VII.1. Basic concerns


a. Climate


An important condition for having an efficient and productive colony is having an adequate climate. Biologist studies have demonstrated that the optimum temperature for good life development is 295 K (~22° C).Higher or lower temperatures would cause colonists poor performance ratings and tiredness. The adequate relative humidity will be between 50 – 70%.


For creating an environment similar with that on Earth, we should also create artificial rain. The apparatus for generating artificial rain must consist in 2 structural parts. The first part is the spraying tube located on the “ceiling” of LEDA. The second structural part is the water tank which will supply water under pressure as the water collects on the pointed teeth; it eventually falls off in droplet form when the volume and weight of the water overcomes its surface tension. A control system will regulate water pressure in the apparatus during use conditions. When the apparatus is deactivated, water is recycled in the tank while maintaining a balanced head pressure in the apparatus so that activation and deactivation takes only a few seconds.


Another important aspect is creating wind and controlling its speed. This can be done using both natural and artificial methods. Building parks with ornamental trees will scatter the soft breezes, while artificially centralizing the thermostats onboard the settlement at the same temperature and locking the temperature differences at constant values will generate air currents.


b.  Illumination


NASA standards advise that “bright and uniform” wide-spectrum light should be employed in work areas. At night we must use warm white light; this would also serve in helping the average human’s association of “warm” light with pleasant activities. Natural lighting via the windows could serve the purpose of wide spectrum light. The house windows are important for orienting the colonists to their external environments. We must also take special care not creating large light contrasts which will affect the colonist’s sight. We must also program the automatic mirrors for 14-hour days and 10-hour nights.


For increasing the photosynthesis rate and efficiently using electric power, fluorescent tubes situated under the habitable area will generate artificial red light, most of it being used in the raising of crops. We can also use light-emitting devices (LEDs) which can be obtained with the use of polymerization. This type of structured polymer can produce light patterns with sizes as small 0.8 μm. A film of a precursor to p-phenilen vinylene(PPV) is micromolded (in a solvent), in order to make variations in the thickness of the created film, and as such, to copy the relief on the mold. The thermal shaping of this precursor created a PPv with the same surface topography. The light emitting devices created in this process emit light preponderantly in the thin parts of the film. These types of devices can also be used in near field optics (being able to lead to new subwave length light sources).


The duration of days and nights in the agricultural areas will accord to the different plant metabolisms, so that growth and production will reach optimum efficiency; the plants will experience longer periods of light to intensify growth and maintaining their health.  . Interior layout


The equilibrated psychology of the colonists is very important thus we must satisfy their vital psychological needs. We must take into account the minimum comfortable space needed for living, the diversity and the variability of an ideal environment suitable for human activities. We need to keep a symmetrical arrangement of the houses in the torus, thus people can not personalize their houses. An interesting solution would be painting the house’s facades with 3D stereograms which can create the illusion of any form of architecture.


d. Vibration


Vibration can be a very disturbing and unhealthy factor for those living onboard LEDA. It can affect both the psychological and physical integrity of colonists. Therefore we must minimize the amount of vibrations by isolating their sources. Locating the industrial zone in the central body of the torus will partially resolve the vibration problem. Anyway building parks within the residential ring will reduce the amount of vibrations reaching the inhabited areas.


e. Noise


In any acoustical environment, such as the LEDA,  the impact of outside noise and vibration sources (traffic, subways, industry etc.) and of in-house noise and vibration sources has to be carefully analyzed and then minimized for comfort and privacy reasons. Therefore, creating noises higher than 70db will be prohibited to those living onboard the colony. Still there are multiple other sources of noise which must not disturb colonists. Environmental noise will not only consist of building vibrations, but also of different sounds. Sources of sound may be the industrial areas, the transportation system, the livestock growing facilities, the crowded places onboard the settlement, the docking facilities, just to name a few. Taking into account the toroidal shape of the Settlement, we can determine how sounds will reflect inside the residential half of the torus by calculating the reflection angulations.   

- the sound reflection angle inside the torus

Melamine and Polyurethane Acoustic foams will help to absorb sound in nearly every setting inside residential or industrial areas, including education institutions, offices, industrial environments, apartments and more. Their characteristic shape allows an efficient noise isolation which could be improved by placing them in the right places and respecting several sound isolation norms. The picture below shows the shape of the Acoustic foam walls:

Metal coatings could also be used in the same purpose; in addition they will act as an electrical shield, protecting the sensitive electronic circuits inside the torus from electronic noise.

