CENTURION SPACE

SETTLEMENT

-OUR GATEWAY TO SPACE-

 

A Space Settlement Design Proposal by:

Azhar Syed Azmi

Vienna International School, Grade 10

 

2001 Grand Prize Winner of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest

 

Advised by Levente Felvinczi of

Vienna International School, Austria


TABLE OF CONTENT 

 




INTRODUCTION 

 With the conclusion of the 20th Century behind our backs, it can be clearly seen that the century had good times and bad times. Even if it had been the most controversial century ever in the history of mankind, the technological advancements achieved by humans significantly made our mere dreams alter into challenging goals. Amongst the dreams man has pondered upon, creating a settlement outside the perimeters of earth has always been thought of as impossible. The physical barriers between earth and the stars seem so close to breaking, yet so far. It was not until the invention of high altitude rocketry by William H. Goddard that space exploration became plausible. As the science of rocketry has been continuously advanced and modernized, humans were able to send objects into space by the second half of the 20th Century. Shortly afterwards, humans flew to space, walked on the moon, and built a space station. It is clear the next step for mankind is to set up a permanent base somewhere in outer space. The creation of Centurion, a space settlement orbiting around L5 for 8,000 people would become the greatest feat produced by the hands of man – it would materialize the dream of countless generations from all corners of the world. Centurion would in effect be the star product of the 21st century by the world, and symbolize a united effort to promote technological feats for the good of not only a few selected countries, but of all mankind. The economical and technological advantages of having a permanent human presence in space would entail and enhance a more prosperous era on earth – the era of space exploitation. The development of space can be seen as the next stage of human evolution, as for the first time in history people are able to develop, manufacture and maintain a confined environment in an inhabitable area. Not only will Centurion be economically advantageous; it will immortalize mankind’s dignified spirit in an endeavor that will captivate the world scientifically and economically. The time has come for mankind to break its natural barriers and confined limits - the time has come for mankind to embark into the New Frontier – space. The time has come to embark the challenge of creating Centurion. 

 

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SPACE

 However much space seems a harsh and lifeless habitat, it also provides significantly valuable resources that can be used to facilitate earth’s needs. Space is seemingly featureless, but actually consists of numerous hills and valleys of gravitation. With the knowledge of space by extensive research, it was concluded that space is impossible to live in without development of settlements, due to an absence of gravity, food, water, air and an atmosphere. There are also the facts that the temperature of space is near 0 Kelvin, and that there are dangerous levels of radiation from the sun and from other celestial bodies. Space is generally an empty dangerous and lifeless place, and so in living in such a location, a confined self-sufficient settlement is necessary. The environment of such a settlement has to also be confined to befit humans, and in doing so the environment has to be as earth-like as possible. Centurion provides all of these factors, but also takes advantage of space’s positive factors, such as the usage of micro-gravity in manufacturing and the conversion of valuable sunlight into cheap, clean and bountiful energy for use. Centurion also provides the considerations of the psychological and physiological standards that humans require in a creative, qualitative and conservative manner.

 

THE TOPOGRAPHY OF SPACE

 The location of Centurion is situated in Libration point 5, or L5 (figure 1). L5 is a shallow gravity valley that exists in between the earth-moon system. Libration points provide a stable equilibrium for orbiting objects revolving around them. Just as the deep gravity well of earth provides a stable equilibrium for the moon to orbit with, L5 would provide a stable equilibrium for Centurion to revolve around. It is advantageous to maintain Centurion in the stable equilibrium created by L5 because it would entitle the fact that Centurion would not be able to ‘wander off’ into other parts of space. The position of Centurion within the gravity well of L5 would hence maintain a fixed relation with the point. If it is displaced in any direction, Centurion will always return to its former location. L5 is situated at equal distance from earth and the moon. Centurion would orbit L5 while accompanying the moon and earth’s orbit around the sun. 

 Apart from the positive ideals that come with attaining a stable equilibrium around L5, the cost of maintaining Centurion is also considerably lowered due to it’s geographic position near the moon and earth. L5 provides the most suitable point in which productivity and cost of imports and exports, both from the moon and earth, are crucially lower than for other libration points. Taking into effect the enormous gap of cost to transport materials from the moon and earth, it is clearly understood that the moon is an important center for valuable resources such as oxygen, silicon and titanium, which Centurion requires. The cost of transporting materials and humans from earth exceeds that of transporting things from the moon mainly because of the difference in gravity, and the lack of atmosphere on the moon. As earth is a more massive body than the moon, it also has a higher gravity – six times that of the moon. The energy needed to escape such gravity is then also high in comparison to the moon (figure 2). To provide this massive amount of energy, the money needed surmounts that of the moon’s costs to transport materials. It is for this reason that Centurion relies massively on the moon for resources that cannot be found in space, even if such materials are available on earth. There is also the fact that the moon is an untapped resource, while earth is a highly competitive place where resources are being consumed rapidly. The Mass Driver, which will be situated in mining areas on the moon, has the unique ability to send materials into space without the use of chemical reactions. This further lowers the cost of transporting materials to and from Centurion. No fuel propellant is needed, but the Mass Driver instead uses electricity to create magnetic fields to accelerate cargoes containing goods into space. This invention is only possible due to the moon’s weak gravity.

 

STRUCTURAL DESIGN

 Centurion comprises of four main geodesic spheres, a zero gravity heavy manufacturing area, and a spaceport directly south of the micro-gravity heavy manufacturing center. (figure 3). Tubular links, connect these structures to make Centurion a cohesive central structure. In protecting the inhabitants of Centurion from high levels of radiation emitted from the sun, three meters of regolith, or lunar soil, covers the four main ‘blocks’ and the linkways that connect them. The regolith blocks radiation from entering the settlement due to its tire-like shape, which covers most of the structures of Centurion. Because of the heavy weight the lunar soil holds, it will not revolve like Centurion does to create gravity. The regolith ‘tire’ is a stable non-rotating mass, which is located around the maximum width of the four main rotating geodesic domes. In addition, the regolith ‘tire’ has solar panels on the top of it to absorb sunlight and convert it into energy utilized in Centurion. Heavy manufacturing takes place directly south of the central non-rotating dome, as the center of Centurion experiences zero gravity. The absence of gravity is used to the advantage of Centurion’s industry income, as many expensive items can be made that cannot be manufactured on earth.

