Architects have conjured up oddly shaped space habitats over the years, including hermetic orbs, geodesic domes, and lantern-like structures. Japanese researchers, however, believe that the optimal extraterrestrial architecture is conical.
At a conference on July 5, a team from Kyoto University and construction company Kajima Corporation unveiled renderings of an “artificial gravity living facility” whose shape is conducive to approaching living conditions. of life on earth. The 1,300-foot-tall rotating structure, nicknamed “The Glass”, is designed to complete one full rotation every 20 seconds, using centrifugal force to achieve the “normal gravity” that humans are used to.
Designed for atmospheric conditions on Mars and the Moon, the team aims to erect a prototype of The Glass on the lunar surface by 2050, local newspaper Asahi Shimbum reports.
A focus on artificial gravity research as the era of space tourism begins
Japanese researchers say creating an environment with Earth-like gravity is key to thriving in space. “Without gravity, mammals might not be able to reproduce and their babies might not develop well,” the team explained in a press release. “When a person grows up in an environment of zero or low gravity, their body would change so that they wouldn’t be able to stand on land.”
The Kajima University-Kyoto team says Earthlings have no idea how children adapt to a state of weightlessness, pointing out that NASA’s gravity research has largely focused on adults. Studies show that traveling through different gravity fields can lead to bone loss, back pain, and kidney stones.
As space tourism becomes accessible to more people, researchers say they want to shed light on the effect of microgravity environments on a diversity of human bodies.
Make other planets hospitable to humans
Beyond self-contained habitats, the researchers say we need to think about designing other artificial gravity infrastructure to support communities on other celestial bodies. The scope of their research even includes the development of a transportation system for interplanetary travel. They envision a “Hexagon Space Track System” that will maintain normal gravity during long journeys.
“A completely original idea from Japan”
“The United States and the United Arab Emirates are proactively proposing Mars migration, but I would like to send a completely original idea from Japan,” said Yosuke Yamashiki, professor at SIC Manned Cosmology Research Center at Kyoto University. . “The basic technologies are not developed by other countries, and they are indispensable for realizing human space migration.”
“The development of an artificial gravity residential facility with Kyoto University will be a watershed moment in space research,” echoed Takuya Ohno, architect and researcher at Kajima. “We will work to make this joint research meaningful for humanity.”