It sure looks like a lot of fun when we see videos of astronauts floating around in zero-gravity environments. But have you ever considered what prolonged weightlessness does to the human body?
We’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say it’s not pretty. And that means that all manned missions to the Moon, Mars, or anywhere else outside Earth’s gravitational field have an undeniable time limit.
Until we solve the whole gravity problem, permanent colonies outside the world are basically a non-starter.
And despite what a century of science fiction may have led you to believe, artificial gravity only exists in rudimentary experimental forms.
Anyone who has ever taken a ride in a spinning amusement park understands how the force of inertia can imitate the pull of gravity, but to scale this concept up to something large enough to support a decent human colony would a tremendous feat of advanced engineering and an even greater financial investment.
Join two of Japan’s most prestigious organizations.
Per an article from Matt Williams of Universe Today:
The study is a collaboration between Kyoto University and the Kajima Corporation (one of Japan’s oldest and largest construction companies). The announcement was made during a press conference covered by Kansai TV NEWS and shared via their YouTube channel.
The above video shows: aa great habitat where people would essentially be onebe able to work and live in an earth-like environment.
Artificial gravity would be achieved by constructing a huge cone-shaped building that can rotate with enough force and speed to achieve the force needed to simulate Earth’s gravity. This would allow humans to walk, run, jump and – perhaps most importantly – reproduce and give birth on the moon, or perhaps even on the surface of Mars.
But, like Williams reportt points out, this is no mission andannouncement. It’s more of a press realas for a fun research partnership between Kyoto University and the KaJima corporationie.
Takuya Ohnoh, a lead architect with the Kajima Corporation, made that much clear during the video:
Naturallyit’s not technical at everything, butt it is very important invent ideas at this stage.
If I can, I want to go to the moon. More specifically, I want to go to Mars. I wouldnot to realize the concept on the moon in some away in 2050.
Neural Mind: 2050 seems… too optimistic. This idea is super cool and potentially technologically feasible. But there’s no telling how much something like that would cost and its implementation would require several assistive technologies that just don’t exist yet.
These include logistical concerns, such as whether to build the structure piecemeal here on Earth and then come up with a new transportation system to send it to the moon, or create new machines and techniques to facilitate construction in space.
Either way, they will still need to come up with new techniques to assemble the structure on the moon and provide it with enough energy and infrastructure to keep it running.
Aside from that, this feels more like a partnership whose ultimate goal is to inspire the next generation of STEM students and architects than a roadmap.
MIT and NASA probably have a dozen projects like this lying around in varying states of seriousness. And while it’s great to see popular Japanese institutions dabbling in futurism, nothing we see in the video makes us believe this project has longer legs than comparable moonshot ideas.
However, there is also nothing that makes us think not.