2 Major ComponentsFigure 10: Cross section of The Iris1 – 10: Elevator tunnels1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 – Golden fish3, 8 – Hippos9 – The serpent13Figure 11: Cross section on the settlement’s planeIn broad terms, The Iris will be formed of two hollow cylinders, one inscribed in the otherone, and having a common central axis. These salient components will be fixed to each otherin order to facilitate the communication between them and allow us to make use of differentvalues of gravity, leading to substantial benefits.The Outer Cylinder will include residential, commercial, recreational areas, administrationbuildings and many other amenities necessary for the inhabitants(that constitute the socalled”city”), located in the middle zone, and the agricultural area, situated in the zonesadjacent to the edges of the cylinder. The centre will be separated from the borderingzones by a giant reinforced smart glass wall, as explained in Section 4.2. As a result,the middle area, where people will spend most of their time, and the agricultural area,where the plants’ welfare has to prevail, will be independent of each other regarding theatmosphere composition and illumination.
While the “city” will stretch over a single level,where will be exerted normal gravity, the agricultural zone will have a multi-level design.Besides being space-saving, this type of design allows us to breed plants and animals atgravity values that suit them best, thus increasing the agriculture’s efficiency aboard TheIris.The Inner Cylinder will include the whole industry and waste processing areas, in order tokeep the noise and air pollution away from the dwelling and agricultural zones. The innercylinder’s radius will be roughly equal to half of the outer cylinder’s radius, thus beingdiminished to half (compared to normal gravity) the magnitude of the artificial gravity.A major advantage that comes from this design is that the lower value of gravitational14acceleration will inherently reduce not only the force and effort needed at manufacturing,processing and recycling, but also the wearing out of industrial machines. From dimensionaland structural considerations, this cylinder will be considerably shorter than theouter one the inner cylinder’s length being equal to the length of the outer cylinder’s middlearea, namely the “city”.
Therefore, the structure of the spacecraft is much simplified.As the two cylinders will have independent life support systems, in case a critical breakdownoccurs, people will be sheltered in the other cylinder until the problem is completely solved.Transportation Hub will be external to the main structure in order to avoid the inherentdangers of the spacecrafts’ landing and launching, which can lead to extremely perilouscollisions that can irreversibly damage The Iris. In order to facilitate the spaceships’docking and berthing, the Transportation Hub will be linked to the main structure amidone of the outer cylinder’s base. Furthermore, the hub will be stationery and won’t spinwith the rest of the structure. The Transportation Hub will provide the transfer of bothpeople and materials.2.
2.3 Minor ComponentsOptically Transparent Shields will cover the two bases of the outer cylinder. They will playthe crucial role to protect the spacecraft’s inhabitants against the hazardous radiationsand space debris that are roaming over the orbit, but also to hinder the space settlementfrom depressurization, as explained in Section 2.5.
Zero Gravity Zone will stretch along the rotational axis of the cylinders and its close surroundings.It will be divided in many circular modules serving either scientific or recreationalpurposes. Moreover, this zone will represent an quite amazing attraction to thetourists keen to taste breathtaking experiences. In addition, the tubular channels, thatlink the Transportation Hub to the salient structure, pass through the zero gravity zoneuntil they reach the elevators.The Elevators will connect the “city”, the industry area, and the zero gravity zone with oneanother. As a result, the elevators will also link the transportation hub to all areas,making the entire process of transfer simpler. The elevators will be of three types: forpassenger use, cargo, and for medical emergencies.
The Mirrors will be fixed to the two bases of the outer cylinder and will be external to themain structure. They will have the function of capturing and deflecting the sunlight intothe transparent shields, in order to illuminate the all areas of The Iris. Inside the spacesettlement, the parallel fascicles of light will be scattered by many spherical mirrors, whichwill light up the entire spacecraft efficiently.