 Because the four sectors are separated, each of the domes is able to maintain a different atmosphere, therefore creating various climates. Atmosphere is created for each individual geodesic dome, and therefore the climate and air mixture of each dome can be completely different. By creating a variety of climates, the people living in Centurion have a psychological atmosphere similar to earth. To provide a healthy environment, the temperature of residential and commercial areas range from 20C to 24, and a relative humidity of about 40%. These values are similar to earth’s atmosphere. Although compartimentation let’s Centurion have the ability to have separate climates, the climates of the four sectors will stay about the same, to make humans as comfortable as possible. The main use of compartimentation is in case debris penetration or if an imbalance is developed in the ecosystem. If any of these two factors occur in one dome settlement, the other three domes can be ‘shut’ so as not to spread the disorder. Each domed settlement is independent of the other domed settlements, and therefore all four settlements are self sufficient, including the provisions of food and water supply. Another main use of compartimentation is with agricultural areas. Agricultural compartments have a very different atmosphere than that of residential and commercial compartments, as 24-hour light is provided and a higher concentration of carbon dioxide is given. This is used to maximize the growth of plants, thus increasing the efficiency of the agricultural output. The carbon dioxide levels and the amount of light supplied vary according to different species of plants, although they all generally use a high amount of carbon dioxide and light.

 

 

Volume m

Gravity g

Air composition :Oxygen Nitrogen kt

Temperature K Humidity %

Utilization

Fortunessa

4.7 x 107

1

12 ; 17.5

295 K, 

40% Humidity

Residential/ Commercial Area

Solera

4.7 x 107

1

12 ; 17.5

296 K 
40% Humidity

Residential/ Commercial Area

Argento

4.7 x 107

1

12 ; 17.5

297 K

42% Humidity

Residential/ Commercial Area

Kejora

4.7 x 107

1

12 ; 17.5

298 K

42% Humidity

Residential/ Commercial Area

Telstra HM Center

8 x 106

0

8; 11.7

295 K

41% Humidity

Heavy Manufacturing Center

Pegasus Space Port/ Centuplex

4.7 x 107

0

8 ; 11.7

294 K

41% Humidity

Space docking center, recreational/ tourism area, research center

C.S.S Linkway System

12 x 107

1

15 ; 22.0

297 K

41% Humidity

Transportation route, Tourism/Administration area, control center

 

 Gravity in Centurion is provided by the continuous rotation of the outer ring, which compromises the four geodesic-domed settlements and the C.S.S Linkway System. The continuous rotation that affects this outer ring establishes a centrifugal force that mimics earth’s gravity. This artificial gravity is crucial in creating an earth-like environment in which humans can survive and contend with. The rotation of Centurion is the most feasible and economical way to provide artificial gravity. As can be seen in the table, gravity on the four main structures is similar to earth. As the centrifugal force only affects objects in the perimeters of the rotation generated, the Centurion Air Terminal and Centraplex experiences zero gravity. Zero gravity, or micro-gravity, creates a weightless affect that humans cannot experience on earth. Due to the constant presence of gravity amongst the natural world, humans have not evolved to cope with the absence of gravity in space. In tests that have been conducted by NASA and other aerospace organizations, humans can experience nausea, disillusions, abnormal blood distribution and weaker bones while in zero gravity. Without gravity, the human brain is not able to maintain functioning procedures, at least until the human adapts itself in the environment. With the impossibility to live in zero gravity, the factor of providing artificial gravity is essential and necessary in Centurion. The perception of zero gravity in space is not always negative, as there are major economical benefits that derive from the absence of gravity. Heavy objects become weightless, and movement is only restricted by inertia. Therefore heavy, large masses do not require the expensive supports used on earth. Impossible manufacturing processes on earth will be an important revenue producer for Centurion, as its heavy industry sector is located in micro gravity. Transportation will also be of advantage to zero gravity because significantly less energy is required to travel and transport things around space. It is also understood that there is a possibility of humans being able to adapt to micro gravity, as humans have always been able to readapt to new environments on earth. In conclusion, the docks and the heavy manufacturing area of Centurion are situated in the central sphere (where there is no gravity) because of the above-mentioned advantages.

 Pseudo gravity is provided by the continuous rotation of Centurion. Centurion will rotate at a rate of 1 rotation per minute. The speed of rotations is selected because of the effect of the Coriolis force. The Coriolis force depends upon both the speed of motion and its direction relative to the axis of rotation, which are factors pseudo gravity fail to correct. Only the sensation of weight is given by a centrifugal force. The Coriolis force can disorient the perception and vision of a human’s eyesight. It can confuse the mind and cause mental damage unto it. Although the Coriolis force only creates mild symptoms, the limitation of one rotation per minute limits the force to acceptable levels in Centurion.

 The volumes of each major structure are as given in the table: a total of 1.9 x 108 for the four major settlements (Fortunessa, Solera, Argento, and Kejora), and 12 x 107 for the C.S.S Linkway System. The energy usage of Centurion is 13.1 kW per person a day, which brings total consumption of electricity to 104.8 MW, including for agricultural, sanitation and other processes. The air compositions of all structures are similar to the air composition of earth, with the mass of nitrogen at a ratio of 1.26 towards oxygen (there is one gram of oxygen for every 1.26 grams of nitrogen). The main use of having earth-like atmospheric conditions is to provide a safe psychological and physiological haven for humans. To provide light in all structures, mirrors surrounding the central sphere reflect sunlight onto the surface of the four geodesic domes and the C.S.S. Linkway System (figure 4). The sunlight that reaches the surface of the structures is passed through chevrons that absorb harmful gamma rays (figure 5). The light that finally goes through the structures after being filtered by chevrons shines from the ‘sky’ of the settlements. The ‘sky’ refers to the ceilings of the settlement, which are conditioned to look similar to natural skies. This process of providing sunlight to the four settlements is simple, economical, and harmless. To regulate a night and day cycle, the mirrors reflecting light to the ceiling of the four settlements can be turned at angles, therefore providing a range of light shades that can mimic the amount of light shown at different times of the day on earth. For example, the amount of light entering the four settlements can be at a maximum at 12 o’clock in the day, and little light during the night cycle from 7PM to 5AM. A little less light than noon can be provided in the afternoon, perhaps at 5PM. Lighting will also be provided with the use of fiber optics, which is mainly applied in the underground facilities of the four settlements. Electricity is provided by external solar panel structures that are on the regolith shield. The abundant supply of pure sunlight provides Centurion with cheap, bountiful and eco-friendly energy that will also prove to be a valuable export. 

