Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Indian Students win Space Settlement Design Contest

Team of seven high school students from Punjab, India won the Grand Prize for the 2011 NASA/NSS Space Settlement Contest.

They had done a double-torus space settlement design called Hyperion. The winning design was selected from 355 submissions from 14 countries.

The Hyperion Space Settlement has a diameter of 1.8 kilometers and would provide a safe and pleasant living and working environment for 18,000 full time residents and an additional population (not to exceed 2,000) of business and official visitors, guests of residents, and vacationers.

The settlement would be constructed primarily from lunar materials and be located at the Earth-Moon L4 libration point. You can download the complete details as pdf file from here.

They have given the below explanation to explain why they choose "Hyperion"

Light, as we know, is the ultimate source of energy. It forms the basis for all life
forms on earth; everything in nature sprouts towards light.  Just as light creates
conditions on Earth for us to dwell, in a similar manner our settlement will
provide  an  environment for human beings to nourish and thrive in space,
thereby exploring new spheres of life. In Greek mythology, Hyperion (HyperiƓn)
was the Titan of Light (Sun). Hyperion is also referred to in Greek mythology as
“God of Watchfulness and Wisdom” and was responsible for providing light to
the Earth.
Find below the high lights from their report.

Vision behind Hyperion:

- Using the  advantage of living in space in best possible way and attain best structural support and stability.
- Providing large surface area for living so as to occupy large number of people in a single settlement.
- Building a thriving economy by Leading Trade Hub with earth and supporting our
ambitions to go and search outer space especially Mars and whole Solar System.

Features of Hyperion:
- Hyperion’s structure is the best model showing strength, stability and large surface area for living. The structure has some splendid features such as a non-rotating torus which provides the thrill and excitement of full space-life experience to the residents and tourist.
- Ultimate arrays of technologies and robots have been added to give life a new height. An astounding docking section has been built which provides a bi-transit system having different docks for import - export and residents - transient population.
- A New well designed Community Layout has been provided giving a chance to choose
between a variety of housing plans and lifestyle. Personal Rapid Transport, called POD,is installed in both the residential tori for easy and fast movement of the residents.

Besides providing ambient living conditions, Hyperion space settlement  would also have an
economic base. Like any other human settlement (cities, countries, etc.) it will also follow trade
practices. The settlement would support multilateral trade.

The settlement shall trade with Earth as it will have a leading advantage of being in space. In
turn, we shall buy goods for its needs from Earth, if required.
Advantage of setting industries in micro gravity: Weightlessness provides unique conditions for
scientific, application-oriented and industrial research. On Earth, if a substance is heated,
melted, solidified, crystallized, mixed, sprayed or burnt, then gravity has a strong influence over
what will happen. Moreover, the industries would be easy to handle due to weightlessness in
micro ‘g’.

 Types of Trades
There shall be four main industries in Hyperion involved in trade which are:
1. Electricity industry
2. Pharmaceutical industry
3. Glass industry
4. Ceramic industry
These four industries shall play an important role in Hyperion’s economy

Download the entire report from here.

Congratulations for the below winning students.
  • Gaurav Kumar
  • Deepak Talwar
  • Harman Jot Singh Walia
  • Mahiyal B. Singh
  • Kaenat Seth
  • Ishaan Mehta
  • Navdeep Singh Makkar. 

If you are planning to attend ISDC 2011,  see the ISDC Space Settlement Students Web Site.

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