Megastructures are large-scale structures or buildings that are designed to serve a specific function or purpose, such as habitats for human communities, transportation hubs, or energy production facilities. These structures are typically much larger and more complex than traditional buildings and infrastructure, and they often involve the integration of advanced technologies and materials.
The concept of megastructures has been around for decades and has been explored by architects, engineers, and futurists as a way to address the challenges and opportunities of the future. Some of the potential benefits of megastructures include:
- Increased efficiency: designed to optimize the use of resources, such as energy and materials, and to minimize waste.
- Enhanced functionality: tailored to meet the specific needs of their users, such as providing comfortable living spaces or efficient transportation options.
- Increased sustainability and resiliency: designed to be self-sustaining and to withstand extreme weather events or other hazards, making them more resilient in the face of natural disasters or other challenges.
The Kardashev scale as a theoretical measure of a civilization’s level of technological advancement
Based on the amount of energy that a civilization is able to harness and utilize. The scale was first proposed by Kardashev in 1964, and it has since become a popular way to conceptualize the potential evolution of civilizations and their technological capabilities.
- Type I civilization: A civilization that is able to harness and utilize all of the energy available on its home planet.
- Type II civilization: Able to harness and utilize all of the energy from its host star.
- Type III civilization: Able to harness and utilize all of the energy from its host galaxy.
In the context of futuristic megastructures, the Kardashev scale could be used to gauge the feasibility and potential impact of these structures. For example, a Type I civilization might be able to construct a megastructure that spans an entire planet, while a Type II civilization might be able to construct a megastructure that spans an entire star system. A Type III civilization, on the other hand, might be able to construct a megastructure that spans an entire galaxy, or even multiple galaxies.
The Kardashev scale serves as a useful framework for thinking about the potential capabilities of advanced civilizations and the technological feats they may be able to accomplish.
Energy consumption in three types of civilization as defined by Sagan’s extended Kardashev scale
Weighting pros and cons to prioritize megastructures:
- Impact: Different megastructures serve different purposes, so its important to prioritize those with the highest positive impact for humanity, and who are the cheapest, and least complex to build
Given these challenges, it is important that we approach the building of megastructures with careful planning and consideration. This may involve developing new technologies and materials, as well as working with a wide range of stakeholders, including architects, engineers, policymakers, and the general public.
In terms of timeline, it is difficult to predict exactly when megastructures will be built, as this will depend on a variety of factors, including technological advances, economic considerations, and societal demand. However, it is likely that we will see the construction of megastructures in the coming decades and centuries.
Ultimately, the decision of which proposed megastructure to attempt first will depend on a variety of factors, including the costs and benefits of each project, as well as the technological and economic feasibility of building and maintaining each structure.
Megastructures on wikipedia
There are structures that may be considered megastructures, such as
- Great Wall of China
- Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
- Skyscrapers represent the current state-of-the-art in large structure engineering. (See the List of tallest buildings and structures in the world and list of largest buildings in the world.)
- The Large Hadron Collider consists of, among other structures, a ring 27 kilometers in circumference.
Networks of roads or railways, and collections of buildings (cities and associated suburbs), are usually not considered megastructures, despite frequently qualifying based on size. However, an ecumenopolis might qualify.
Space Elevator: A space elevator is a hypothetical structure that would reach from the surface of the Earth to geostationary orbit, allowing for easy and cost-effective access to space. While the technology to build a space elevator does not yet exist, it is an exciting possibility for the future.
Habitat Domes: Large habitat domes could be built on the Moon or other planets to create a livable environment for humans. These domes could be pressurized and equipped with artificial lighting and other life support systems, allowing humans to live and work in these environments for extended periods of time.
- Artificial Islands: Build artificial islands in the oceans, either for tourism or for the purpose of creating new land for development. These islands could be built using materials such as sand, rock, or concrete and could be anchored to the ocean floor to provide stability.
Underwater cities could be built at the bottom of the ocean as a new frontier for human habitation and exploration. These cities would need to be constructed with materials that can withstand the pressure of the deep ocean and equipped with life support systems to allow humans to live and work in this environment. There are three potential approaches to building an underwater city: using habitat modules, building a city based on submarines or submersibles, or constructing a city directly on the seabed using specialized structures.
