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Back in the 1970s, NASA’s Ames Research Center conducted three space colony studies, when man was fresh off the moon landing and colonization of space seemed imminent. As part of the project, artists were asked to render the studies’ findings in dazzling color and detail. Together, these images evoke a unique sense of time and place with stunning precision, leaving the viewer with a bizarre feeling that is simultaneously retro and futuristic.
The Bernal design featured here was a spherical living area that could hold about 10,000 people.
Perhaps the most famous of these circular rotating stations were those of Space Station V, depicted in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey—which now seem brilliant: The centrifugal force created by the rotation would have an effect indistinguishable from gravity, as we can see in the scenes in which Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) is merrily jogging around the revolving wheel of a station.