1. Why is the construction of a space settlement necessary?
L.E.D.A comes from Life sustaining Environment Designed for Artificial habitats. In Greek mythology Leda was a nymphy which metamorphosed herself into a beautiful swan. As the shape of the Settlement somehow resembles with that of a swan we have chosen Leda to be the name of the settlement.
It seems a futuristic, almost science fiction idea to build an orbital space settlement. Actually it is possible for humans to survive in outer space with the appropriate technical and social support. The main purpose of LEDA is conquering space and building Earth like places for humans to inhabit.
We had to analyze a variety of aspects…from the shape of LEDA to the coloring of the rooms, from the food sources to the entertainment activities.
The opening words of the popular TV Show “Star Trek – The Next Generation” are: “space, the final frontier”. Our theory is that the final frontier is not the space, it is solving the problems that humans will encounters by living in a new environment. The first true challenge is changing the way we think, in order for us to create a self sustaining orbital settlement, to create an ecosystem and to balance it.
We believe that space settlements are the future “residences” of human beings. They prove humans’ capacity to adapt to new ways of life, to explore the boundaries of space, giving a boost to human civilization.
2. General impact of LEDA on the development of human society
Civilization signifies the totality of means with the help of which man adapts himself to his environment (physical and social), succeeds in subduing, transforming and organizing it. All that belongs to the horizon regarding the satisfying of material necessities such as commodities and security means “civilization”. The latter’s , pre-eminently of a utilitarian nature, comprises: alimentation, housing, clothes, public constructions, communication means, technology in general, economic and administrative activities, social, political, military and juridical organization, education in general and higher education – yet only as far as there processes comply with the exigencies of practical life.
The implications of building the settlement are great, because it opens a new gateway to space and breaks one of the greatest boundaries known to man: human life in space. The psychologists will have a lot to think about; new conditions of life bring new ways of life and new ways of thought… new ideas generated by a new type of mind: the mind of one who is not limited by terrestrial mentalities, who understands the possibilities of space itself. A new type of environment is created and as such, a new type of human: the human born and raised in space: a human who understands the concept of gravity and life sustaining mechanisms from the moment he is born, because his life depends on it. He will understand at an early age the importance of air and water, and why is it so important to preserve and to try to maintain equilibrium in the artificially created geo-ecological system. Human history will note that the orbital settlement is the first attempt of conquering space, and overcoming the barriers of Earth’s surface. Geography will also note that the new settlement is in fact a new part of Earth, a space colony, a new human territory, the inhabitants being pioneers in space life.
3. The economical and political importance of LEDA
Another important aspect concerning the space settlement is its economical importance, involving both investments and profits. The investors will be governments and organizations interested in obtaining all kind of profit from the extracting spatial industry, solar wind traps, solar energy scientific breakthroughs and spatial tourism, the profit creating a large economical variation between the participants at this project, and the non participating governments and organizations. A fight for the manipulation of the space station will begin, because of its role in the worldwide economy… Space is an unexploited source of profit, and its exploration and exploiting will change monetary values as we know them. Lunar minerals will become important merchandise, new materials will be manufactured (from the titanium ore which is scarcely found on the Earth’s crust), and electricity will be cheaper.
The political importance of this settlement is strongly related to the economical factor. That is why the station’s leaders will have to be impartial and incorruptible, understanding that an equality must be kept in order not to bring forward any of the investors in the process of sharing the profit that the station creates.
Andrei Dan Costea, Flaviu Valentin
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