 

FABRICATION TECHNIQUES

 In providing a safe settlement for the citizens of Centurion, materials used in external and internal structures are strong and reliable. Aluminum, titanium, iron, silicon and aluminum alloy are the main materials used in Centurion, and all materials are abundant on the moon. All major external structures are made of titanium and aluminum alloy, while internal structures are made of aluminum alloy, aluminum, titanium and iron. Solar cells, windows, and electronic components are made of silicon. The regolith tire is a basic donut-shaped aluminum structure, and is covered with 3 meters of regolith. The 5 geodesic domes are made of strong titanium, and aluminum alloy. Within the many triangles that complement the whole geodesic dome, titanium is used as ‘bars’ that connect the nods where analogous triangle points meet. Aluminum alloy comprises of the rest of the geodesic domes, hence is used in covering the triangle areas regularly crossed by titanium bars (figure 6). To reduce stress for the shell of the geodesic domes used in Centurion, there are three identical layers of the triangularly patterned shells. These take into account that the shells become smaller as they approach the center of the domes (figure 7). The use of a triple shell is advantageous because it is not safe to have only one barrier separating a pressurized area and an area not pressurized. If there were a breach in the sole barrier, draconian damages would be inflicted upon the structure due to the rapid change of atmosphere. The geodesic domes used in Centurion have three protective layers, therefore limiting the chances of a breach or damage inflicted upon the shell. If damage is inflicted, repairs can be swiftly executed before further damage endangers the habitat on the geodesic dome. 

 In conclusion, materials used in Centurion have to withstand stress caused by the centrifugal force, stress caused by atmospheric pressure, and thermal stress. The ring shape of the settlement, in addition to the 8 spokes that link the ring to the center, will withstand the stress caused by the centrifugal force due to its sheer strength and careful design. Centrifugal forces are present in Centurion because of the rotating masses. The spokes interconnect Centurion to formulate it as a cohesive mass united within the perimeters it uses. To confront the stress caused by internal atmospheric pressure, the triple shell wall compartment gradually reduces pressure to reduce the stress created. Therefore, pressure levels do not have huge difference between a single barrier, which would create enormous atmospheric pressure. Instead, the three barriers present in the shell of the geodesic domes will withstand atmospheric pressure stress in three steps. Thermal stress occurs when a heat gradient develops, causing the material to bend or expand. To mitigate this natural reaction, the triangles that cover the geodesic domes have flexible joints in each three points, causing the geodesic dome as a whole to be slightly resilient and flexible. The numerous joints are flexible enough to be able to minimize the chances of cracks and bores within triple shells.

 The solar radiation in space is very harmful to humans, due to the absence of a protective atmosphere to block dangerous rays. The intensity of solar radiation in space is 1390 Watts of sunlight, which is almost twice the maximum of 747 Watts experienced on earth. There is 7.5 times more sunlight in space than on an average area on earth. Other than harmful rays, the sun also emits damaging solar flares, in a way yet inexplicable. At times, areas of the sun store up vast amounts of energy, which it releases in a violent and almost explosive manner. The energy is released through the chromosphere and into the corona, whence it escapes as a ripple in the solar wind. As electromagnetic waves are involved, electronic devices may be damaged if the energy ever reaches objects liable to be damaged. Objects that can be damaged include satellites, space shuttles, and solar panels. Due to the dangerously high radiation levels, Centurion is protected with the use of mass shielding. The protection given by 3 meters of regolith successfully absorbs enough radiation, so the radiation level is roughly similar to the amount received on earth. As the tire-shaped protective barrier is not connected to the rotating area of Centurion, the settlement uses a magnetic force to stay centered in the protection system. Centurion thus will not collide with the regolith tire, and will be infinitely in a stable position with the protection system. With the use of the protective system, the radiation that passes through into the domes and tubes will have radiation levels similar to the average amount that reaches the surface of earth. To absorb the high amount of rays, directly above the settlement of the domes and tubes chevrons are adopted. Although chevrons absorb sunrays, they also let light pass through to the settlement in a specially designed manner (figure 5). After light passes through the chevrons, the radiation level of sunlight reaches 0.5 rem/yr (the average radiation level on earth), and the harmless sunlight transcends through multi-layer glass. The use of multi-layer glass is to protect the settlement from the many various dangers, as well as providing a precaution to possible disasters. Each of the four-layered glasses contributes different properties with which to protect the inhabitants of Centurion. The first glass layer reduces thermal stress levels in the settlement, the second provides a mechanical advantage in case of accidents, and the third layer forms a barrier against electromagnetic waves emitted from the sun (figure 10). 

 Energy in Centurion is, as mentioned, provided solely with the beneficial use of solar panels. The total energy use includes the utilization of solar illumination for living areas, the agricultural areas, and basic electricity for various facilities and areas. This amount of energy is feasibly generated predominantly because of the copious supply of pure sunlight and the large amount of space in which solar panels can be positioned. To generate this amount of energy, 804960 m2 of solar panel area is used, in addition to producing a surplus amount of energy in case of emergencies and unnatural shortages.  

Solar Energy Values

 

Energy use per Capita in Centurion

13.1 kW

Total Energy Use in Centurion

104.8 MW

Solar Panel Area

804,960 m2

Intensity of Solar Radiation per Sq. Meter in Space

1390 W

Intensity of Solar Radiation per Sq. Meter on Earth (maximum)

747 W

 

 Centurion is divided into two main divisions - the rotating structures and the non-rotating structures. The rotating structures consist of the four geodesic domes (Fortunessa, Solera, Argento and Kejora), the torus that connects the domes, and the eight tubes that connect the rotating division to the central sphere. The non-rotating division is composed of the central sphere (Centuplex), Pegasus Space Port, and the Telstra HM Center. If population growth or industrial expansion occurs in the forthcoming years after Centurion is created, domes can be built around the existing torus (figure 11) to cater to increased needs. Slight growth can be conditioned with terrace ‘expansions’ within the four geodesic domes. The terraces would provide land for housing or other necessities that are in demand. 