- Solar Power Satellites: Large satellites equipped with solar panels could be placed in geostationary orbit around the Earth, where they would be able to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. This electricity could then be transmitted back to the Earth’s surface, providing a clean and renewable source of energy.
- Orbital Ring: An orbital ring is a hypothetical structure that would consist of a large ring or loop in space, orbiting the Earth at a distance of about 36,000 kilometers. This structure could be used for a variety of purposes, including transportation, communication, and space-based solar power.
- Trans-Global Highway, highway systems that would link all six of the inhabited continents on Earth. The highway would network new and existing bridges and tunnels, not only improving ground transportation but also potentially offering a conduit for utility pipelines.
- Cloud nine is Buckminster Fuller’s proposal for a tensegrity sphere a mile in radius which would be large enough so that it would float in the sky if heated by only one degree above ambient temperature, creating habitats for mini cities of thousands of people in each “Cloud Nine”. Fuller also proposed a marine analog consisting of a hollow terraced floating tetrahedron of reinforced concrete measuring one mile from vertex to vertex supporting a population of one million living in air-deployed residential modules on the exterior with the requisite infrastructure providing utilities (water, power, sewerage, etc.) inside. The modules would have standardized utility ports so as to be completely livable within minutes of arrival, and could be subsequently detached and moved to other such cities.
Proposed space colonization
Space colonization is the inhabitation and territorial use of extraterrestrial space, proposed to be realized by building settlements or mining enterprises. It has been argued for on the basis of survival of human civilization and life from Earth in a disaster, and for the additional resources available in space. Objections include potential commodification of the cosmos, opportunity cost, and exacerbation of pre-existing issues. SpaceX, and others have outlined concrete plans and timelines.
Resource mining in space: Asteroid mining, Lunar mining facilities
Timeline for solar system resource mining
- Study and explore the resources of our solar system.
- Development of space probes and robotic spacecraft to explore and collect data from our solar system.
- Governments and private companies begin to invest in space exploration and the creation of technology for extracting resources from our solar system.
- The first commercial space mining operations are established, allowing for the extraction of resources from the Moon and other bodies in our solar system.
- By 2075, solar system resource mining is probably a major industry, with many large-scale operations extracting resources from various parts of our solar system.
- 2100: Solar system resource mining is commonplace and is used to fuel the development of new technologies and industries.
A number of theoretical structures have been proposed which may be considered megastructures.
A cut-away diagram of an idealized Dyson shell—a variant on Dyson’s original concept—1 AU in radius.
Most stellar scale megastructure proposals are designs to make use of the energy from a sun-like star while possibly still providing gravity or other attributes that would make it attractive for an advanced civilization.
- The Alderson disk is a theoretical structure in the shape of a disk, whose outer radius is equivalent to the orbit of Mars or Jupiter and whose thickness is several thousand miles. A civilization could live on either side, held by the gravity of the disk and still receive sunlight from a star bobbing up and down in the middle of the disk.
- A Dyson sphere (also known as a Dyson shell) refers to a structure or mass of orbiting objects that completely surrounds a star to make full use of its solar energy.
- A Matrioshka brain is a collection of multiple Concentric Dyson Spheres which make use of star’s energy for computing.
Image from Steve Bowers
- A Stellar engine either uses the temperature difference between a star and interstellar space to extract energy or serves as a Shkadov thruster.
- A Shkadov thruster accelerates an entire star through space by selectively reflecting or absorbing light on one side of it.
- Topopolis (also known as Cosmic Spaghetti) is a proposed tube-shaped space habitat, rotating to produce artificial gravity via centrifugal force on the inner surface, which is extended into a loop around the local planet or star.
- A Ringworld (or Niven Ring) is an artificial ring encircling a star, rotating faster than orbital velocity to create artificial gravity on its inner surface. A non-rotating variant is a transparent ring of breathable gas, creating a continuous microgravity environment around the star, as in the eponymous Smoke Ring.