Another efficient way of reducing sounds is using vacuum based isolation systems inside the walls of the different noise-generating buildings.

 Low intensity noises will be absorbed by the ornamental trees located in parks especially created for this purpose.


f. Odor


Unpleasant odors will be absorbed by special air filters which will liquefy and send them through the same process water does for recycling. Another method of purifying the air and removing odors, as well as killing viruses, is using  ozone generators and Ion Generators which simply negatively charge the air’s ions so that floating dust particles will cling to outer surfaces. The artificial rain has also a very important role removing unpleasant odors.


g. Hygiene


The colonists must maintain their body hygiene without using a large amount of water. They will have showers and toilets very similar to those on Earth.

Different types of detergent will also be produced in the chemical compound on board of settlement.

Detergents are substances that are added to water to clean different solid materials.

The act in three different ways:

1.   Through the reduction of the surface tension of the aqueous solution,  so that it can spread uniformely, instead of forming drops.

2.   By facilitating the dissolution of fat molecules in water

3.   By maintaining the filth molecules from the objects to be washed , in suspension, in water


The detergent molecule is a large molecules formed by a hydrocarbonated chain with a functional group at one of the molecule’s ends (this is a polar end). The non-polar chain is hydrophobic (rejected by water), and the polar end id hydrophil (attracted by water). In water, these molecules group together to form a mycelium.

The mycelium is a spherical group of detergent molecules in water. Oils and fats are dissolved in the hydrophobic center of the mycelium. Myceliums keep the fat formation in suspension in water.   


Soap is one type of detergent, which consist of the sodium salt of a long-chained carboxylic acid (such as octadecanoic acid C18H18O2 ). This will be obtained from the reaction of animal fat, or vegetable oil (esters) with strong alkali hydroxides ( NaOH , KOH).The soap made with KOH is softer than that made with NaOH. The process of fabrication of soap is called saponification. Soap molecules form myceliums in water. Soap makes foam in water with an abnormal durity.

Measured quantities of fats or vegetable oils will be introduced along with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide in a columnar structure with high temperature and pressure. Soap is formed and glycerin (1, 2, 3-trihidroxy propane). The formed mixture shall  dissolve in salt water. The final part of the saponification process is called adjustment. Any long hydro carbonated chain that didn’t react at first is neutralized with alkaline solutions and the salt concentration is then adjusted. The mix is then centrifuged to separate the soap from the remaining solution.


C17H35COOCH2                                                                                                                                                                                        CH2-OH

                        |                                                                                                                |

C17H35COOCH        + 3 NaOH  ======> 3C17H35COONa+  +    CH- OH

                        |                                           saponification                                                             |

C17H35COOCH2                                                                                                                                                                                        CH2-OH

Ester                                                                              Soap (sodium stearate) 



All soap molecules are potassium or sodium salts with long chains of carboxylic acids acid. In this example the soap is a salt of the octadecanoic acid (stearic acid).


h.  Food


At least 3000 kilocalories per person should be available in different food types. Food will be grown in a controlled environment.


Meat, wheat, rice, potato, soybean, lettuce, sweet potato, tomato must not lack from the colonist’s meals.


 i. Decors, surfaces and colors


Psychologists say that decors and room colors are very important thus we must create perfect psychological conditions on the Space Settlement. We must color the “sky glass “with a pale blue to imitate the effect of blue sky. We must also color the interior titanium walls of the torus in blue to create the illusion of horizon. Houses must be painted in light colors. The different colorants used in the painting or coloring processes onboard LEDA must not be toxic and need to be durable. Some of them are largely discussed below:


Antocyans and Antocyanides















Their salts are red.

-         in neutral solution (pH~7) à purple

-         pH>7 à colorless formation

-         strongly basic solution à blue





    Kinomethanic Colorants



Text Box: Celeton B (blue-green)
Text Box: Fucsimonium- orange and not intense





Colorless compounds will be obtained from the reduction of their salts.