 Robots due to many reasons do the construction of the major structures of Centurion, which include the triple shell of the domes, significant buildings and facilities, and cables. Centurion introduces a way of automation for construction techniques with which robots have an overwhelmingly huge task. For example, large robot arms (figure 12) are used to transport and construct external and internal structures, crawling robots for mounting inner and outer shells, and fast robots are used to transport goods around Centurion. Automated robots are used for repetitive and dangerous tasks due to the expensive cost of human labor. As human workers will have to be taken from distant earth, the cost is not justifiable for jobs that can be done by robots. The large amount physical dangers robots are prone to in work proves to be a risk to humans, and so as human lives are more valuable than robots, they are used in dangerous fields. Robots are also used in accomplishing repetitive tasks, because humans feel less inclined to work in psychologically boring conditions, which will affect the way they work. Efficiency is also a key that robots hold, due to their lack of emotions. In short, robots contribute a large percentage to the labor being done in Centurion due to their aspects as cheap, efficient, reliable, user-friendly and strong. Not only are robots able to work in the most dangerous of environments, they also only need electrical energy to function properly. Humans, on the other hand, depend upon food, water, oxygen and comfort to work efficiently. In conclusion, automated robots present a large portion of the workforce because of their many advantages, as well as because humans are in short supply. Humans are employed to carry specific tasks such as the control of robots, the management of facilities such as recycling and manufacturing, and in the observation of any damages and dangers associated with Centurion. Humans are also tasked to control communication systems, and to assists robots in emergency breaches or breakdowns.  

 

INTERIOR CONFIGURATION

 The spheres that make up a significant amount of Centurion’s habitable area are FortunessaSoleraArgentoKejora and the smaller sphere Centuplex. Centuplex is the central area of Centurion, and is thus the center for inner communication systems and the transport of goods and people. The surface conditions of each of the five domes vary slightly, but all have atmospheres that make humans feel comfortable. Air compositions are healthy and comfortable in all spheres. All these aspects contribute into making Centurion a relaxed, comfortable and safe settlement both for permanent citizens and tourists. Apart from the spheres, all other areas of Centurion also have comfortable atmosphere for optimum ease.

 Within Centurion, the location of volumes for residential areas is in the four rotating geodesic domes (figure 13) (Fortunessa, Solera, Argento, and Kejora respectively) because the domes possess the most suitable areas to house people. Advantages include the simple organization and maintenance for the similar domes, the abundant space, and the straightforward transportation routes for each of the domes. These factors justify their location as the area in which people live in. Inside the four rotating geodesic domes, educational, commercial, manufacture and agricultural volumes are also situated. By positioning these volumes in the domes, the people of Centurion can reach needs such as education, food and medical services with great ease, as the ‘Centurians’ live in the same domes. Tourism areas include half the torus (figure 13) connecting the domes in a ring shape. The tourism areas will provide the influx of tourist with recreational and entertainment areas, while also providing hotels for their stay. The citizens of Centurion are also able to enjoy the recreational and entertainment facilities. The other half of the torus is used for administration volumes (figure 13). This includes organization headquarters, and community centers. Manufacturing without gravity is done in the Telstra HM Center, where the absence of gravity makes heavy manufacturing easier. This non-rotating area is directly south of Centuplex (figure 13). Further south of the Telstra HM Center is the Pegasus Space Port, a docking facility for space shuttles and ‘trains’ carrying goods (figure 13). The fact that Pegasus Space Port (PSP) is the farthest area from the main Centurion structure lessens the probability of hazardous crashes by space shuttles with Centurion. 

 The volumes for water systems, power systems, power grids, sewage systems, communication systems and computer network systems are all underground, to provide safety and space for people on Centurion (shown on various cross-section maps). The transportation system of Centurion, as well as the numerous stations, are above ground to relieve the high density of buildings under the surface of Centurion. Although the various systems interconnect Centurion (figure 13+14), the systems are also designed to be able to operate independently in each dome. In effect, the transportation system designed for use in Centurion is redundant, therefore providing higher levels of safety. 

 

INFRASTRUCTURE AND MAINTENANCE

 As shown on the various maps of the different geodesic domes (appendix), all volumes for agricultural-related areas are underground. This includes areas for farms, harvesting, drying and processing before foodstuffs can be sold at commercial areas above ground. The area used for agriculture has a higher than average temperature, as well as high levels of carbon dioxide. The amount of light that illuminates the agricultural area is intense to accommodate excellent levels of plant growth. As the atmosphere is completely pre-planned and designed, Centurion’s agricultural area is significantly more efficient than average farms on earth. The areas used for drying and processing are also in subterranean levels, located above the agricultural farmland. These two areas have environments similar to the rest of Centurion, due to the fact that plants are not grown in the areas. In addition, drying and processing areas are working areas for humans, who need comfortable environments to live in. 

 As stated previously, energy in Centurion comes in three forms: Electricity, thermal heat, and solar illumination. Electricity is generated with the use of solar cells on top of the regolith tire, thermal heat is produced by the solar furnace, and solar illumination is provided with the use of mirrors to redirect sunlight (figures 3 and 13). Solar Illumination and thermal energy are not created with electricity, because a considerable amount of energy is wasted due to the energy conversion. The use of mirrors and a solar furnace for these two essential needs makes the energy system of Centurion more reliable and efficient. If electricity is converted for the various energy requirements, complex power grids and heaters will have to be implemented, therefore augmenting the complexity and cost. This is not the case for Centurion, due to the high usage of mirrors and a solar furnace. Power plants are present in each dome, albeit underground to provide safety to ‘Centurians’. Within Centurion, each dome with its neighboring tube is capable of providing energy for another part of Centurion in case of emergency. 

 

COMMUNICATION SYSYTEMS

 Internal communication in Centurion comes in many forms. Telephone cables, wireless equipment, and video connections are all used to help people communicate with each other efficiently. A Centurion computer network is also implemented to help information technology become connected throughout Centurion. All of these different kinds of services provide audio and visual communication within Centurion for the general use of the people. In addition, a secure network is used by administration authorities in case information that is not meant for the public is present. For emergencies, light and sound warning systems are introduced throughout all parts of Centurion. The use of both light and sound helps warn everyone, including blind and deaf people, of imminent danger towards their lives. 

