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Cutaway view of Bernal Sphere by Rick Giudice & Don Davis

Cutaway view of Bernal Sphere by Rick Giudice & Don Davis

ABOUT THIS COLLECTION  

During the summer of 1975, Princeton physics professor and space visionary Gerard K. O’Neill brought together professors of engineering, physical science, social science, and architecture over a 10-week period to design a system for the colonization of space, which was published in a report. The goal was to build an orbiting community with materials and technologies available at the time. Artists Rick Giudice and Don Davis were hired to create illustrations of the colonies described in the report. The colonies all rotated (rotation was needed to provide gravity) and took three forms: a toroidal (or donut-shaped) colony, a cylindrical colony, and a “Bernal sphere,” which would house people inside the surface of a sphere. These visions of a future in space ignited imaginations worldwide and helped spark a grassroots movement to build Earth-like habitats in space.  The images are just as beautiful today as there were then, and express a kind of optimism that seems alien to us now.

 

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