The color of the colored cathions (and colorants) appears thanks to the extended conjugated system determined by the participation of auxocromic groups (free base – electron donor; cathion – electron acceptor), which amplifies the intensity of the conjugation (delocalization of the p and π electrons), and which stabilizes the system.


j.  Pests


Pests commonly are the carriers of deadly disease and cause great discomfort, being also associated with low standards of living.  Common pests of home, people, and pets found on earth include ants, bed bugs, bees and wasps, recluse spiders, carpenter bees, carpet beetles, cliff swallows, clothes moths, cockroaches, fleas, house flies, house mice, mosquitoes, pantry pests.


All colonists and eventually immigrants will be screened for pests, and active control will be undertaken. In spite of this, the possibility of pests and pest eggs reaching the LEDA still exists. The most common form of pest control, pesticides, would be hazardous to be used onboard, but in a limit situation we can move all the colonists in the 0 gravity center for a short amount of time for completely pest removing.


VII.2. Long time aspects


a. Space Settlement Political System and interior order


One of the major concerns about long-term living inside the orbital colony is setting up a political system able to support all kind of needs and demands from the human community inhabiting the space settlement. The development of the orbital society strictly depends on the stability and efficiency of the political system coordinating all other aspects of life in the settlement. That is why we must choose a political system which has proven to be most appropriate for human demands here on Earth. In this case, democracy would be the only suitable solution for our long time colony, as its doctrine combines the notion of free will with that of law and citizenship obligations.


The state form that we have chosen is a democracy, led by an elected council, with five representatives from each of the seven sectors of the station. The council will be elected by the inhabitants of the station and the president will be elected by the members of the council. Each member of the council will have to take part in maintaining the internal order and safety. To do so, the council will have to be divided into small groups of two or three and each group will be assigned with a matter of the “state”. The committees formed in this way will be: Power, Industry, External Affairs, Internal Affairs, Security, Life Support, Health Department, Agriculture, Research, Transports, Education and Economic Department.


The success of democracy is largely measured by the public’s participation in the process and responsiveness of the system to popular demands. Democracy is a government of the people; therefore it must be established by the people. That is why we must very carefully take into account the concept of citizenship. Citizenship is a status bestowed on all those who are full members of a community. All who will possess the status of citizen of the space settlement will be equal with respect to the rights and duties with which the status is endowed. That is why citizenship will require a direct sense of community membership based on loyalty to a civilization which is a common possession.

The protection of the political and personal rights of the citizens onboard the orbital colony, including those in the minority, will surely depend upon the constitutionalism and civil society. All the political system will be institutionalized under the rule of law. This will lead to an autonomous civil society, whose individuals will join together voluntarily into groups with self-designed purposes to collaborate with each other through mechanism of political parties and establish through freely contested elections a system of representative government.


LEDA will have a set of rules with the purpose of maintaining internal order, preserving human rights and preventing crime. The law will be enforced by specially trained personnel.


As a well-developed civil society is an exact indicator of democratic government, we must ensure the four aspects which make the orbital civil society functional. They are listed in the table below:


Political/legal dimension

Social dimension

Political citizenship refers to political rights and duties vis à vis the political system.

Social citizenship refers to the relations between individuals in a society, and demands loyalty and solidarity.

Cultural dimension

Economic dimension

Cultural citizenship refers to consciousness of a common cultural heritage.

Economic citizenship refers to the relation of an individual towards the labor- and consumer market and implies right to work and to a minimum subsistence level.


The cultural dimension of citizenship will be achieved through information technology, mass media, different intercultural experiences, combating racism and discrimination, the preservation of the environment and the predominance of certain norms and values. The social dimension will be assured by combating social isolation and social exclusion, by safeguarding human rights, bringing together different groups of society, working for equality of the sexes, for personal and general security. As for the economic dimension, it must be sustained by the different aspects of market economy, by assuring a certain rate of employment, by integrating groups into the economic process, by emphasizing the principles of labor legislation and consumer rights. 




A series of social studies must be conducted on the orbital settlement, for permanently monitoring the different demands of colonists and assuring certain commodities in various aspects of life. Themes for Social Studies have to be chosen out of six fields:  


1. Socialization and education

gives insight in socialization processes, the role of the mass media

2. Environment, living and social relations

primary groups, gender relations, ways of living together, environmental problems

3. Work and leisure

social and economic issues

4. Technology and society

technological and scientific developments as a factor in society

5. Political structures and processes

the political system, political decision-making, political ideologies, the juridical system, criminality

6. International relations

global political, social and economic interdependencies


Migration aspects are of outmost importance. We are considering the fact that part of the young population will desire to leave the station due to more than one reason. Immigration of workforce will have to be strictly controlled, by subjecting the contestants to tests and examinations. The two aspects above will have to be balanced and controlled so that the population on the space station doesn’t exceed the maximum capacity.


