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Japan’s Mega Space Migration Program Aims to ‘Recreate’ Earth’s Gravity On Moon & Mars

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Researchers from Kyoto University are collaborating with Kajima Construction and have announced that they are working on an artificial space habitat. The researchers are also drawing up plans to build inter-planetary trains connecting the Earth, Moon, and Mars.

The team is working on a futuristic plan to help create a ‘Glass’ habitat living structure that replicates Earth’s gravity, terrain, and atmosphere. As zero and low gravity environments ‘weaken’ the human musculoskeletal system (a problem that astronauts face), the habitat will replicate Earth’s gravity allowing humans to live normally in space.

As the new space race heats up – US is restarting its moon programme, China is exploring Mars and is planning a joint moon base with Russians and India is looking to put a man in space in the future, maybe humans will soon start living in space. However, as human bodies have evolved over millions of years on Earth, living is space brings multiple risks.

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The ‘Glass’: A home away from home

Living in low or no gravity comes with attached risks such as exoskeletal structure not using their inherent ‘strength’ and ‘softening’ over time as the human body adjusts to low gravity in space.

Kids in space is an altogether different challenge as they may not even be born successfully and risks associated with it have not been properly studied. Even if these kids are born, they may not be able to stand on their feet when they return to earth.

With predictions for moon migration being pegged at later 2021, Kyoto University and Kajima Construction are attempting to build ‘The Glass,’ a conical living habitat with artificial gravity. The structure will be complete with public transportation, green areas, and water bodies, just like on earth.

According to Eurasian Times, the structure is essentially an inverted cone that rotates to create a centrifugal pull mimicking the effect of Earth’s actual gravity. At roughly 1,300 feet tall and with a radius of 328 feet, researchers are hoping to build a simplified prototype version by 2050. According to The Asahi Shimbun, a final version will take around a century to be built and operational.

‘Lunaglass’ is being built for the moon while the habitat on Mars will be named the ‘Marsglass.’ Elements from the Earth’s terrain and ecosystem will be “extracted” to be fed into the “core biome complex,” which indicates a multi-disciplinary field of geology, biology, botany, various physics, engineering, and climatology.

Interplanetary Railway?

The team’s plans border on science fiction. They are also planning a an interplanetary transportation system called the ‘Hexatrack’. This transportation system will maintains a gravity of 1G even during long-distance travel to reduce the effects low gravity on the human body.

According to Eurasian Times, ‘Hexatrack’ is a small mini-capsule (radius of 15 meters) shuttling between the Earth and Moon and a large capsule (radius of 30 meters) traveling between Earth and Mars and Moon and Mars.

The large capsule has a structure in which the outer frame ‘floats,’ possibly using electromagnetic technology, seen on Maglev trains in Germany and China. These trains called ‘Space Express’ will stop at stations aptly called terra stations.

The trains will have rockets strapped on to them to accelerate and deaccelerate and also ecape the gravitational pull of a planet. The train is being designed as a high speed railway to operate on moon and mars to connect the base cities.

Yosuke Yamashiki, the Director of SIC Manned Cosmology Research Center and Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies at Kyoto University, says that while the United States and the United Arab Emirates are actively pushing for the migration to Mars, he wanted Japan to table a completely different, “original idea independently.”

“Through discussions over the past few years, these three pillars that we propose this time are core technologies that are not in the development plans of other countries and are indispensable for ensuring the realization of human space colonization in the future,” he added. 

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