This series is a part of the Solar Art Archive a public domain collection of art and materials to be reused and remixed in work however the artist sees fit. We focus on gathering the highest quality files possible and sharing resources.
Some of you may be familiar with the well known series of video games Halo produced by Bungee/Microsoft. The setting of these games (and namesake) are on a space platform called a "halo", a ring colony floating in space which acts as a bio-dome. In searching through some NASA archives several years ago I came across some illustrations which clearly served as some inspiration for the game. These images are from something known as "Space Settlements: A Design Study"
Space Settlements: A Design Study, provides information on space settlement development and education and assists teachers and students in the NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest. The design study was the result of a 10 week program in engineering systems design held at Stanford University and Ames Research Center in the summer of 1975. Participants included professors, technical directors and students in a variety of disciplines from physical science and architecture to engineering and social science. The goal (see preface) was to construct a vision of how people might sustain life in space in a large colony.
To get you in the mood for the following images here is a little excerpt from the "Summer Study" writings:
Preparation for your trip is a difficult period; it eliminates those who are not serious about their intention of going to the space colony. You undergo weeks of quarantine, exhaustive physical examinations, stringent decontamination, and interminable tests to make sure that you do not carry insects, bacteria, fungi, or mental problems to L5. Only then are you permitted to board a personnel module of a heavy-lift launch vehicle which everyone refers to as the HLLV, along with 99 prospective colonists who have gone through even more rigorous tests than you have as a mere visitor.
This image from HALO is copyrighted, not public domain
A few things to note:
- This set is Public Domain (use without restrictions)
- This particular set are all .jpg most are around 5k resolution. We gathered the highest resolution we could find (check links below).
- Some of these images are quite detailed and deserve a zoom in on the full res files, enjoy!
The Bernal Sphere is an early idea for a space colony which later designs were based on. The following images were from the NASA Summer Study.
A Bernal sphere is a type of space habitat intended as a long-term home for permanent residents, first proposed in 1929 by John Desmond Bernal.
Bernal's original proposal described a hollow non-rotating spherical shell 10 mi (16 km) in diameter, with a target population of 20,000 to 30,000 people. The Bernal sphere would be filled with air.
The O'Neill cylinder (also called an O'Neill colony) is a space settlement concept proposed by American physicist Gerard K. O'Neill in his 1976 book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space. O'Neill proposed the colonization of space for the 21st century, using materials extracted from the Moon and later from asteroids.
An O'Neill cylinder would consist of two counter-rotating cylinders. The cylinders would rotate in opposite directions in order to cancel out any gyroscopic effects that would otherwise make it difficult to keep them aimed toward the Sun. Each would be 5 miles (8.0 km) in diameter and 20 miles (32 km) long, connected at each end by a rod via a bearing system. They would rotate so as to provide artificial gravity via centrifugal force on their inner surfaces.
The Stanford torus is a proposed NASA design for a space habitat capable of housing 10,000 to 140,000 permanent residents.
The Stanford torus was proposed during the 1975 NASA Summer Study, conducted at Stanford University, with the purpose of exploring and speculating on designs for future space colonies (Gerard O'Neill later proposed his Island One or Bernal sphere as an alternative to the torus). "Stanford torus" refers only to this particular version of the design, as the concept of a ring-shaped rotating space station was previously proposed by Wernher von Braun and Herman Potočnik.
misc. NASA concept art
A few bonus pieces that don't fit the category
Original source for space colony images here:
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