Space settlement art contest: winners' gallery now online


The National Space Society's art contest has announced its winning entries to illustrate the NSS 2009 Space Settlement Calendar. Link to gallery. Shown here: After the Storm, by Colorado-based artist Raymond Cassel, submitted in the "Martian Settlements" category -- this one took grand prize.

11

  1. Kill two birds with one stone: let us nuke the Martian polar ice caps to begin Mars’ terraforming and Earth’s nuclear disarmament. There is no time like the present.

  2. Some of these ideas, particularly the one pictured, could be applied right here on Terra. They would conserve energy and help preserve existing ecosystems. I’m in the middle of a big fight with developers over destroying a scenic canyon by filling it up with tract homes. Embedded homes like this would preserve the beauty of the landscape and help with cooling on those 120 degree days. I want my hovercar!

  3. Underground homes are very cool (no pun intended) and do have great insulation. I think the problem is that accessing utility lines and pipes when something breaks.

  4. As a kid, I took it as a given that we’d likely have people on Mars by now. If by the time I reach my dotage I can retire to the moon I’ll consider that good enough to say I lived in the future.

  5. The orbital environments are outstanding. I don’t know if you’d want to put it in orbit of Mars though. A huge gravity well might make things a little difficult for a “ship” that’s miles long. Still, I would tend to think that an orbital has a lot more going for it than trying to terraform a dead world like Mars. Or any other dead world for that matter.

  6. I live in NYC. Housing prices are too high here for me to move. I managed to stick around in student housing for a great price (1/3 of a few blocks away), without much security as to whether it will last a second or third decade (with no rent increase except $60?!).

    Shall I move to Mars, where there’s no wind and the rent would be out of this world indeed?

    But right next to me is a very large ocean. And though it sounds cool to live on it’s mucky bottom, I wonder why a city has not been floated upon it? Oh, that’s called Staten Island, whose most famous feature is a Landfill.

    The question though, about space? Why? It was exciting, due to the age-old mystery of it, even romance of it, like a natural addition to future history akin to colonization of the New World. But in fact, now, to me, it sounds about as fun as colonizing the Sahara Desert, leaving out the water but also taking away the air, and adding massive radioactivity storms every time the sun farts a flare or three, or one person catches an airborne disease, I get to breath it in too! Yeah, that’s utopia.

    The ONLY attraction would be if a new type of CULTURE would be created to make up for the physical sterility of the living quarters in which one bout of crop blight starves us all of oxygen.

    Can I take LSD without going to jail for a hundred years? Can I have two wives? Can I travel back to the 60s, which I missed the first time around? Or will human nature kick in, and a small town effect take over, all gossipy and nitpicking? And talk about 9/11 squared possibilities! If you hate the few orgy colonies as symbols of Western progress, why just buy a non-warhead missile and send up a bucket of bolts in an opposite orbit, moving at ten thousand miles an hour.

    What sucks is the speed of light, which over the last century has indicated to us that the only places to live besides Earth are like parking your RV on the ridge of an radioactive volcano. Do you know what desert dust smells like? Mossy and fresh. Do you know what moon dust smells like? An ashtray, and it sticks to you like static cling cat hair.

    It’s somewhat akin, also, to the music industry. The profit model is flawed, so all we really get is hotels for millionaires and a few new cliches for Hollywood’s movies? What new element do I suddenly get from a stupid asteroid? What diseases have been miraculously cured after 30 years of space station experiments of confused fruit flies? One. Gravity Sickness. The cure? Don’t live on Mars.

  7. I live in NYC. Housing prices are too high here for me to move. I managed to stick around in student housing for a great price (1/3 of a few blocks away), without much security as to whether it will last a second or third decade (with no rent increase except $60?!).

    Shall I move to Mars, where there’s no wind and the rent would be out of this world indeed?

    But right next to me is a very large ocean. And though it sounds cool to live on it’s mucky bottom, I wonder why a city has not been floated upon it? Oh, that’s called Staten Island, whose most famous feature is a Landfill.

    The question though, about space? Why? It was exciting, due to the age-old mystery of it, even romance of it, like a natural addition to future history akin to colonization of the New World. But in fact, now, to me, it sounds about as fun as colonizing the Sahara Desert, leaving out the water but also taking away the air, and adding massive radioactivity storms every time the sun farts a flare or three, or one person catches an airborne disease, I get to breath it in too! Yeah, that’s utopia.

    The ONLY attraction would be if a new type of CULTURE would be created to make up for the physical sterility of the living quarters in which one bout of crop blight starves us all of oxygen.

    Can I take LSD without going to jail for a hundred years? Can I have two wives? Can I travel back to the 60s, which I missed the first time around? Or will human nature kick in, and a small town effect take over, all gossipy and nitpicking? And talk about 9/11 squared possibilities! If you hate the few orgy colonies as symbols of Western progress, why just buy a non-warhead missile and send up a bucket of bolts in an opposite orbit, moving at ten thousand miles an hour.

    What sucks is the speed of light, which over the last century has indicated to us that the only places to live besides Earth are like parking your RV on the ridge of an radioactive volcano. Do you know what desert dust smells like? Mossy and fresh. Do you know what moon dust smells like? An ashtray, and it sticks to you like static cling cat hair.

    It’s somewhat akin, also, to the music industry. The profit model is flawed, so all we really get is hotels for millionaires and a few new cliches for Hollywood’s movies? What new element do I suddenly get from a stupid asteroid? What diseases have been miraculously cured after 30 years of space station experiments of confused fruit flies? One. Gravity Sickness. The cure? Don’t live on Mars.

    What’s the statistic? 99% of humanity lives on 10% of Earth’s surface? Why don’t we “terraform” Antarctica with huge geodesic dome gardens, pristine underwater hotels, huge swaths of oxygen bathed real estates, and cheap airfare to South America resort towns or backpacking country?

  8. Nik, I obviously makes a lot more sense to “terraform” parts of Earth before moving on to some space project. Antartical looks like a tropical Eden compared to Mars. Here on Mother Earth, we’re going to have our hands full just getting clean water to where we need it, let alone moving megatonage to Mars or the Moon. Let’s try turning the Australian outback into a forest before a single dollar is spent on Mars. Let’s turn the American prarie back into endless fields of switch grass. Charity begins at HOME, not some dead world that’s too far away to do us any good.

  9. @NikFromNYC:

    Well, yes, all your points are very valid. But then again, such arguments were also probably put to every long distance voyager/colonist in history. Why bother exploring the new world when 16th century Spain is so lovely? Why get on that longship to England, when 9th century continental Europe is full of empty fields that just need a bit of draining?

    Exploration and colonisation aren’t a purely rational exercise. So while your points are solid – yes, Antarctica is certainly an easier place to live than Earth orbit, the Moon or Mars – the non-terrestrical options at least have the benefit of being away from Earth-bound political interference. And history shows, a lot of the time people dodn’t just want land, they want freedom.

  10. Well, I just like the fact that the the astronaut in the right corner looks a bit overweight. So, if a standard flight-rated NASA spacesuit runs about $22,000,000 – how much are plus size versions?

Comments are closed.