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Fully functional replicas of space habitats where people can take vacations in space-like conditions

Image credit: Kaplana One Camera 87 by Bryan Versteeg

Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 11, 2022
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Convert a small arid desert valley on Earth into a fully functioning replica of a futuristic space habitat where people can take vacations and see what life on Mars and especially in an O'Neill Cylinder would be like.
  • Let people experience what life on Mars and in space would be like.
  • Boost tourism and provide a living to people in some arid remote areas.
  • Gain experience and iterate on space habitat technologies in real-life scenarios.
  • Experiment and study psychological aspects of living in artificial, enclosed, nature-like environments.
How it works
Buy a rocky desert valley within driving distance of an international airport. Build several types of real-life replicas of fully functional space habitats. People will be able to take a vacation there and experience what life in space would be like as described below.
People have to learn and follow the rules while there. They can't go outside without special suits. Everything, as much as possible, is made to mimic the actual living conditions on Mars, the Moon, and an asteroid converted into a generation ship.
Tourists can choose how many days they wish to stay in each of the options below.
First Mars base
Something resembling China's C-Space Mars simulation base:
While in this base, tourists would get the same kind of food that astronauts on the international space station eat.
SpaceX Starship
Build a starship replica or get one from SpaceX. It would be amazing if Elon Musk supported the project. SpaceX could even use this as a lab to perfect the starship interior based on feedback from tourists who spent days living in one.

First Moon base

O'Neill cylinder generation ship
The generation ship would encompass an entire valley that is enclosed with glass panels from above. The bottom part would be usable, the rest would be for purely visual purposes because the structures there would be built at angles that could work only under spinning artificial gravity.
After experiencing the smaller habitats, I imagine people will want to spend the majority of their vacation in an O'Neill cylinder ship.

Creative contributions

Expand the idea to construct a large-scale astrobiology lab that actively recruits people to continually study the effects of space-flight in human biology

Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain May 13, 2022
With the dream of space colonization being more attainable each decade, the world needs to be prepared. The proposed idea is brilliant, and it can be made even more productive and fruitful. Such a space habitat replica built here on earth can be further used as a real-time laboratory to study the effect of space flight on human biology. While there is some research in this domain , the intrinsic limitations of logistics and lower sample size have been a great hindrance in the way of understanding how the space-related environmental variables (gravity, radiation) affect biology.
The idea is to modify the space replica as a whole to exactly mimic the space in terms of radiation it receives, differences in gravity and other physical/chemical parameters. People can be offered active recruitment with different incentives for participating.
Some questions this kind of lab-cum-city can answer:
  1. What is the mechanism of diseases in space?
  2. How do viral and bacterial infection processes in space differ from that on earth?
  3. How does cellular evolution differ in space as compared to earth?
Such a simulated environment is better than the present-day studies in the ISS:
  • offers accessibility
  • ease of operation
  • large scale testing and trials can be done easily
  • ease of recruiting people
One example of recruiting incentive: (space tourism?) If you sign up for ‘X’ days for this particular research, you can enjoy the ‘Y’ number of days, free of cost in the space replica city.


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Michaela D
Michaela D2 years ago
It would also be a great way to study the effects of "living" in space on human psychology and human interactions. Factors like different environment, different days and nights, sun exposure, and space restriction. These would be important aspects of living in space.
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General comments

Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 years ago
For me, that would make an interesting holiday. It's something new and seems like a great experience. What I don't understand is people's fascination with living on Mars. It's underdeveloped. Earth has much more to offer. Why would you want to live there? What's so great about it?
Perhaps, it's in our nature not to be satisfied with what we have and constantly seek something new. Maybe we should realise that we're damn fortunate to be living on Earth. Other planets just aren't as great, no matter how cool the idea of living on another planet might seem.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
Goran Radanovic You are right. That was my thought, too. I would like to hear Elon Musk's thoughts on spending the available resources repairing the Earth (if at all it needs any kind of repairing) and making it more livable than creating a livable architecture on another planet. Both things ultimately give the same results.
Speculatively, creating a new social structure seems easier than getting your hands dirty and sorting out the current flawed structure on Earth (if it is flawed). If you dream of creating a society free of most current problems, you might want to start afresh. I remember what Thanos said at the end of the movie Avengers: Endgame and that seems to fit the current context. Thanos is trying to eliminate half the population so that the other half thrives.
He says, "... I thought by eliminating half of life... the other half would thrive... But you've shown me... that's impossible... And as long as there are those that remember what was... there will always be those that are unable to accept what can be."
Then he goes on to say " I will shred this universe down to its last atom. And then... create a new one... teeming with life... that knows not what it is lost but only what it has been given."
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