This Realistic Space Station Blows Mass Effect's Citadel Out Of The Water

What a space city would actually look like in real life

Video games have done their fair share of building some incredible space stations — games like Dead Space, Halo, Vanquish, Mass Effect — but I don't think I've seen anything that compares to this.

Bryan Versteeg from Spacehabs has attempted to use scientific principles in the creation of these incredible space station concepts and the final renders are pretty spectacular. Actually, it doesn't look a million miles away from what was seen in Vanquish.

I want more of this kind of design in my video games. Here's what Bryan had to say about the design.

The Kalpana One Space Settlement design is the result of research into the structures and shapes that large space settlements could eventually take. In the late 60s through the 80s some shapes were defined that became the de facto go to shapes for science fiction and future imaginings. Some of these shapes however had some structural problems and would have had stability issues when rotating while some shapes were not very efficient use of structural and shielding mass for the resulting habitable volume.

To find a shape that would create the most "one G" living space and habitable volume per shielding and structural mass, it was found that an elongated can shape would be very effective. Because of the dimensions of the design, it would take very little correction to prevent it from wobbling.

With a radius of 820 feet (250 meters) and a depth of 1066 feet (325 meters), it would spin at a rate of two revolutions per minute to give the feeling of one earth gravity on the level where everyone would live. This means that people could live long and healthy lives while their bones and muscles would develop as they would on earth. Since this habitat will be the permanent home of its residents, it is important that it has the luxuries and recreation that would keep people happy.

Although the physics of kicking or throwing a ball would be very different in this environment, the resulting variation on certain pastimes would undoubtedly be entertaining. You can see many variations of sports and activities in these concepts.

What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life
What a space city would actually look like in real life

Bryan Versteeg is a Conceptual Design Artist who focuses on future technologies and space exploration. He has worked with many private space companies and publishers to illustrate the concepts that will be used to take humanity into space. Kalpana is just one of them.

You can follow this work in the Spacehabs site, Twitter and Facebook.


Comments

    Looks like Elysium

      I had the same thought

        Elysium looked like the Presidium though. When I saw the first still frame from the film I thought... what is this? The Mass Effect movie? ME did come way before Elysium. Not that the whole concept on how it looks is original either from a sci-fi perspective.

          The Citadel from Mass effect reminds me of Rama, in fact the idea of this space station reminds me of a lot of what Arthur C clarke wrote in his books, ESPECIALLY Rama. Some call it science fiction but when you look at it, it reflects a lot of what we already have in real life. I call it Science FACT.

            Dude, that's exactly what I thought when I first played ME and saw the Presidium... I was thinking... Wait a minute, this seems 'familiar'. RAMA! :D

    His website is pretty cool. Like, the content and all that jazz.

    I could totally live on that. Now, where's my floating armchair and adorable lovesick robot?

      He was made redundant and is now a tissue box holder for the captain, :-P

    I strongly feel the need to point out that a golf course is a very poor use of the extremely limited space available for a space habitat. Don't put golf in space, it's really really dumb! At least you can play lots of games on a soccer pitch or in a gym!

      Agree - but you can imagine the ultra rich pushing for it and getting it anyway.

      It doesn't look very large so the number of people living there will be quite low, & given the huge cost of constructing such a space station, I imagine only the absurdly rich could afford to live there. And certainly a golf course is something they would love to have nearby.

    At a rate of two revolutions per minute, how fast would something like that actually spin? And how would you dock your space ship with something spinning like that?

      From my (limited) knowledge of sci fi, the general idea is that you put docking ports near/on the axis of rotation, so that it isn't really moving that much at all.

      Only on the dead center top or bottom of it will docking be remotely possible as all you would need to do is match the spin velocity, anywhere else is next to impossible.

    I disagree. The man behind who designed The Citadel in Mass Effect was Syd Mead, a phenomenal designer who created better illustrations than these. He had a great artistic style and mixed it with the 50's to present architecture. For how long you have been in the industry Mark, and you compare the structure above to The Citadel shows you have got no respect for the finer quality of design.

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