This website includes interests of a lifetime - ranging across nature, outer space, cities and places arising from the imagination. Auxiliary websites flow from the 'portal elsewhere'.




Note: The year at the bottom of each webpage is the year the page was originally created. Minor modifications or updates will not trigger a change. A complete page redesign, such as is occuring with this website will merit a new year.



Space Habitat

Asteroid habitatLife in habitats (includes the terms space colonies, settlements or stations) floating in space has been visualized by scientists and science fiction for a good part of the 20th Century.

Some of these space structures were envisioned as being built entirely out of manmade materials. Others were carved out of asteroids. In 1963 Dandridge Cole suggested hollowing out an ellipsoidal asteroid about 30 km long, rotating it about the major axis to simulate gravity, reflecting sunlight inside with mirrors, and creating on the inner shell a pastoral setting as a permanent habitat for a colony.

Most of the visions in the Wikipedia article on space habitats are far more intriguing than the actual structure constructed in the space above earth's atmosphere. Videos have been created that convey to the viewer a sense of what it could be like to live in one of these space habitats. Orion's Arm is good overall source of possible future space habitats. Mike Combs' Space Habitat FAQ answers a lot of questions about the subject.

Actual Space Station

International space stationOther than the Soviet/Russian Space Station Mir, which fell to earth in a planned de-orbit in 2001, the International Space Station (ISS) is the only significant (weighing more than 100 metric tons) space habitat ever constructed. Neither it nor its precursors were designed to generate artificial gravity by rotation.

The International Space Station now orbiting the earth began construction in 1998. Station assembly completion slated for 2012, far beyond the originally contemplated 2004 completion date. The estimated cost by the ESA is €100 billion for the entire station over 30 years - far beyond original projections. Probably most important, its construction resulted in the relinquishing of alternative paths (moonbase, etc.) into space that those billions could have financed. The ISS is funded until 2020, and may operate until 2028.