A suitable infrastructure must complement the social aspect of living inside the space settlement, promoting the citizenship education and increasing the quality of democracy. That is why publishers will have to produce adequate teaching materials and specialized magazines for students, committees will have to evaluate and assess the educational process and institutions for civic education will produce activities, services and will offer advice on citizen participation.  


Sometimes it would be appropriate to give attention to historical and global aspects, so that pupils onboard the colony will learn how to study and analyze other social and political problems.


b. Monetary system


The main sources of income for the space settlement will be space tourism and ore smelting and refining. The income from these activities will be used to finance research and to pay salaries. Processing ore in 0 gravity conditions is cheaper and the resulting metal has a high purity and can be exported to Earth.

There will be a special currency for the space station (space dollar). All employed crew members will have an account in a database and will receive payments on credit cards. The money on these credit cards would be exchangeable in any currency on Earth, in case a colonist decides to leave the space station.


c. Crew composition and employment


A very important aspect of LEDA is its crew composition. We can not afford the risk of transporting colonists under 5 years old or up to 70 because of the risk of not supporting the launching


The graphic above shows the initial population transported from Earth


In a period of approximately 20 years we estimate a spectacular population growth

Considering the high level of civilization and the main interest in research

we must select a proportional work force











Auxiliary Medical Personnel



Auxiliary Scientific Personnel












Computer Operators









Food Production



Law Enforcement Personnel
























Waste Disposal Personnel




With these characteristics of the population the space settlement will have a spectacular intellectual, industrial and financial evolution.


The rest of 48% of population is considered non-working population, formed by children and elders.


d. Health care


Health care is a very important aspect on the space station, as in any community. Therefore, some of the income will be directed toward health insurance for the colonists and funding hospitals. There will be one large hospital on the station, with departments covering all aspects of health care, and several clinics in each of the sectors. The amount of medical personnel on the station will be approximately 1% (one doctor for every 100 people).


The doctors onboard LEDA must examine the effectiveness of a great variety of health care interventions. The health care must be concentrated on the preventive area and on the research one. Health exams, tests and immunizations are vital to preventive care. We must make information about health and disease accessible and also the doctors must offer advice about health or healthcare and cannot substitute for a healthcare practitioner.


e. Education


The importance of education onboard LEDA is quite clear, as education represents the knowledge of putting one’s potentials to maximum use. It makes man a right thinker and teaches him how to take the right decisions. Only through the attainment of education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world and to acquaint himself with past history, receiving in the same time all necessary information regarding the present. The school system will have a crucial role to play in both raising expectations of pupils qualified to enter institutions of higher education and, in particular, in increasing the number of young people able and willing to pursue courses in engineering and science.


For achieving this, the first efforts must be directed towards producing a highly qualified, balanced, thoughtful, well-motivated and caring teaching force, secured through decent pay and conditions, general esteem and a feeling of pride and satisfaction in its work. Although teachers themselves will always hold the responsibilities for making their profession more successful, the government onboard the Space Settlement must create the right environment for professional success. This implies providing a framework of support for the highest standards of professional development, appropriate working conditions, to safeguard teachers’ academic independence and to promote constructive relationships between teachers, parents, students and the different communities. Meanwhile, professional behavior will be maintained in all schools and colleges, to develop further methods by which excellence and efficiency can be achieved.

As education, training and learning constitute important means of developing human resources, they must be properly applied at all levels. It is known that the efficiency of learning depends of its diversity. Therefore a pre-school, a school, an out-of-school and a professional education institution must exist and develop teaching activities onboard the Settlement.


