(Credit: TriStar Pictures)
This week a new movie “Elysium” featuring Matt Damon was released. The plot consists of Matt Damon trying to break into Elysium (futuristic earth like space station) in order to save everyone living in earth. With the release of this movie, many people are wondering if such a structure is possible for us to build.
So, is it possible for humans to build such an advances structure in space? The answer to that is yes, even with today’s technology.
We have come a long way with space technology since the first Apollo landing. Not only have we started building a habitable structure in space (the ISS), which is now about the size of a football field, but we are also looking further into the future and trying to expand it in order to compensate for our needs.
So far the football long international space station has cost participating countries over $150 billion. The reason for the high price is due to transportation. Everything we have sent to space thus far we needed to send them with chemical powered rockets. This is the only means of transportation to outer space we have had until today. These rockets are also not very fuel-efficient. For every pound we must send to space we need fuel for the rocket, and the more fuel the rocket has, the more fuel it needs in order to escape earth’s gravity.
We have been testing out many different means of transportation such as plasma powered rockets, and nuclear-thermal propulsion. With these sources of transportation, not only will the cost of space travel decrease, but we will also be able to travel longer distances in short period of time.
Other new technologies such as 3-D printers and inflatable space station pods are going to make it even easier to build in space. With 3-D printers you won’t need to transport materials up into space as frequent as today. The inflatable space station is also going to make it even cheaper for us to expand the international space station and to build other structures in space.
With the privatization of space today, these structures are looking to be more and more necessary for tomorrow’s space society. People are interested in going into space and even travelling to other planets such as mars. SpaceX, Boeing, and many other companies are looking into making this possible for ordinary people to go into space. This desire for us to explore is not only leading us to build an Elysium like structure, but bigger and better technology to make it possible for us to go to other worlds.