Related structures which might not be classified as individual stellar megastructures, but occur on a similar scale:
- A Dyson swarm is a Dyson sphere made up of separately orbiting elements (including large habitats) rather than a single continuous shell.
- A Dyson bubble is a Dyson sphere in which the individual elements are statites, non-orbital objects held aloft by the pressure of sunlight.
- A Bishop Ring, Halo or Orbital is a space habitat similar to but much smaller than a Niven Ring. Instead of being centered on a star, it is in orbit around the star and its diameter is typically on the order of magnitude of a planet. By tilting the ring relative to its orbit, the inner surface would experience a nearly conventional day and night cycle. Due to its enormous scale, the habitat would not need to be fully enclosed like the Stanford torus, instead its atmosphere would be retained solely by centripetal gravity and side walls, allowing an open sky.
- Globus Cassus is a hypothetical proposed project for the transformation of Planet Earth into a much bigger, hollow, artificial world with the ecosphere on its inner surface. This model serves as a tool to understand the World’s real functioning processes.
- Shellworlds or paraterraforming are inflated shells holding high pressure air around an otherwise airless world to create a breathable atmosphere.^^ The pressure of the contained air supports the weight of the shell.
- Completely hollow shell worlds can also be created on a planetary or larger scale by contained gas alone, also called gravitational balloons, as long as the outward pressure from the contained gas balances the gravitational contraction of the entire structure, resulting in no net force on the shell. The scale is limited only by the mass of gas enclosed, the shell can be made of any mundane material. The shell can have an additional atmosphere on the outside.^^^^
- It can also refer to terraformed or artificial planets with multiple concentric layers.
- An orbital ring is a dynamically elevated ring placed around the Earth that rotates at an angular rate that is faster than orbital velocity at that altitude, stationary platforms can be supported by the excess centripetal acceleration of the super-orbiting ring (similar in principle to a Launch loop), and ground-tethers can be supported from stationary platforms.
- The Bernal sphere is a proposal for a spherical space colony with a maximum diameter of 16 kilometers. It would have gravity at the equator, and gradually turn to zero G at the poles.
- Rotating wheel space stations, such as the Stanford torus, are wheel-like space station which produce artificial gravity by rotation. Typical designs include transport spokes to a central hub used for docking and/or micro-gravity research.
- The related concepts, O’Neill and McKendree cylinders, are both pairs of counter-rotating cylinders containing habitable areas inside and creating 1g on their inner surfaces via centripetal acceleration. The scale of each concept came from estimating the largest 1g cylinder that could be built from steel (O’Neill) or carbon fiber (McKendree).^^^^
- Hollowed asteroids (or Bubble worlds or Terraria) are spun on their axis for simulated gravity and filled with air, allowing them to be inhabited on the inside. In some concepts, the asteroid is heated to molten rock and inflated into its final form.^^^^
- A stellaser is a star-powered laser or maser.
One concept for the space elevator has it tethered to a mobile seagoing platform.
Main article: Non-rocket spacelaunch
- A skyhook is a very long tether that hangs down from orbit.
- A space elevator is a tether that is fixed to the ground, extending beyond geostationary orbital altitude, such that centripetal force exceeds gravitational force, leaving the structure under slight outward tension.
- A space fountain is a dynamically supported structure held up by the momentum of masses which are shot up to the top at high speeds from the ground.
- A launch loop (or Lofstrom loop) is a dynamically supported 2000 km long iron loop that projects up in an arc to 80 km that is ridden by maglev cars while achieving orbital velocity.
- StarTram Generation 2 is a maglev launch track extending from the ground to above 96% of the atmosphere’s mass, supported by magnetic levitation.
- A rotovator is a rotating tether where the lower tip is moving in the opposite direction to the tether’s orbital velocity, reducing the difference in velocity relative to the ground, and hence reducing the velocity of rendezvous; the upper tip is likewise moving at greater than orbital velocity, allowing propellantless transfer between orbits. Around an airless world, such as the moon, the lower tip can actually touch the ground with zero horizontal velocity.^^ As with any momentum exchange tether, orbital energy is gained or lost in the transfer.