The educational system will be very similar to that applied in the developed countries on Earth: primary, basic, secondary levels (including a lyceum, a gymnasium, and a boarding school), a school for the low mentality and handicapped children, a house of creativity for children and youth and a sports school will be included within the Orbital Education System.


 f. Transports


Since the torus will be approximately 25.13 kilometers long, with a radius of 4 kilometers, an effective means of transportation must be found, both for traveling within the torus and from the torus to the center of the station (the 0-gravity point), where the majority of industrial and research facilities will be located. The main means of transport inside the torus will be a kind of train, similar to subway. It will run through a tube located “under” the habitable area, on electrified tracks. There will be at least three sets of tracks, two for traveling in both directions and at least one for maneuvers. The tracks need to be made of high conductibility materials, so that a minimum amount of power is lost due to electrical resistance.


Elevators will be used for traveling to the center of the station. The elevator shafts will be located in the four tubes connecting the torus to the center. Colonists will be strapped in inside the elevators, since the centrifugal force decreases with the distance to the center and they would soon find themselves in 0 gravity conditions.


g. Transit facilities


Once the space station is in orbit, spaceships heading beyond Earth can stop and restock here. Docking facilities will also be needed if space tourism is to become an economical activity on the station. Part of the structure at the center of the station will be used as a spaceport. There will be docking sites and small storage facilities. Spaceships arriving at the spaceport will use their guiding systems, aided by computers on the station to position themselves for docking. At this point, a terminal will be attached to the spaceship, also helping to hold it into place. Air will be pumped inside the terminal before the doors are opened.


h. Communications


The Space Settlement will house a large computer network for communication purposes. The computers in the living quarters will be interconnected using fiber optic cable, because using of wireless in a closed metallic habitat is not adequate. The advantage of fiber optic cable is that it is very fast. Fiber optic links consist of multiple transparent glass or plastic cables that guide any type of information (sound, video and data) to its destination by means of light waves. The message is converted into a series of binary digits, which are used to switch a light source on and off. This creates a sequence of light pulses, which are decoded by the receiver at the destination and the original data is reconstructed. The most widely used light sources are lasers. Lasers are described by their wavelength and output power and the three wavelengths currently in use for fiber optic networks are 850nm, 1310nm and 1550nm. All these wavelengths are infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye. The longer the wavelength, the greater the distance the laser can transmit.

A kind of telephone can also be used for communication, using the same kind of transmissionmedia as the computer network.


i. Entertainment


On the Space Settlement, we will try to create living conditions similar to those on Earth. This includes forms of recreation and entertainment.


Since the first radio transmissions in 1907 and the first television transmissions in the 1930s, radio waves transmitted from Earth have been traveling toward outer space. These transmissions could be received on the space station by means of an antenna receiver. This receiver should be placed outside the station’s magnetic field, to avoid interferences. The radio and TV signals, once picked up by the receiver, can be distributed to the rest of the station. This way, colonists will be able to receive television and radio programs and even Internet transmissions from Earth. However, there will be an inconvenience. The channels will shift every few hours due to the difference between the revolution periods of the Earth and the station (the Earth completes a rotation around its axis in one day, while the station moves around the Earth in one month), but this problem can be solved by placing a network of communication satellites around the Earth.


We must also build theaters, concert rooms and cinemas. We can build a transparent wall in the connector tubes special designed for walking and admiring the space. Organizing excursions in outer space has never been so little energy consumer thus cheaper, being a very attractive way of relaxation.


Other motivating entertainment activities will be those placed in the 0 gravity zone. We will build a special entertainment facility in this zone, where colonists can play different sports, swim in the 0 gravity pool, sleep restful nights in a 0 gravity hotel and going in 0 gravity discos. 


j. Privacy


Privacy is an important aspect for attracting colonists to LEDA. The concept of privacy differs from individual to individual and can refer to a number of meanings. We will have to ensure that every inhabitant of the station is provided a large enough living area (approximately 45 square meters) and that population density isn’t too high. Also, living quarters will have to be phonically insulated, so any private conversation remains private. Security cameras will be installed throughout the station (especially in high-risk areas). However, they will be completely absent from the living quarters and the use of monitoring equipment without the subject’s consent will be forbidden, excepting only extreme cases.


Control over possessions or private information will be guaranteed, as will freedom of speech and freedom of activity. There will be forms, for evidence of population, but colonist will not be required to give out confidential or personal information. Children will choose the kind of education they receive according to the career they want to pursue.


k. Judicial system


Social and economic well-being also involves providing financial security and social safety net for all citizens. Therefore the judicial system onboard the Settlement will need to define a shared morale sense, to create public rules, to encourage democratic laws and to protect the rights of the citizens. This can be achieved by creating a judicial structure similar to that of the democratic countries on Earth. To accomplish its goal and guarantee the rule of law, the judicial structure must include both sufficient personnel (judges, courts, staff) and supportive elements in the work of the judiciary (as police departments).