 External communication helps Centurion trade information with Earth, bases on the Moon, mines on asteroids, and space ships that is incoming, outgoing, or just passing by. Electromagnetic and radio waves are used in the process. To collect and receive information from outside Centurion, satellite dishes are operated. The diversity of ways in which to communicate, both internally and externally, help reduce redundancy on a single form of communication. This in turn helps Centurion communicate efficiently. 

 

INTERNAL TRANSPORTATION

 The internal transportation system operated within Centurion is simple and efficient. The major transportation route connecting the four geodesic domes around the torus is a multi-lane conveyor belt that moves at various speeds (figure 15). Similar to conveyor belts used in airports, the ones in Centurion will transport people at a speed they wish to travel at. The four belts are adjacent to each other and run at different speeds (The Conveyor Belt System – CBS, is shown on various maps). Underneath the conveyor belts, goods are transported with the use of ‘carriers’ connected to the underside of the conveyor belts (also shown in figure 15). The carriers use magnetic power to transport goods in steel packages. Due to the relatively small size of Centurion, conveyor belts are a simple solution to make traveling around Centurion harmless and trouble-free. Inside the four rotating geodesic domes, the main use of transportation (aside from walking) is the use of four-wheeled vehicles (figure 16). The vehicles use human force or electric motors. Either energy providers are optional because the use of human pedaling promotes exercise, while in steep areas electric motors are a better option. Either way, these simple vehicles are comfortable and safe. They also reduce the amount of energy usage, therefore scaling-down the cost of Centurion. The pedal-powered vehicles also reduce the dangers of vehicle crashes due to its relatively safe speed and absence of harmful chemicals. Up to four people can be transported in the internal vehicles.

 Centurion’s imports are brought in to the Pegasus Port Facility, where all imports and exports go through (figure 14). From the port, distribution of goods for the people of Centurion follows various patterns, depending on the point of use. If, for example, goods are to be brought to a house in one of the rotating domes, the goods will have to be brought from the port to Centuplex. From Centuplex, the goods are transported via one of the spokes directly to the center of the designated dome. Sequentially, the goods are brought underground to the dome’s robot route system. The goods are then given to a robot, which transports them to the exact home through the numerous underground tunnels. Coincidentally, the robot route system is not only used to transport goods to houses, but also to collect garbage. Robots are used at a major scale in Centurion because of the numerous benefits they bring. For goods to that are transported from one rotating dome to another, the conveyor belt is introduced as a goods-transporter. The spokes are not part of the conveyor belt system because of their lack of stable gravity. Due to this, large square elevators are used to transport both people and goods (see map of spoke elevator in appendix). 

 In summary, the internal transportation system does not use any complex structures due to the confusion they bring, and also because of the relatively small size of the settlement. Robots aid in transporting goods, because they are efficient and reliable, but also because humans are only liable to do extremely important tasks. Eco-friendly vehicles used within domes also add to the simplicity of the transportation system, therefore reducing energy costs and production.  

 

WATER AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

 The people of Centurion require a healthy and abundant supply of water. Due to the lack of liquid water in space, production of water is extremely vital and imperative. In addition, water is minimally wasted due to the complete recycling of gases, liquids and solids. Water is not only important for the body; it is also essential for sanitation. Part of the water is obtained from the atmosphere by the process of condensation (figure 17). Before it is drinkable, ultra-violet equipment purifies the water of germs and viruses. Plants provide a generous supply of air condensate, justifying the high amount of trees present in Centurion. Water is also provided with the recycling of liquid waste. Water purification facilities process liquid waste and produce the maximum amount of clean, recycled water as possible. Recycled water is used for watering plants, sanitation purposes, and also for drinking. Each dome has its own water management system, with individual recycling and waste treatment facilities. In case of emergencies, each dome has the capacity of providing clean water for another dome, therefore lessening the danger of water shortages. 

 Household and industrial waste is managed with the use of sewage systems and efficient waste management facilities. Each dome has its individual waste treatment system, and therefore is independent of other areas of Centurion. In each dome, a sewage system covers every inhabited floor, including underground levels. Sewage pipes bring waste from structures towards the central waste treatment center. From the waste treatment center, purified water is released into separate water pipes that are also connected into every individual structure in the domes. With the combination of recycled and condensed water, each dome in Centurion is capable of providing water for itself as well as for another dome in case of an emergency. 

 

ATMOSPHERE AND WEATHER CONTROL

 The four rotating domes, along with the central dome, each have slightly different climates to facilitate the growth of a diversity of plants and fruits. This effectively promotes variety to emulate the climatic conditions of different places on earth. As shown in the structure table, the temperature fluctuates within 10K, and the humidity varies by 10%. The air composition is similar in all structures, but is still slightly different.

 The atmosphere is provided and controlled by air pumps that regulate the air composition of Centurion. By regulating the air composition, the pressure of each structure can also be controlled. The control of both pressure and air composition creates a man-made atmosphere for each structure, according to it’s atmospheric needs. Nitrogen and oxygen, including other gases, are supplied and managed by air pumps and computer systems. The computer systems analyze and manage the supply and demand of air composition in each section of Centurion.

 Climate in Centurion accounts for the humidity and temperature of each section of Centurion. Humidity is created by the managed provision of humidifiers and with the amount of trees planted within each section. Although the humidity of each structure does not reach extreme levels, it varies diversely. Temperature is controlled with the use of heaters. The amount of heaters in each structure varies to promote dissimilarity.

 Illumination in Centurion is basically controlled by mirrors that redirect sunlight to the inhabited areas of Centurion. As the mirror’s angle to the sunlight can be changed at any time, the light directed towards the rotating section of Centurion can also be altered. In this way, day and night cycles can be regulated to mimic earth’s day and night cycle. As explained, at night the mirrors divert the sunlight away from the rotating section of Centurion, while in the day hours the mirrors direct sunlight straight at the inhabited areas. In the morning and afternoon, only a portion of the light enters the rotating areas, due to the mirror’s exact angle with the sunlight. The angle is half way between the night angle and the day angle. 

 Agricultural sites have a different atmosphere, climate and weather condition than the areas inhabited by people. Plant life requires different conditions to reach optimum growth, which is why Centurion provides agricultural areas with a different atmosphere. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is significantly higher, while humidity and temperature levels are also greatly enhanced. There is no day and night cycle in agricultural areas; the plants experience constant sunlight to intensify optimum growth. With all these conditions, plants will experience continuous growth and health.  

