Japanese researchers have proposed building buildings with artificial gravity on the Moon and Mars, which could reduce health risks for people in space.

Their suggestions follow research published earlier this month astronauts suffered significant bone loss while in a low gravity environment.

Only about half of this bone loss was restored a year after the astronauts returned to Earth — raising concerns about future missions in Mars and the Moon.

Now researchers from Kyoto University and the Kajima Corporation have proposed huge rotating structures that would create the effect of Earth’s gravity through centrifugal force.

They propose to build a living object called Lunar Glass on the moon, which will be about 400 meters high and make a complete revolution every 20 seconds.

A similar setup called Mars Glass is proposed for Mars.

Mars Glass will contain a biome of plant life that will allow the human colonists to survive. Photo: Kajima Corporation

Renderings of these buildings, shared by Kyoto University’s SIC Center for Human Space Science, look similar to the space station in the 2013 sci-fi film Elysium, but on a much smaller scale.

The multi-story rotating building surfaces are surrounded by liquid water and land with trees, creating a mini-biome with water and carbon cycles to support the human population.

Along with these objects, the researchers proposed an interplanetary transport system that maintains Earth-like gravity on a path called Hexatrack.

The Hexatrack ground train cars will be separated at injection stations and then inserted into a rotating hexagonal capsule that also creates centrifugal force during space travel.

Rotational gravity simulation is already used in high-g centrifuges to train astronauts and aviators.

Science fiction films, including Elysium, Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey, show spacecraft spinning to create artificial gravity, although no existing spacecraft have yet been designed to simulate it.

The researchers proposed the entire system along with the announcement of a collaborative study to achieve the plan — though they don’t expect it to produce results right away.

“There is no such plan in other countries’ space exploration plans,” said Yosuke Yamashiki, director of the SIC Human Space Science Center.

“Our plan represents important technologies that are critical to enabling humans to travel into space in the future,” he added.

They warn that full-scale facilities will take around 100 years to build, although they hope to build a simplified version on the moon by 2050.


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