Judges onboard the Settlement will be independent in performing their duties and will have full judicial competence with respect to their functions and according to the Constitution. The judicial structure will consist of a supreme court, two appeal courts and two courts of first instance. The law will specify the jurisdiction, divisions and other matters related to Judiciary.


The profession of advocacy should also be established onboard the Settlement to express the values of justice, the correctness and legality, to minimize injustice, to seek conciliation between adversaries and to facilitate legal aid for citizens in accordance with the law.


An effective access to justice for all groups in a society is imperative as it implies the success and validity of the judiciary act.


l. Psychological needs


Still, satisfying the physical and social needs of the individual is not enough. Life onboard the Settlement cannot develop properly without a solid psychological support. Each human being has three primary needs which are more important than the other six. Without a suitable psychological background, colonists will act according to momentary instincts, will become irrational or even irascible, will lose their analytical judgment and will often suffer depressions. A certain psychological equilibrium will be essential onboard the Space Settlement as the success and efficiency of the different human activities strictly depend on the behavior, morale and mood of the population.  


Each psychological need has its positive and negative aspects. It is also known that people sharing the same psychological needs are somehow bond to each other. Those working together will experience hard times if not connected through similar priorities. Therefore, employment and personnel distribution onboard the Settlement must take into account the similarities and differences between people; this can only be achieved by conducting psychological studies among the employed population.


One of the basic human needs is safety. It manifests in the people’s desire to know ahead of time what is going to happen, to be informed. The feeling of security can be enhanced by knowing the personal family, historic and ethnic background, by living in a safe community, near friends and family, by having deep faith regardless of the future, by being financially assured. This will finally help colonists to feel balanced, connected, safe, optimistic and secure. From the human activity point of view, people needing security will be more displeased by sudden changes and events happening without warning.


The need of freedom is also essential for the psychological well-being of the population. It consists in the need to have choices, to be independent and always in control of things. The need of freedom is often combined with the need of safety and adventure. Allowing people to have personal options and to take decisions, to freely move around the Settlement, to choose their work assignments, to be themselves will lead to a feeling of independence, self-esteem and self-confidence among the Colony’s inhabitants.


Letting people occupy positions of responsibility will assure their feeling of accomplishment and leadership, improving the organizational feature of the crew. Therefore, the need for power isdirectly bounded to professional success. 


Satisfying the need of exchange entails allowing a certain trade o knowledge and information. Communication, friendship, justice and public services will therefore be essential aspects of life onboard the Settlement. Always staying in touch, participating in different discussions, working with similar people, trusting the judiciary system and the principle of equality, sharing information and human relations will effectively enhance one’s need of exchange, assuring a well-balanced, informed and ethical population.


We must also take into account one’s need for expansion. Building new environmental elements, such as roads and buildings, extending physical and spiritual knowledge, surpassing the boundaries of science, psychology, medicine or art can provide a suitable support for the need of expansion. This will help colonists to better understand  the way things work, the other members of the community and even themselves.


Authorities onboard the Settlement must respect the citizen’s need for expression. A good way of improving the freedom of expression is allowing periodical public speaking about topics of general interest. This way the creativity and the ability of the man to function efficiently and productively will be encouraged.    


Being accepted by others is also one of the major needs we must consider, without which social life onboard the Settlement will surely be impossible. Colonists must be tolerant with others and must feel acceptance by neighbors and coworkers. People with the sense of acceptance will be valuable additions to any community or group.


Another important demand of the human being is that of belonging to a certain community, to have people around. It strictly refers to the man’s need for family life and citizenship. Satisfying this need will lead to a highly sociable and responsible population.


Therefore psychologists onboard the Settlement must carefully monitor the behavior and psychological needs of the population, to ensure a rapid and efficient development of the colonial society.


VII.3. Industry


a. Organizing the industry


Inhabiting the Settlement for long periods of time will surely be impossible without the support of an efficient, productive and durable local industry to assure the colony’s self-sustaining feature. As the main purpose of building an orbital space colony is creating an Earth-like environment able to maintain life by proper means, the existence of a diverse and fully operative industry onboard the Settlement is imperative. Therefore, the different branches of manufacture will need to satisfy both individual and community demands by covering as many necessity fields as possible.


