Researchers to develop lunar, martian habitats

Courtesy of Kajima Corp.
A rendering of a lunar habitat to be developed by construction firm Kajima Corp. and Kyoto University’s Human Spaceology Center

Kyoto University’s Human Spaceology Center and Tokyo-based construction firm Kajima Corp. have launched a joint research project to develop human habitats on the moon and Mars with Earth-like gravity.

Due to the significant technical challenges involved, a livable habitat is unlikely to be realized until the latter half of the 21st century, they said.

Gravity on the moon is about one-sixth that on Earth, and Mars’ gravity is about a third of that on our planet. Spending long periods in a low-gravity environment can have adverse physical effects on humans, so the project aims to develop a habitat with artificially created gravity similar to that on Earth.

The envisioned habitat being developed will be a giant glass-like structure about 200 meters in diameter and 200 to 400 meters in height. According to the project team, rotating the structure three times a minute will generate a centrifugal force that creates gravity similar to that on Earth.

The project team envisages creating an Earth-like ecosystem with forests and oceans, transporting animals and plants from Earth.

The researchers also plan to develop a transportation system that will enable people to travel from Earth to the habitats on the moon and Mars.