The Avalon Orbital Settlement

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S. D. Gunn et al. (2019), JBIS, 72, pp.302-331

Refcode: 2019.72.302
Keywords: O’Neill Space Colonies, Avalon Orbital Habitat, BIS SPACE Project

Gerard O’Neill’s Island 1 orbital habitat has been re-viewed and significant problems identified with the design. These are concerned mainly with the lack of rotational stability and insufficient radiation protection. Indeed, most earlier designs gloss over such important issues, deficiencies that have now been addressed by an extensive and detailed study. Risks are identified and mitigation measures described to enhance confidence in the viability of a new safe and robust design called Avalon. A key feature is counter rotating concentric double hulls with no net angular momentum for a rotationally stable structure. A 1,000-year lifespan is anticipated for the main structural elements. If a major incident should render Avalon uninhabitable, the entire population could be evacuated to an onboard “safe haven” and, if necessary, from there to Earth.

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