if this weren't enough, the region suffers from heavy snowfall, strong winds, and six-month nights.
How can humanity possibly survive in such a hostile environment?

Modern technology and construction techniques may soon permit the long-term, self-sufficient colonization of such extreme environments.

The most efficient way to generate heat from sunlight is, of course, the well-known "greenhouse" effect.
Given a transparent or translucent roof, any structure can hold onto the energy of sunlight long enough to transform it into heat.
Glass works well for this, but glass is heavy and expensive to transport.

In a recent article submitted to, Bolonkin and Cathcart have designed an inflatable, translucent dome that can heat its interior to comfortable temperatures using only the weak sunlight of high latitudes.
While many details remain to be worked out, the essential concept is sound.
To improve the energy efficiency of the structure, they propose adding multiple insulating layers, aluminum-coated shutters, and a fine electrical network to sense damage to the structure.
The dome would be supported entirely by the pressure of the air inside, which can be adjusted to compensate for the added buoyancy caused by high winds.


I'm glad to see that there is continuing research into things like this.
It is no surprise to me that technologydeveloped for living in the
arctic has potential for space exploration applications, especially
considering that the arctic is one of the few places that technology
for space exploration is actually tested in.

Comments, Opinions?

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:15 PM
Live in a green house on Mars or the Moon would be very unhealthy for humans and all life as we know it. Cosmic Radiation would not be blocked out by such a structure. Any long term human habitat has to deal with radiation and it would be far better to build underground and use the soil as a shield.

A three-year mission to Mars would expose astronauts to the radiation limit considered safe by NASA over the lifetime career of an astronaut. Living in a transparent bubble inflatable, without proper shielding, you are asking for trouble. Even tanning beds have time limits. Space is a harsh mistress.


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