 

COMMUNITY DESIGN

 The partition of Centurion into several distinct volumes promotes the diversity of environments that can thrive. In addition, Centurion embraces various cultural, architectural and ecological habitats within the different environments (see appendix). The cultural and architectural designs of different areas of Centurion include Oriental, South-East Asian, European, Latin American and North American. The diverse environments in Centurion include tropical, temperate and warm climates. Due to the diverse environments, different plant species are able to be grown, adding to the colorful blend of biodiversity similar to Earth. This variety of living conditions alleviates stress and homesickness, because Centurion is as earth-like as feasible. Centurians are able to move from one living environment to another, thus enhancing freedom and mitigating the feeling of ‘confinement’. Due to health and comfort risks, the temperature and humidity of all areas of Centurion are not extreme, although are still diverse. In essence, the atmosphere, environment, and cultural background of the different areas of Centurion cater to the taste of people who choose to live in Centurion. The vivid mixture of ethnic cultures increases interest and experience amongst Centurians, while also promoting cooperation and partnership among different cultures.

 Residential areas are positioned within the four rotating domes only. Although the amount of space provided by each dome varies slightly, all domes have space for 2000 people each. The residential areas are generally organized to boost efficiency, but are also somewhat unorganized to promote diversity. The density of residential areas is low, to provide comfort and space for the growth of plants. These two factors help make Centurians feel as relaxed as possible. The residential areas of Centurion can be viewed in many ways to the suburbs of successful metropolises such as Toronto and San Francisco, where prosperity and security have helped in creating excellent living conditions.

 Within the inhabited domes, service industries provide people with necessities and optional services. Barbershops, grocery shops, psychological relieving centers, massage parlors, restaurants and Internet cafes are all including, giving optimum comfort for Centurians. Most service industries are located in the individual domes, while a few are in the C.S.S Linkway System. The numerous different services help alleviate boredom, which is important in a settlement far from earth. The service industries present in Centurion also extenuatingly gratify the people of Centurion with helpful medical, social and entertaining benefits. 

 Educational areas, including volumes for both adults and children, are located exclusively in the four rotating domes. Educational facilities include schools, kindergartens, a university, libraries and a museum. All structures have communication cables, videophone capabilities and the essential needs such as water and electricity. In addition, robots and other mechanical machines are heavily used to provide education.

 Medical assistance areas are also in the four rotating domes. Medical facilities include hospitals and emergency volumes. Advantages of having medical facilities within the four domes include the short distance needed to travel, and the abundant space that is provide for medical area volumes. The medical facilities in Centurion are high-tech, efficient, clean and sufficient for Centurians. Robots and other mechanical machines are used significantly to boost efficiency and safety. The emergency volumes are separate from the hospitals because it helps badly injured people receive supplementary attention. 

 Parks and recreational sites are located in the four rotating domes as well as the linkways connecting them. Both parks and recreational sites offer plentiful amounts of trees and other plants. These areas thus are able to produce fruits and vegetables that are a part of a Centurian’s diet. The abundance of plant life aids in keeping Centurians in touch with nature, which is especially important in a man-made habitat. The parks and recreational facilities also encourage exercise and leisure to be a part of Centurians. The two areas will help children as well as adults to embrace nature and preserve community services. Structures within parks and recreational sites include slides, swings, seesaws and other classic children structures. 

 Sports facilities are located within the four rotating domes as well as the linkways connecting them. The sport facilities include excellent structures for use in various sports- basketball, soccer, hockey, ice skating and hockey, badminton, bowling, tennis and are including, in addition to unique sports such as sepak takraw (played in South-East Asia) and croquet. The wide range of sports available helps increase amusement and foster culture understandings. The sport facilities, similarly to the parks and recreational facilities, will also promote exercise and social activities. Promoting social activities is exceptional and necessary in Centurion, because it is a relatively small settlement far from the nearest human population (earth). Sporting events are also encouraged, and range from tournaments to leagues. The Annual Centurian Marathon, for example, is a marathon around the rotating section of Centurion (see appendix). The marathon encourages exercise while also ameliorating the social fabric of people in Centurion. 

 The Administration Section of Centurion is situated in half of the torus that links the four geodesic domes. Administration structures include organization headquarters, community centers, communication centers, and computer network centers. The administration section is where most workers in the structure of Centurion work, which is why the section is the main control center of the settlement. The administration section helps lead Centurion in an efficient and safe manner, and provides Centurians with a ‘government’ they can trust and identify. The administration section is where all adjustments, problems, and solutions for Centurion are revised, solved and masterminded. 

 Manufacturing in Centurion expands into two sections: heavy manufacturing and light manufacturing. Light manufacturing takes place in the four rotating domes, and is underground. Heavy manufacturing, as stated previously, takes place in the Telstra HM Center, an exclusive micro-gravity structure that sustains advantageous heavy manufacturing. Both types of manufacturing are needed in Centurion to make it self-reliant and prosperous. With the manufacturing centers, items such as furniture, space shuttles, vehicles and external structures can all be made without the hassle associated with imports. 

 Agricultural areas are positioned within the four rotating domes and provide an abundant amount of food for Centurion’s people. To save space, the agricultural farmland, processing and drying volumes are all underground. Agricultural production is highly mechanized and organized to augment efficiency, thus increasing the food output. As explained previously, the air composition and temperature of the farmlands suits the conditions at which specific plants grow to optimum size and satisfaction. 

 There are two research centers in Centurion- a micro-gravity research center and a research center with gravity. Research centers are equipped with telescopes, satellite and other communication equipment, and observational machinery. Space exploration is easier in space than earth, due to the absence of atmosphere. The micro-gravity research center is between Pegasus Space Port and Telstra HM Center. The research facility with gravity is located in the administration sector of Centurion. The research facilities in Centurion promote scientific experiments with the unique conditions in space, on asteroids, on Mars, and on the Moon. 

 Entertainment in Centurion is considered a vital aspect. Entertainment structures provide fun for all age groups- from infants and children to adults and seniors. Entertainment structures include playgrounds, cinemas, restaurants, video arcades, concert halls, recreational swimming facilities and others. Entertainment in micro-gravity includes ‘flying’ experiences, and zero-g tennis. The wide range of entertainment options helps satisfy Centurians, and also attracts tourists.  

