Scientists illustrate the space colonies of the future

Scientists have come up with a number of designs for what life would be like when staying on Earth is no longer an option.

Scientists have long maintained that the Earth will one day become uninhabitable. Tasked with envisioning what it would be like when humans start looking to space for refuge, scientists working with NASA in the 1970s came up with a series of illustrations showing that we might one day live on massive orbiting spaceships.

Physicists from Princeton University, the NASA Ames Research Centre, and Stanford University created artistic illustrations that depict what space worlds might look like. It was predicted that humans would take to space by 2060 after a natural catastrophe ruins the Earth.

But instead of the grey walls, metal and glass, scientists envisioned a world much like the one we would leave behind. Donut-shaped, orbiting spaceships would be lined with trees, rivers, and other greenery. These spaceships would come in different sizes and designs, and house around 10 000 to 1 million people at a time.

Other designs included ships equipped with round tubes to house livestock and stunning views of the planets as the ship orbits the sun. The ships would also have unlimited solar power and they would be free of pollution. Ironically, the qualities valued in these outer space colonies are the same qualities taken for granted on Earth.