Excerpt: ‘spaceDestination’ is an architecture thesis by Debashish Roy from Department of Architecture – Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), that explores space architecture and proposes a space station for the time when humans will be sent beyond Earth to expand life. It addresses the challenge of enhancing living conditions, human mobility, and biological functions in space. The station will serve as a transitional location for upcoming missions, training, and research on the artificial Moon and the gravity of Mars.
Introduction: The space programme was essentially a cold war between space research agencies during its initial phase. It was known as Space Race One. A moon landing occurred as a result. In the second phase, space exploration is attracting the interest of several private companies, like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Rocket Lab. In addition to developing reusable rockets, SpaceX is currently developing starships intended for both Earth-to-Moon space tourism and Mars colonisation.
Space agencies, along with designers, architects, and aerospace engineers, are heading to the Moon and Mars to design and build bases. There might be several bases on Mars and the moon by 2040. After that, they could begin sending humans on a regular basis. This architecture thesis proposes a space station for that era, from which humans will be sent to expand life. The station will serve as a transitional location for upcoming missions, training, and research on the artificial Moon and the gravity of Mars.
The selection of the site was based on two primary factors:
1- Solar Radiation: As the altitude increases, the solar radiation increases as well.
2- Distance factor: Sending humans to Mars or the Moon gets easier as the height increases.
With these factors taken into account, the location is selected at an altitude of 1500 km (or 932.06 mi) above sea level with an orbital inclination of 23.4 degrees. In order to access trans-Lunar and trans-Mars orbits, the Ecliptic plane is chosen.
The entire station will be developed in five sequential phases:
1- The base, which will serve as the axis for future mission staging, will be prepared in the first phase.
2- The system will be expanded to include a Mars gravity ring in the second stage.
3- In the third stage, a space hotel will open to meet the demand for space tourism on a commercial basis.
4- To enhance Phase 1 capacity, another parallel wing of the same structure will be added in the Fourth Stage.
5- The space station will finally take on its complete shape when the demand reaches a certain point and an extended temporary habitation module ring is added.
Several factors need to be taken into account when creating the micro-spaces within the module.
1- From the bottom level to the top level, the radius from the centre decreases.
2- As the radial distance decreases, so does the gravitational force. These events have an impact on the floors arranged within the module.
To ensure safety for large-scale space missions, future space stations must utilise artificial gravity, which is based on rotation. This principle generates a centripetal force, which acts as gravity, by counteracting the centrifugal force that maintains balance in a stable system.
The rotational radius and angular velocity are related to centrifugal acceleration. Because of the potential for motion sickness and the Coriolis effect, higher angular velocities are not recommended. Recent research, however, indicates that people may be able to acclimatise to angular velocities as high as 4 or even 6 RPM. 3 RPM is selected when a rotation’s necessary radius is 100 m to obtain 1 g. Considering the ISS has a truss of 112 metres, a radius of 100 metres is rather realistic.
In this theoretical framework, the centripetal acceleration and the Coriolis effect are added when a person walks from west to east. Consequently, the overall apparent gravity increased. If someone walks in the opposite direction, the effect will be the opposite. The North-South direction is exempt from this particular requirement since it is parallel to the axis of rotation. Because of this unique direction scenario, the functions that require human movement are positioned in the North-South Direction. The East-West Fringe area has comparatively fewer mobile functions.
Water walls provide protection for the sleeping pods. These water walls will guarantee a safe haven and shield human bodies from radiation. It ensures that CO2 is removed and oxygen is circulated properly. An important factor in this aspect is the alternating pattern with the agro spaces.
A proposal has been made for a Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLSS) for the approximately one thousand residents of the station. This experiment was first conducted in Biosphere 2 to compare its state to that of Earth. However, at Moon Palace, it has been tested for four people with a minimum amount of living space and greenery. When comparing this data for 192 people, it is estimated that roughly 10,000 m3 of green space is needed to provide both food and oxygen.
Conclusion: This architecture thesis provides a model for the possible expansion of life beyond Earth. It addresses the challenge of enhancing living conditions, human mobility, and biological functions in space. This project fulfils the potential of serving as a transitional area for future missions, training, and studies on the artificial Moon and the gravity of Mars.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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