These rotating space colonies could be your future home
5:45

These rotating space colonies could be your future home

Science
Tonight, we've wrecked this planet and it's time for plan B. Space colonies, but how do we build a civilization out of incredibly thin air? How will we survive in a habitat that's constantly spinning? And when half of us live in the sky, which poor suckers get stucked down here on Earth? Am Klay Riley for CNET welcome to watch this space.From the cnet's Studios in Sydney, this is your guide to everything on earth you need to know about space and tonight, escape from Planet Earth. Everything is kind of gone to hell and we need to Etch A Sketch this planet but frankly the wait times for a new earth on Amazon are like seriously long.. So what do you do when overpopulation, climate change, crippling poverty, drought, fuel shortages, food shortages, and the extinction of thousands of animal species start become a real problem? You just quietly pack your bags, walk out the front door, and move to space. Space colonies have been a stable of science fiction for years, the Fifth Element gave us [INAUDIBLE] in paradise, Passengers gave us patriarchy in cryosleep. And Total Recall gave us whatever the hell this is, but now this science fiction could become a reality, not the baby torso part. Now billionaire like Jeff Bezos are proposing that we go to space and we go there to stay. It time to go back to the moon this time to stay. [APPLAUSE] That's right. Blue Origin wants to get us off this planet and out into futuristic sky colonies floating amongst the stars. Bezos this idea isn't new. We've seen similar colonies thought up by some of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. In 1929 scientists John Desmond Banal proposed a design for a sphere about 10 miles across that could rotate in space to simulate gravity. In the 1970s scientists Gerard O'Neill took that idea one step further with the O'Neill cylinder a massive space tube once again rotating to create artificial gravity. It was designed to be used as an entire Habitat for Humanity in outer space. With housing parks and agriculture and of course those unending space views that this kind of real estate really offers. NASA even picked up on this idea with the Taurus colony, a ring shaped outpost designed by a bunch of Stanford students on a summer program. Well I did last summer's workout had to cool myself with frozen poptarts but anyways. Jeff Bezos has taken inspiration from these designs, specifically from Jon O'Neil in the colonies he wants to build. In Bagnes mind each cylinder would be more than 100 miles long, hold more than a million people and would be kitted out with high speed transport, agricultural areas and even drones. He also wants to create recreational worlds with no, No gravity, so you could go flying, and even national park tubes. Man, I pity the guy who has to sit down and have a conversation with a moose about how he's gonna get strapped to a rocket and flown into space, delivered to Sky Park, and entertain the ultra rich. Because you'd better believe then they're deciding which of the world's roughly seven billion people are gonna live on the first space tube, they're not gonna choose the poor people living in the slums of Brazil or the single parents livings in the projects. I've seen Elysium, I know how this works. Main Jody Foster is only gonna choose the pretty people and the people with good hand-eye coordination. And the rest of us chumps are gonna be stuck down here trying to work out how to cool ourselves with frozen pop tart. But if you are one of the Pop Top people and you don't get a ticket to Blue Origin's sky tube, then that's not your only chance to get off this hell rock. You might wanna try your luck with SpaceX. Elon Musk's space company has big plans to head to Mars. And because we're not exactly talking about a trip up to the shops for milk when we head to Mars, living there is going to mean terraforming an unfamiliar planet. And using the resources available to start a new life there. We'll need to build our own self sustaining habitats, grow our own food and deal with the crippling isolation that comes with living on a planet where we have no access to Ru Paul's Drag Race. Shantay, no way. So there is a third option. NASA's moon 2024 plan. The space agency wants to build a gateway in orbit around the moon. They'll use it to get missions to the moon quickly and as a base to launch other missions deeper into space. The thing all three of these missions have in common is they require spaceflight to be much cheaper than it has been in the past. And they'll need us to use resources sourced from space once we're up there. That'll mean making rocket launchers cheaper by using re-usable rockets and utilizing resources like the frozen ice under the surface of the moon which will give us hydrogen for fuel and oxygen to breathe. For its plan, Blue Origin plans to get down to the moon using its Blue Moon Lunar Lander. The 3.6 metric tonnes spacecraft will soft land on the lunar surface. Carrying payloads to set up infrastructure on the moon, it navigates using a star tracker and transmits data back to earth through a laser, its optical communication system. And the whole thing is fueled by liquid hydrogen. And thanks to the water under the surface of the moon, there's plenty of hydrogen for refueling. Of course, all of this is incredibly ambitious. While Blue Origin is working on Blue moon now Bezos says the plan to get humans living in giant space tubes in the sky is a multi-generational effort. So if he's not going to build the space tubes who is? Not me. These kids in the front rows. You guys are gonna do this and your children are gonna do this. Typical Silicon Valley, come up with a cool idea then make everybody else do the work. All right. That's it for this week's edition of watch this space. We're gonna be taking a short break to work on some cool projects to bring you. But in the meantime, you can get all your crazy futurism news from our YouTube channel and from cnet.com I'm Claire Riley for CNET. Good night and Godspeed.

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