Design and analysis of a growable artificial gravity space habitat

Muhao Chen, Raman Goyal, Manoranjan Majji, Robert E. Skelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The goal of this study is to show the feasibility of designing a space habitat that advances the ability of humans to live in space for long periods. We first review the previous work on space explorations and summarized five unsolved fundamental problems: providing gravity, radiation protection, sustainable life support system, a large open space for human physiological and psychological comfort (survivable by professionals in trades other than highly trained astronauts), and a growth strategy to avoid the economic infeasibility of starting with the largest final version of the habitat. We present a detailed design of a rotating shielded habitat system and a growth strategy by repeated addition of new layers, without disturbing the inhabitants of the current habitat. The tensegrity paradigm is used to design the structure and to optimize the mass and cost of the habitat. Then, a detailed discussion of the structural dynamics and attitude control is given. Based on the human needs of temperature, cosmic radiation protection, atmosphere, clean water, food, physical fitness, and mental health, a life support system is demonstrated to show the livable environment under thermal and energy equilibrium. This habitat, space village one, allows a long-term human presence in space such as space tourism, interstellar travel, space mineral mining, Mars colonization, etc.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106147
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts) phase I and phase II projects and by Texas A&M University 's T3: Texas A&M Traids for Transformation. Anthony Longman, Joel Sercel and Craig Peterson are acknowledged for technical discussions. The authors are grateful to Prof. Robert D. Brown, Dr. Jane Stevstov, Yuling Shen, You Joung Kim, and Tyler Bryant for their helpful comments. The 3D printed model of the space habitat depicted in the Figure 6 photograph is provided courtesy of Anthony Longman.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Masson SAS


  • Adaptive structures
  • Artificial gravity
  • Space habitat
  • Sustainable life support system
  • Tensegrity systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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