Japan has big plans to build interplanetary trains and glass habitats on the Moon and Mars! Here’s everything you need to know


An illustration of ‘The Glass’ space habitat by Kyoto University.

(YouTube screenshot)

Imagine a time fifty years from now – when you’re all old and gray – and you’re waiting at a train station to receive your grandchild who comes to visit you after many years. Except this is no ordinary train station and your grandson is from Mars!

After a few minutes of waiting at Terra Station, the Space Express with a row of hexagonal-shaped capsules stops in front of you. And your beloved grandchild finally comes out, fully grown and probably slightly taller than the average human being after living on Mars.

Of course, this scenario is going to sound far-fetched or look like something out of a sci-fi comic book. But if Japan has something to say about it, it could very well be our reality in the future!

The Japanese are good at many things, but the only thing they have perfected is building trains. From being home to the world’s fastest train to having an extremely efficient high-speed train network, the country certainly has its trains sorted. And now he’s ready to use his expertise to take humans to the Moon and even Mars!

What’s more, they’ve even carefully crafted plans to build a glass habitat structure that duplicates Earth’s gravity, topography, and atmosphere to house us.

Below, we detail the elaborate plans that researchers at Japan’s Kyoto University hope to execute in collaboration with Kajima Construction to revolutionize space travel.

Interplanetary bullet trains

While countries like the United States and the United Arab Emirates actively sought to push human migration to Mars, Japan decided it wanted to do things a little differently. And that’s how they came up with the idea of ​​space trains.

Japanese researchers have developed a proposed interplanetary transport system dubbed “Hexatrack”, which maintains 1G gravity during long-distance travel to mitigate the effects of prolonged exposure to low gravity.

Trains will also possess “Hexacapsules”, which are essentially hexagonal-shaped capsules with a moving device in the middle.

A mini-capsule with a radius of 15 meters will connect the Earth and the Moon, while a larger capsule with a radius of 30 meters will connect the Moon and Mars. And this huge capsule will likely use the kind of electromagnetic technology that Maglev trains in China and Germany use to stay afloat.

The station on the Moon will be called Lunar Station and will use a gateway satellite. The station on Mars will be called Mars Station and will be located on the Martian satellite Phobos. The ground station will be called Terra Station and will be the successor space station to the ISS, the Human Spaceology Center reported.

Space habitat in the shape of a champagne flute

Most space migration plans focus on securing air, water, food, and energy, which are life support infrastructure for human settlements. However, another essential facet largely overlooked is the “transfer of earth’s natural capital, which is the basis of these survival infrastructures on Earth”.

Low gravity is a major concern when it comes to establishing human settlements on the Moon and Mars. It could affect all aspects of human life, including reproduction.

Researchers from Kyoto University and Kajima Construction aim to build ‘The Glass’, a conical artificial gravity living structure, complete with public transport, green spaces and water features, roughly recreating the facilities on Earth.

The conical design of the structure will create artificial gravity capable of generating gravity equivalent to that of the Earth’s environment using the centrifugal force caused by the rotation of the Moon and Mars in space.

Researchers hope to build simplified prototype versions of the Lunaglass and Marsglass by 2050, but Japanese The Asahi Shimbun reported that the final version would take nearly a century to become operational.

What Japan has in store for space habitation are basic technologies that are not in the development plans of other countries and are indispensable for ensuring the realization of human colonization of space at the future, said Yosuke Yamashiki of Kyoto University.


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