  

CONSTRUCTION OF THE SETTLEMENT

 To support the construction of Centurion, various preliminary objectives have to be instigated. These include the construction of a fully functional mining and manufacturing facility on the moon.  The mining facility will provide valuable lunar materials such as aluminum, iron, titanium and oxygen essential in constructing Centurion. As it is better to have the least amount of transport possible, lunar materials will be manufactured into structural products on the moon, before they are ‘launched’ into space with the aid of a constructed mass launcher. Regolith, a key element in the mass shield, will also use the mass launcher to transport its heavy weight into space.  The construction of the lunar mining and manufacturing facility before the construction of Centurion is necessary, and reduces the time it will take to assemble the space settlement. Only required materials will be moved, so that transportation and handling costs are mitigated.

 

Location

Materials Available

Earth

High-tech Equipment, Carbon based materials

Moon

Iron, Aluminum, Oxygen, Titanium, Regolith, Silicon

Asteroids

Iron, Nitrogen, Sulfur

 

To transport structures and materials from space to L5, space vehicles and a mass catcher are involved. The space vehicles are shaped in a ‘train-like’ manner and are large. This provides enough accommodation for the large amount of materials and products needed in the assembly of Centurion. These ‘space freights’ (figure 18) are the main use of transporting goods, and are separate from space shuttles that transport people. The mass catcher is a ‘material collector’, which is the end destination of materials launch by the mass launcher. The goods are shot into orbit by the mass launcher (figure 19), and freely travel in space on a straight and directed line. At the end of the journey to L5, the products traveling in space are caught by a mass catcher and organized, before being sent to various locations within Centurion.  

 In starting the construction of Centurion, 12 people will be transported into space. To provide living quarters for the twelve people, a rocket fuel container will be refurbished, near a Lower Earth Orbit such as the International Space Station. After the fuel container is refurbish, it is transported to L5 in preparation for the construction of Centurion. A used rocket fuel container is used as a starting habitat because they are already present, cutting the need for new mini-living quarters. Rocket fuel containers are also relatively basic and user-friendly, and are an ideal living place for a small amount of people (twelve). These 12 people will then commence on working on the central sphere of Centurion, so as to provide accommodation for more workers. In the construction of Centurion, robotic apparatus are used heavily to increase efficiency. Many of the robots use are enormous and capable of accomplish a multitude of tasks, just as a modern-day tractor does presently. An example is the robotic arm (figure 12), which mounts external structures into place. Construction is significantly easier due to the absence of gravity, which permits major movements without excessive energy requirements. 

 To commence the construction of Centurion proper, necessary equipments include external structures such as domes, robotic machinery, solar cells, necessary gasses such as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, and regolith. As the external structures are completely assembled, internal structures are added, and atmosphere is created. The phases for the complete construction of Centurion (figure 20) is as shown:  

PHASE 1: The central sphere is assembled in L5 and put into place. Subsequently, regolith is added at the top of the sphere to protect the structure from harmful sunrays. Solar cells are added near the sphere to provide the needed electricity, and a solar furnace compilation is begun. After the external structure of the sphere is completed, the internal structures are made to place more people. Atmosphere is thus created to provide living conditions. Internal structures that are assembled include agricultural areas, sewage, waste and recycling facilities, and atmospheric pumps (although these have already been constructed on the moon). Temporary residential areas are also constructed to provide for the needs of the workers. After this, an influx of workers is added, and the building of the Telstra HM Center is embarked. After, similarly to the central sphere, the external structure is completed, internal structures are checked, while atmosphere is created. The solar furnace is accomplished on top of the central sphere, and solar plants are fixed in both the sphere and the heavy manufacturing center. (Note: most necessary constructions are done in the lunar manufacturing center. Only assembly and possibly repairing are done in L5)  

PHASE 2: After the central sphere creates enough space for a large amount of workers, spoke assembly is commenced. The eight spokes are placed with elevators and atmosphere, while future assembling is planned. Meanwhile, the massive regolith tire is transported to L5, and placed in its designated position. Communication and electricity cables, water and sewage pipes, and robot routes are all constructed through all spokes. Subsequently, Pegasus Space Port is assembled and fully functioned, as well as its scientific research and tourism components. Mirrors are then implanted around the central sphere to provide light to the planned rotating section of Centurion.   

PHASE 3: The first geodesic dome, Fortunessa, is assembled and placed in its position. The two spokes in the sides of Centurion are connected to the dome, and links are created. The internal construction of Fortunessa is then organized and checked, while atmosphere, climate and weather are all created. Power, water, sewage and other necessities are introduced in the dome. An addition of 2000 people is set on the dome.  

PHASE 4: Corresponding to the assembly of Fortunessa, the assembly of Solera is done. Climate, weather and atmosphere are created, while all life necessities (electricity, water, sewage, waste, etc) are implemented. A further 2000 people inhabit the dome.  

PHASE 5: Similar to phases 3 and 4, the assembly of the third geodesic dome, Argento, adheres to the exact operations used for Fortunessa and Solera. The next influx of 2000 people, are introduced to their new habitat, Argento.  

PHASE 6: The last geodesic dome, Kejora, is also assembled and positioned in its rightful position. Atmosphere, climate, and weather are created, while energy and water flows underground, similarly to all other domes. 2000 more people come to Centurion and live in Kejora.  

PHASE 7: The C.S.S Linkway System, comprising of four torus sections, is assembled and connected to the domes. Atmosphere, weather and climate are created and further amounts of people are let to work and live here. The C.B.S (Conveyor Belt System) is operated and introduces high-speed inter-Centurian transportation. After this, all constructions and assembly for Centurion is fully completed. The domes and linkways are then rotated with a boost, and artificial gravity is finally implemented. Subsequently, all people assigned to living in Centurion are transported to the place, and construction is finally accomplished.    

 

WORK ENVIRONMENTS

 In areas which have zero gravity, such as Telstra HM Center, Pegasus Space Port, and Centuplex, ways in which to move in predictable and safe fashions are necessary. Movement is especially important for work (such as the manufacturing done in Telstra HM Center) and transportation (from Pegasus Space Port to Centuplex). To aid in moving in a micro-gravity environment, restraints and mobility aids are introduced. Examples of mobility aids include tethers and handholds. These two items use magnetic force to stick to surfaces, similar to how goods are transported under the Conveyor Belt System. Tethers aid in providing excellent grips for feet onto surfaces, while handholds are similarly used, albeit for hands. These two items help people moving around in the micro-gravity areas of Centurion travel around fairly easily. Without tethers and handholds, mobility would be extremely difficult in non-rotating sections of Centurion. The two items can also be used in manufacturing processes. Restraints magnetically attach one’s feet onto the floor, hence making work easier to be accomplished. Restraints are needed mainly in the heavy manufacturing section, due to the difficulty of working when one is moving effortlessly. Control is needed to accomplish many manufacturing processes, although robots will not be seriously affected by this factor.

