Living Better in Space

As we begin to migrate out into space, an interesting change will take place. At first, our concept of how much living space we need will be driven by practical limitations of air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, energy/fuel to move everything, and our supply of building materials. In short order, focus will shift from lifting needed materials up out of the gravity well of a planet to manufacturing needed materials where they will be needed – on site, in space. Mining the surface of the Moon may be the first step, but extracting valuables from asteroids will rapidly eclipse that, simply because of distance and fuel costs.

Once we begin to supply resources from local mining efforts, cost efficiencies improve, profits increase and the local living standard benefits greatly. Empty space is free, solar energy will be cheap, construction materials using regolith and left overs from the mining process will be cheap, labor will be robotic, and the overall cost of building habi-craft occupancy will drop. With increasing wealth and decreasing cost of living, the amount of living space available for each person will soar.

Habi-crafts will be built using scalable principles. Most will use some form of ring structure that turns, creating artifical gravity. The dimensions of radius/diameter, width and height/floors will vary according to purpose and initial population estimates. Once a habi-craft ring is completed and has all the needed infrastructure (shielding, energy, air, water…) a second similar ring can be build adjacent to the first, and then a third and so on, until practical limits of infrastructure dictate building a larger structure rather than expanding the current one.

Small habi-craft will be more like ships than cities and designed to hold hundreds or thousands of occupants, while city sized habi-craft can be scaled for millions of occupants. In either case, it will be possible to plan for several hundred thousand square feet of space per occupant. This is hugely luxurious when compared to occupant-space numbers in Earth based habitats, but not if uninhabited areas of Earth are included. On Earth, we cluster ourselves together in homes that are a few thousand square feet in space, but we also enjoy the “outdoors”, public spaces, and can access wilderness areas if desired. In space, there will be no “outdoors” or wilderness areas, only what we build. The ratio of private to public space will depend upon the community and ownership, but the habi-crafts will always be designed to create a feeling of wide open spaces with a great versatility of scenery.

With cheap and state of the art electronics and software design, habi-crafts in space will also allow for scenery that can be modified in a manner similar to changing a desktop background image today. Large areas can be dedicated to fixed scenery if desired, like: beaches, mountains, forests, gardens, sports arenas, etc. The most wealthy will be able to afford scenery that changes constantly and is designed with exotic tastes.

Asteropolis Cities in Space
Homesteading in the Asteroid Belt
Life in the Asteroid Belt

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