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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

Like Earth, Only in Space .... and with monorails (1989)


This image is featured in the 1989 book Checkerboard Press Computers and Electronics (Encyclopedia Series). The caption appears below.

Space colonies are now being considered seriously by some people. The one in the picture [above] is controlled throughout by a big central computer. The colony is positioned 240,000 miles (350,000km) from Earth and about the same distance from the Moon. It consists of a great tube 430 feet (130m) across. This tube forms a ring over a mile in diameter. The tube houses the main living and agricultural areas and can support up to 10,000 people. The big wheel rotates once a minute. This makes an artificial gravity on the surface of the tube away from the center. "Up" is towards the hub and "down is away from it.

Sunlight is reflected from huge mirrors that can be adjusted to give as much or as little sunlight as required in different parts of the tube. The sunlight also gives the energy to drive the generators which produce the colony's electricity.

Long "spokes" attach the tube to a central hub. At the hub there are docking ports for spaceships and vast antenna arrays for all the colony's communications with Earth.

See also:
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
Sport in Space Colonies (1977)
Space Colonies by Don Davis
More Space Colony Art (1970s)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)

Solar Power of 1999 (1956)

Closer Than We Think! Polar City (1959)