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An evolution of the great space Stations that are in orbit around the Earth, are the space colonies. According to Gerard O'Neill, the most famous designer of these structures, a typical space colony could be made up of a huge 6km straight tube. in diameter and 25 km. of length.
In order to create an artificial gravity, the tube would be rotated around the longitudinal axis itself. The architecture of this floating city in space, which according to O'Neil could house hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, is very unique. Suppose that the tube is sectioned with a plane normal to its longitudinal axis: we will find three valleys (which reproduce a mountainous land landscape, rich in vegetation and dotted with houses), separated by three empty spaces in which the walls of the tube are transparent so that sunlight can enter. Inside the tube an atmosphere similar to Earth's would be created, including clouds and vapors. An inhabitant of one of the valleys would see his own strip of land spread along the entire tube; on both sides the space landscape would emerge, and on its head, the other two strips of land with the inhabitants there suspended with their heads down. One of the peculiarities of this colony would be that, rising in the air towards the center of the tube, artificial gravity would decrease and therefore a man with a simple pair of wings would fly.
An orbital space colony project was developed in 1975 by a group of scientists, technicians and economists, under the auspices of NASA and Stanford University of California. It is a wheel-shaped structure, or "bull", with a diameter of 1.5 km, which rotates on its central axis to create a state of artificial gravity. The light necessary for the life of the "settlers" and for their activities would be provided by a huge circular fluctuating mirror on the structure, which would make the sun's rays converge towards other mirrors that, in turn, would reflect them inside through large windows of 30 meters. In addition to houses, factories, schools, hospitals, businesses, etc., the colony would have a large automatic installation for the treatment of minerals extracted from the lunar soil.
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