Space Colony Art: NASA’s 1970s Vision for the Future Space Stations

In the 1970′s, NASA Ames Research Center conducted studies which considered the possibilities of humans living in orbiting spaceships. Colonies were artistically designed and a number of futuristic renderings of the concepts were made.


Toroidal Colonies

Population: 10,000

Exterior view.

Exterior view.

Cutaway view, exposing the interior.

Cutaway view, exposing the interior.

Interior view.

Interior view.

Construction along the torus rim.

Construction along the torus rim.

Model of torus colony.

Model of torus colony.



Bernal Spheres

Population: 10,000. The Bernal Sphere is a point design with a spherical living area.

Exterior view

Exterior view

Interior including human powered flight

Interior including human powered flight

Cutaway view of Bernal Sphere.

Cutaway view of Bernal Sphere.

Agricultural modules in cutaway view

Agricultural modules in cutaway view

Construction crew at work on the colony

Construction crew at work on the colony

Model of a Bernal Sphere

Model of a Bernal Sphere



Cylindrical Colonies

Population: Over a million.

Exterior view of a double cylinder colony.

Exterior view of a double cylinder colony.

Interior view looking out through large windows.

Interior view looking out through large windows.

Endcap view with suspension bridge.

Endcap view with suspension bridge.

Eclipse of the sun with view of clouds and vegetation.

Eclipse of the sun with view of clouds and vegetation.

Multiple two-cylinder colonies aimed toward the sun.

Multiple two-cylinder colonies aimed toward the sun.

Art work: Don Davis – via nasa.gov

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