A number of structures have appeared in fiction which may be considered megastructures.
- The Dyson sphere has appeared in many works of fiction, including the Star Trek universe.
- Larry Niven’s series of novels beginning with Ringworld centered on, and originated the concept of a ringworld, or Niven ring. A ringworld is an artificial ring with a radius roughly equal to the radius of the Earth’s orbit (1 AU). A star is present in the center and the ring spins to create g-forces, with inner walls to hold in the atmosphere. The structure is unstable, and required the author to include workarounds in subsequent novels set on it.
- In the manga Blame! the megastructure is a vast and chaotic complex of metal, concrete, stone, etc., that covers the Earth and assimilates the Moon, and eventually expands to encompass a volume greater than the orbit of Jupiter.
- In the Heechee Saga series by Frederik Pohl, a race of pure energy beings called The Foe have constructed the Kugelblitz, a black hole made of energy and not matter.
- In the Xeelee series of books by Stephen Baxter, the eponymous alien race constructed the Ring, a megastructure made of cosmic strings, spanning over 10 million light years.
- In Freelancer, The Dom’Kavosh’s Dyson shell that is inhabited by a drone race created by the Dom’Kavosh, Nomads. This is reached via a hyper gate, created by the same creators as the Dyson sphere.
- The Saga of Cuckoo series novel Wall Around a Star mentions a proposal to build a super dyson sphere, completely enclosing the Galactic Center.
- The title of the novel Helix by Eric Brown directly references a stellar-scale helical megastructure. Different types of environments and habitats are interspersed along the structure, while their varying distance from the central star affects the climate.
- The player’s central quest in computer game Dyson Sphere Program is to construct Dyson sphere. Gameplay focuses on constructing planetary scale factories as a means towards this end.
- The Quarg in the game Endless Sky are shown building a massive ring around one of their stars, which is most likely around one astronomical unit in diameter. A completed version of this can also be found in another location.
- In computer games Space Empires IV and Space Empires V, the player can construct sphereworlds and ringworlds around stars.
- Dennis E. Taylor’s 2020 novel Heaven’s River features a Topopolis built around an alien system. Different segments of the structure are built with artificial climate and weather.
Planetary and orbital scale
- Several structures from the fictional Halo universe:
- The original twelve Halos, seen in Halo: Cryptum, were 30,000 kilometers in diameter; a separate array of six Halos are 10,000 kilometers in diameter, with one of the original twelve later being reduced to this size in Halo: Primordium.
- The Lesser Ark is a 127,530 km diameter structure from which the Halo Array can be activated and capable of building 10,000 km Halos. The “greater” Ark, seen in Cryptum and Primordium, is capable of producing 30,000 km Halos.
- Onyx is an artificial planet made entirely out of Forerunner Sentinels (advanced replicating robots). At its core is a “shield world”, contained within slipstream space, that is approximately one astronomical unit in diameter. The much smaller Shield World 0459, (approximately 1,400 km in diameter), is the setting for the latter half of Halo Wars. A third shield world, Requiem, is the primary setting for Halo 4. Requiem is an artificial hollow planet encased in a kind of Dyson Sphere. Halo 5: Guardians introduces a fourth shield world, Genesis.
- High Charity, the Covenant’s mobile planetoid station.
- In the Doctor Who episodes The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End, a planet-sized space station known as The Crucible is built by the Daleks, a genocidal alien race, and facilitates the reality bomb, a weapon meant to erase the entire multiverse from existence. The Crucible also held enough Daleks to slaughter the universe they were in even without the bomb, according to The Doctor.
- In Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow The Hedgehog, the Eclipse Cannon is a planet-destroying WMD built inside of the Space Colony Ark.
- Buster Machine III from Gunbuster.
- The Culture Orbital from The Culture.
- In the 2013 CGI anime film, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, the Jovian Accelerator is an ancient, Death Star-like Weapon of mass destruction that uses energy from Jupiter’s atmosphere to create a large beam of intense light strong enough to destroy an entire planet.
