Distant Atmosphere

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O’Neil Cylinder

One of my favorite types of space habitats is the Island Three Habitat, or O’Neil Cylinder, as it is more commonly referred. It’s basically a giant paper towel tube spinning as if somebody gave a towel a good yank.  Spun fast enough, the inside surface of the tube would act as a ‘floor’ for people to stand, walk, and do jumping jacks on.

Gerald O’Neil’s Island Three habitat was envisioned at five miles in diameter, and 20 miles long.  I am thinking of a cylinder much larger than that, as four of these cylinders would be cut from the bulk of the asteroid Vesta.



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