The Gateway Foundation’s Von Braun Rotating Station would take advantage of a ring structure to create artificial gravity. (Gateway Foundation Illustration)
Fifty years ago, a Princeton physicist named Gerard O’Neill asked his students to help him come up with a plan for setting up settlements in space.
Just a few years later, O’Neill published the resulting vision for freestanding space colonies as a book titled “The High Frontier” — a book that helped inspire Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ vision of having millions of people living and working in space.
Now the keepers of the “High Frontier” flame at the California-based Space Studies Institute are revisiting O’Neill’s original vision, with an eye toward updating it for the 21st century.
“The fact is, a lot has changed in the last half-century,” Edward Wright, a senior researcher at the Space Studies Institute, said today at the start of a two-day conference presented by the institute at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
The experts and entrepreneurs attending this week’s meeting are surveying concepts that have spun off from the idea of O’Neill habitats, as well as NASA-led initiatives such as the moon-orbiting Gateway and the Artemis effort to send astronauts to the lunar surface …read more