- Sidonia, the main ship and home of millions of humans, 1000 years in the future in the Knights of Sidonia manga and anime series, created after the destruction of the earth along with other unnamed seed ships.
- Trantor, the capital of an interstellar empire in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, is an ecumenopolis, a planet entirely covered in one huge metal-clad building, with only one small green space: the Emperor’s palace grounds.
- The Ori Supergate seen in a number of episodes of Stargate SG1 could be classed as a megastructure.
- In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Earth, as well as other planets, were artificial megastructures. Earth was intended to function as a gigantic computer and was built by a race of beings who made their living by manufacturing other planets.
- Mata-Nui in the BIONICLE franchise is classifiable as a megastructure. In the story, he is a massive robot as tall as a planet, and inside his body, every inhabitant of the BIONICLE Universe (Matoran, Toa, etc.) all live, unaware that they live inside a massive, space-traveling entity.
- In the Robotech Sentinels novels, Haydon IV is an artificially constructed cyber-planet with android citizens.
- In the Invader Zim episode “Planet Jackers”, two aliens surround the Earth with a fake sky in order to throw it into their sun.
- In the 2017 video game Destiny 2, the fleet of Dominus Ghaul, the ruler of the Cabal Empire, features a massive super-weapon named the Almighty, whose wingspan is said to be as wide as the planet Mercury. Almighty links itself to a solar system’s star on the quantum level via an energy beam and breaks it down into usable fuel, warping to another system before the star collapses into a supernova.
- Nightmare’s fortress from Kirby: Right Back at Ya! can be classified as a megastructure because it is the size of a small planet.
- In several works, Arthur C. Clarke writes about a colossal hollow tube, first described in Rendezvous with Rama (1973), and inhabited by different races.
- The Citadel in the Mass Effect universe is an enormous space station constructed by an ancient race of machines called the Reapers millions of years before the games in the series. At the time of Mass Effect 2, its population is 13.2 million.
- In the game Airforce Delta Strike a large Space Elevator called the Chiron Lift is used to send supplies out into outer space.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 series, the Imperial Palace (site of the Golden Throne wherein the Emperor of Mankind is kept alive indefinitely) could be considered a megastructure. The palace is a complex of continent-wide structures with the Golden Throne being located in an area stretching across the whole of the Himalayan mountains.
- In the film Elysium, a luxury space station (a Bishop Ring) called Elysium houses the wealthy population of the human species.
- Large rotating space-stations are a staple of science fiction, including Arthur C. Clarke’s novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, the battle school from Ender’s Game, and the eponymous Babylon 5.
- Hollowed asteroids feature in various fiction, such as Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel 2312, Larry Niven’s Known Space, and Golden Age SF writers like Clarke and Asimov.
- In the 2022 film Moonfall, Earth’s moon is knocked from its orbit and begins to circle closer to Earth. A conspiracy theorist believes the Moon is a Dyson sphere megastructure and turns out to be correct.
Star Wars (1977 – Present, American sci-fi franchise)
- The Centerpoint Station was a 350 km spherical space station at the Lagrangian point between the planets Talus and Tralus in the Corellia system. It was a gigantic and ancient hyperspace tractor beam with which an ancient race, known as Celestials, created the Corellia star system. With the help of the tractor beam, whole planets could be moved through hyperspace and arranged into their actual orbits around the central star. On the other hand, the same technology could be used as a weapon to destroy even stars. On the inside of the main sphere, a huge living space called Hollowtown was home to many people in a similar fashion as on the inside of a Dyson sphere.
- Coruscant, an enormous city, entirely covers its host planet. It serves as the capital of first the Republic and then later the First Galactic Empire.
- The Galaxy Gun, a large space station designed to destroy entire planets from across the galaxy could be considered a megastructure because its size is more than seven kilometres long.
- The Star Forge from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
- Glavis Ringworld is a ring shaped space station around a star in The Book of Boba Fett.
Stellaris (2016 Video Game)
- A Dyson Sphere is a megastructure added in the Utopia expansion, capable of producing massive amounts of energy at the cost of rendering the solar system uninhabitable, except for Habitats.