The table below shows the industry categories needed to be found onboard the Space Settlement and the basic industrial facilities required for best self-sustaining results.


Types of industry



Specific industrial facilities

















Advanced technological industries

Medical supply and agrochemical medium manufacturers

Engineering plastic manufacturers

Semi-permeable chemical fiber membrane manufacturers

Special electric ceramic ware manufacturers

New carbon and graphite product manufacturers

Compound and reinforced inorganic fiber manufacturers

Semiconductor substrate material manufacturers

Nonferrous metal special alloy manufacturers

Nonferrous metal precision casting manufacturers

Shape memory alloy manufacturers

Advanced metal machine tool, metal finishing machine, and related parts and accessories manufacturers

Advanced equipment and tool manufacturers

Valve manufacturers

Precision bearing manufacturers

Precision metal mold, and related parts and accessories manufacturers

Industrial robot manufacturers

Servomotor and miniature motor manufacturers

Advanced switching device, distribution panel and power control unit manufacturers

Wire communication equipment manufacturers

Radio communication equipment manufacturers

Electronic parts and device manufacturers

Electric measuring instrument manufacturers

Solar battery, and solar battery accessories and device manufacturers

Automotive parts and accessories manufacturers

Test equipment manufacturers

Medical engineering equipment manufacturers

Advanced optical equipment manufacturers

Industrial design industry



Industries related to information technology

Semiconductor manufacturing device manufacturers

Radio and television manufacturers

Optical fiber cable manufacturers

Chemical machine and device manufacturers

Battery manufacturers

Information recorder manufacturers

Recreational goods and toy manufacturers



Intelligence-Oriented Companies

Software industry

Information provision service industry

Information processing service industry

Industrial facility cleaning industry

Machine repair industry

Management consulting industry


Research, exploration and development companies

Physics research institute

Chemistry research institute

Biology research institute

Technology research institute

Human sciences research institute


The following graphic represents the ratio between the different industry categories onboard the Space Settlement:



Taking into account the limitation of space inside the Settlement, the competition between industries onboard the colony will be almost inexistent, as there will be only one industrial facility for each field of demand. Still on-orbit industries could compete or cooperate with industries situated on Earth. The eventual transactions and goods exchange will be available through commercial shuttles and orbital commercial “warehouses”. 


b.   Mining, processing and manufacturing


It is known that both asteroids and comets contain considerable natural resources. Long term human activity in space would not be possible without the support of a local extracting industry to provide LEDA  with raw materials. The success of the mining activity will be determined by several factors, such as geological development, finances and available technology.


Mineral extraction can only be economically feasible if the ore found on the asteroid reaches reasonable expectations concerning its form and quantity. The mineral deposits must be well evaluated so that mining revenues will surpass the total costs of the extraction process. Costs basically depend on the current technological development in the mining and processing area, while revenues can be estimated by testing the market.


Mining and processing asteroid ores can only be accomplished by using technologies based on the characteristics of space environment. Therefore, the most efficient way of mining the surface of asteroids will be taking advantage of the least-controllable environmental conditions. For example, a viable solution will be using the centrifugal force for reducing or stopping the spinning motion of the asteroids while creating artificial gravity onboard the mining modules. The principle is discussed in this chapter.


Assuming that an asteroid will be determined to contain sufficient valuable material to be economically eligible for mining, a series of mining methods must be debated. The mining technology will strictly depend of the type of minerals needed to be extracted. Mining multiple resources in the same time will certainly call for sophisticated mining and processing techniques. Further more, microgravity will surely entail complications. For example, the stones loosen from the asteroid will not fall to the ground. Everything will have to be well anchored to the NEO’s surface, otherwise the mining equipment and even miners couls be “thrown” off into space. A dense netting system covering the surface of the asteroid will solve the problem by providing a suitable support.


