Shell-Worlds: How Humanity Could Terraform Small Planets


Engineer Ken Roy envisions someday encasing small planets inside artificial shells to retain their atmosphere and provide an Earth-like environment. This could provide a shortcut for terraforming, the process of redesigning a planet’s surface to be more hospitable for human habitation.

Full Story: Incredible Technology: How to Use ‘Shells’ to Terraform a Planet: http://www.space.com/23063-terraforming-planets-shell-worlds.html

Mars or perhaps a moon in another solar system could be encased in a shell of dirt, steel and Kevlar fiber. With air pressure raised to a safe level and enough oxygen in the atmosphere, people could live freely on the surface. A small planet would have low enough gravity to allow for human-powered flight.

Lighting would be artificial since the shell could not admit sunlight. Heavy industry would be located on the outside of the shell, in the vacuum of space. Airlocks in the shell would allow spaceships to enter and land.