 

RESIDENTIAL DESIGN

 To house 8000 people of different ages, 4800 houses are constructed in the whole of Centurion. This amount of residential areas provide enough houses for 8000 people, as well as a number for further increase in population and emergencies. Houses in Centurion come in a diverse shapes and sizes. Single people generally live in smaller houses or flats, while families live in larger and more complex houses. Houses usually correspond to the guest’s family status. Houses in Centurion have a modular approach and are simplistic, in comparison to present Western houses. The modular approach introduced to Centurian housing eases complicity and makes mass construction dramatically easier. Modular houses are also generally comfortable, efficient and cheap. All of these aspects are especially important in Centurion, as space and materials are luxury items. Due to the modular approach applied in residential construction, there are infinite possibilities to the design of houses, although there are four main shapes: small, rectangular and simple (for singles); large, polygonal and more complex (for families); medium sized, circular and simple (for couples); and medium sized, polygonal and relatively simple (for more demanding singles). In general, these four possibilities form the basis of all housing designs (figure 22).

 The demographics of Centurion are: 45% of Centurion’s population is male, 45% is female, 10% children. The age statistic of Centurion is: 10% of Centurion’s population is 0 – 20 years old, 75% is 21 – 44 years old, and 15% is over 45 years old. Occupation demographics show 45% of Centurion’s workforce as working in export labor fields, and 30% in internal and support fields. 25% of the population does not belong in any jobs, and are mainly children, mothers, and handicapped people.  

 

House Type

Percentage of Total Houses

Large, complex

25%

Medium sized, slightly complex

35%

Small sized, simplistic

40%

 

 

 

EXTERNAL TRANSPORTATION

 The transportation to, through and from space is a fundamental necessity in the process of creating and managing Centurion, as well as facilities on asteroids and the moon. For people traveling to Centurion in L5 or the facilities on the moon, various vehicles need to be used before the destination arrival. The stages are perspicuously explained in gradual stages (figure 23):  

STAGE 1: People prospecting the visit or stays on Centurion, or any other facilities are transported to the lower Earth orbit (LEO). Modern day reusable space shuttles (figure 24) are used to accomplish this task, and is a considerably expensive process, considering the distance traveled from earth to LEO. This is due to the magnanimous amount of energy required to send a person into the lower Earth orbit (figure 2). In LEO, space shuttles transporting both people and goods are directed to space stations specifically built to harbor and re-supply transportation vehicles of all forms. Here, people and goods are transferred to different vehicles, which leads to the next stage of the captivating journey.  

STAGE 2: At the numerous LEO space stations, all people and earth-made goods are transferred to space freights and ships. Space freights huge, long train-like vehicles used solely for the transportation of massive amounts of goods. Space ships are used to transport people, and are smaller than space freights (but are able to hold 100 - 200 people). The space ships and freights are largely automated and computerized, lessening the chance of human errors and accidents. The two vehicles are both large so as to hold a large amount of weight, which is economic. The large sizes are also advantageous in zero gravity, as weight and air resistance are both eliminated. After all goods and people are transferred to their rightful ships and freights via the space stations, they are immediately transported to Centurion in L5. After approaching Pegasus Space Port in Centurion, the people and goods are organized accordingly before being sent to their designated location within Centurion. 

 For lunar materials and products to be sent to Centurion, the mass launcher is used at a highly frequent scale. The mass launcher ‘launches’ objects in a straight line towards Centurion using electromagnetic force. This highly efficient mode of transportation for lunar products is ideal for the moon, due to the lack of a high level of gravity, and the absence of atmosphere. After the products reach near Centurion, they are stopped by a mass catcher. The mass catcher is a net-like device that pragmatically ‘catches’ lunar products and materials. The objects are then organized and sent to Pegasus Space Port with the use of space freights, where they are sent to various designated parts of Centurion. External transportation in space is highly mechanized and efficient, as this is a critical factor in supplying organisms with the necessities of life (water, oxygen, food, etc). The less time it takes to transport people to Centurion in space ships, the less necessities are needed during the transportation.  

 

CONCLUSION

 As humanity endeavors to complete the challenging tasks of space utilization in the coming future, Centurion distinctly emboldens a feasible and advantageous duty. The introductions of space settlements and space travel are the next steps following organized cities and air travel, as evolution will continue its certain path towards economic prosperity and technological superiority. The exploitation of bountiful and valuable space resources clearly will replace earth’s natural resources, as our race continues to break limitations and fight for the right to achieve the highest amount of prosperity, peace and safety. The proposed construction and maintenance of the grand space habitat of Centurion will be the product of a myriad of astronomers, mathematicians, physicists and philosophers of all generations and races from whom space has been pondered upon. In the near future, when space settlements of all sorts will be viable, the uncountable amount of dreams and challenges that have been rendered in the entire history of mankind will finally be expressed in the solidified state of Centurion. Although the fact that Centurion is the product of the knowledge of countless generations is a major aspect, what makes Centurion extraordinary is something even more extravagant. This aspect is how Centurion, a mere space settlement, will actually materialize the prospects of every human being who has ever dreamt upon living amongst the magical stars that make our universe a truly magnificent and unique place. Centurion - a gateway to economic prosperity on earth and exploration of space - will finally be a dream come true for all people that have ever lived on earth. Centurion - a city amidst the shining stars of the Milky Way Galaxy, will finally be a dream come true for humanity. 
 

APPENDIX 

 
 Click to enlarge:
       
 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Internet Sources:

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/Services/Education/SpaceSettlement/75Summerstudy/Table_of_Contents1.html

http://www.permanent.com/

http://www.belmont.k12.ca.us/ralston/programs/itech/orbital/sphere.html 

 

AKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

Figures 1, 2, 5, 17, 19, 23, 24 are taken from:

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/Services/Education/SpaceSettlement/75Summerstudy/Table_of_Contents1.html

All other illustrations, diagrams, charts and tables are personally made.