First of all, miners will have to reduce or even halt the high rates of spin of the asteroids for being able to set the mining equipment on their surface. Therefore, an efficient way of achieving this would be using the centrifugal force to diminish the angular speed of the asteroid. The mining module will anchor itself to the surface of the asteroid using a solid cable; symmetrically towards the center of mass of the asteroid, another body (a counterweight with the same mass as the mining module) will be anchored using a similar cable. By doing this, the radius of the entire body system will increase; as the asteroid tends to keep its kinetic momentum and therefore the centripetal acceleration of its extreme points, the angular speed of the system will decrease. The following drawing describes the principle:



If R2>R1, than >1, which means that.



a – the centripetal acceleration

R1 – the initial radius of the system

R2 – the final radius of the system

  - the initial angular speed of the sytem

  - the final angular speed of the system (after attaching the two bodies to the asteroid’s surface)


Still there is another way of generating artificial gravity both on the asteroid and the mining module. It entails connecting the mining module to the asteroid surface using a rigid bar or cable and moving the rotation center of the system in the center of mass of the rigid bar. This way, the centrifugal force will provide both bodies with artificial gravity. The major impediment is that for achieving this, the mass of the mining module must be approximately equal to that of the asteroid. Otherwise the center of rotation will change and the rotation equilibrium will become unstable. The principle is shown in the figure below:



As we said, a network of cables and metallic structures in the form of rigid cages is necessary for binding the asteroid together. Otherwise, the mining actions and the movement control can affect the asteroid’s integrity, leading to its splitting. The next phase will require mining platforms to be set on the metallic structures, as they need a solid support to improve the efficiency and safety of the equipment. Operating platforms for mining machinery and transport modules must also be provided for best performance.


The mining process itself will involve the fragmentation of the asteroid ore, the excavation and the transport of the crushed rocks to the processing plants onboard the Settlement.

There are multiple types of asteroids depending on their mineral composition, but only some of them are worth considering for mining activities. The mineral composition of asteroids can be easily determined using the reflectance of spectra, from the visible spectrum (4000-7000A) to the infrared (7000A+). For example, “the LL (low-low iron) chrondites contain about 4% (+ or - 1%) total metal, with Ni comprising about 25%(+ or - 5%) concentration, and Co comprising about 1.2%(+ or - 0.2%) concentration. The LL chrondites may be further subdivided into varying concentrations of PT-group (Platinum) metals and non-metals. Some Non-metals that form composites within the LL group include Ga, Ge, and As. Ga ranges from 1 to 15 ppm, Ge, 200(+ or - 30ppm), and As, 1.2(+ or - 0.2ppm). Among the PT-group, PT contains 21 (+ or - 5ppm), Ru contains 12(+ or - 0.2ppm), Os contains 10(+ or - 2ppm), Ir contains 10(+ or - 2ppm), and Re contains 1.0 (+ or - 0.2ppm).”

(Space Resources - Breaking the Bonds of Earth by John S. Lewis and Ruth A. Lewis, Columbia University Press, Copyright 1987, page 257)

The LL chondrites will be suitable for mining, as they contain Ga and As, elements needed in the production process of high efficiency solar panels. Other types of asteroids worth considering are those belonging to the C1 and C2 NEO categories.

Ice covered comets can be a viable source of water. The ice will be melted and pumped into a storage tank where it will refreeze. While returning to the Settlement, some of the ice can be used in propelling the transportation module; the process involves heating the ice using solar energy, boiling it and harnessing the resulted steam to “push” the module forward. 


Still the most important source of materials will be the Moon. Therefore, building a lunar mining facility capable of sustaining life and exploiting the lunar ilmenite will be vital for the Settlement. Small vehicles powered by both solar energy and chemical batteries will analyze the surface of the Moon by taking different samples of lunar soil and bringing them to the lunar outpost for further research. Mining machinery will extract the needed ores (especially ilmenite) from the lunar rocks. Onboard the orbital station, ilmenite will be then refined into oxygen, hydrogen, nickel, iron, manganese, silicon, chromium and other metals found in smaller ratios within the lunar soil.



c. Exploration and research


Excepting the artificial gravity created inside the ring of LEDA and the natural gravity of the Moon, the central body of the Colony and the space environment offer 0 gravity conditions. This will enlarge the field of options for both exploration and research. Various sciences related to physics, including the study of materials, fluids, processing systems, combustion phenomena, can be operated within 0 gravity conditions. The effects of microgravity on living organisms, including cellular and tissue development, metabolism, biological functions and growth can also be studied only in the low gravity conditions provided by the central body of the Colony.  



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