2 Major Components
Figure 10: Cross section of The Iris
1 – 10: Elevator tunnels
1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 – Golden fish
3, 8 – Hippos
9 – The serpent
Figure 11: Cross section on the settlement’s plane
In broad terms, The Iris will be formed of two hollow cylinders, one inscribed in the other
one, and having a common central axis. These salient components will be fixed to each other
in order to facilitate the communication between them and allow us to make use of different
values of gravity, leading to substantial benefits.
The Outer Cylinder will include residential, commercial, recreational areas, administration
buildings 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 zones
adjacent to the edges of the cylinder. The centre will be separated from the bordering
zones 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 the
atmosphere 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 at
gravity values that suit them best, thus increasing the agriculture’s efficiency aboard The
The Inner Cylinder will include the whole industry and waste processing areas, in order to
keep the noise and air pollution away from the dwelling and agricultural zones. The inner
cylinder’s radius will be roughly equal to half of the outer cylinder’s radius, thus being
diminished 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 gravitational
acceleration will inherently reduce not only the force and effort needed at manufacturing,
processing and recycling, but also the wearing out of industrial machines. From dimensional
and structural considerations, this cylinder will be considerably shorter than the
outer one the inner cylinder’s length being equal to the length of the outer cylinder’s middle
area, 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 breakdown
occurs, 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 inherent
dangers of the spacecrafts’ landing and launching, which can lead to extremely perilous
collisions 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 amid
one of the outer cylinder’s base. Furthermore, the hub will be stationery and won’t spin
with the rest of the structure. The Transportation Hub will provide the transfer of both
people and materials.
2.2.3 Minor Components
Optically Transparent Shields will cover the two bases of the outer cylinder. They will play
the crucial role to protect the spacecraft’s inhabitants against the hazardous radiations
and space debris that are roaming over the orbit, but also to hinder the space settlement
from 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 recreational
purposes. Moreover, this zone will represent an quite amazing attraction to the
tourists keen to taste breathtaking experiences. In addition, the tubular channels, that
link the Transportation Hub to the salient structure, pass through the zero gravity zone
until they reach the elevators.
The Elevators will connect the “city”, the industry area, and the zero gravity zone with one
another. 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: for
passenger use, cargo, and for medical emergencies.
The Mirrors will be fixed to the two bases of the outer cylinder and will be external to the
main structure. They will have the function of capturing and deflecting the sunlight into
the transparent shields, in order to illuminate the all areas of The Iris. Inside the space
settlement, the parallel fascicles of light will be scattered by many spherical mirrors, which
will light up the entire spacecraft efficiently.
2 Outer Cylinder will include residential, commercial, recreational
2 Major Components