A fractal Dyson sphere will collect sunlight in a series of ever-smaller versions of itself Image from Steve Bowers
- A Ring World is a megastructure added in the Utopia expansion, offering a solar-system sized habitat equivalent to four massive habitable planets.
- A Matter Decompressor is a megastructure added in the Megacorp expansion to the game and allows the owner to harvest massive amounts of minerals from the cores of Black Holes.
- A Mega-Shipyard is a massive shipyard in orbit of a star, capable of producing ships much faster than average shipyards.
- The Aetherophasic Engine is a megastructure built by crisis aspirants, capable of destroying the entire galaxy as a side-product of allowing the race which constructed it to ascend to the “Shroud”, an alternate dimension in the game composed of nearly pure energy
- A Quantum Catapult is a large megastructure built around a pulsar or neutron star that is capable of sending fleets instantly across the galaxy. It however is not completely accurate and thus can send fleets away from their intended destinations.
Orbital/Planetary Scale Megastructures
- A Science Nexus is a massive orbital science laboratory which expands the empire’s science production massively.
- A Sentry Array is a massive orbital station that gives you sight over the entire in-game galaxy.
- Habitats are orbital structures which serve the purpose of a small planet.
- A Mega Art Installation is a megastructure that improves your overall amenities and happiness in your empire.
- A Strategic Coordination Center is a megastructure that Increases your naval capacity, and ship speed, as well as adds several other bonuses.
- An Interstellar Assembly acts as a hub for the game’s Galactic Community, increases your diplomatic weight, adds more envoys, and another empire’s opinion of you.
- Gateways allow for near-instantaneous travel across the galaxy. In addition, there is a unique form of Gateway called “L-Gates” which link up to an extragalactic cluster of stars.
- Orbital Rings are massive ring structures built around planets that afford extra protection and increase the output of the planet.
- Hyper Relays are large structures that allow ships to jump to identical Hyper Relays in adjacent systems instead of using the existing hyperlane connections, thereby avoiding having to traverse systems at sublight speeds.
In addition, many megastructures can also generate in “ruined” versions, which the player can later repair.
Other megastructure concepts
- Space sunshade
- Orbital Ringworld
- Stellar Engine: Stellar engines are a type of megastructure which harnesses a star’s radiation for energy and thrust, allowing a Type-II Civilization on the Kardashev scale. They come in three varieties: Class A (solar statite), Class B (Dyson sphere) and Class C (combining the two).
- Artificial Stellar Engine (ASE)
- Space Fountain
- Orbital Cloud City
- Cosmic Strings
- Intergalactic Railways
- Halo Array
- O’Neill Cylinder
- Space Elevator
- Dyson Swarm
- Interstellar ARK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NzuJAYPRZw
- Oort Cloud
- Dyson Bubble
- Cosmic Batteries
- Space Habitation Ring
- Space Mirror
- Launch Loop
- Bernal Sphere
- Heliopause Tunneler: a hypothetical spacecraft or vehicle that is designed to travel through the heliopause, which is the outer boundary of the solar system. The heliopause is the region where the solar wind, a stream of charged particles that flows from the sun, is stopped by the interstellar medium, the matter and radiation that exists between the stars.
- Wormhole Network
- Virtual Universe
- Hydrogen Skyhook
- Black Hole Factory
- Wormhole Generator
- Orbital Space Station
- Star Ark
- Space Arcology
- Space Portals
- Solar Sails
- Interdimensional Gateways
- Stasis Field Generator
- Quantum Teleportation
- Space Tug
- Geofronts: An underground urban area built to expand a city that is geographically limited.
- Spacefaring Islands
- Space Elevator
- Network Orbital
- Solar Power Station
- Galactic Empire Planet
- Mars Colony Habitat
- Space Mirrors Network
- Autonomous Interstellar Probes (AIPs)
- Jump Gate Network
- Space Frame
- Gravity Lens Array
- Helium-3 Refinery
- Dyson Web
- Interstellar Probe Factory
- Quantum Catapult
- Cryogenic Time Capsules: for sending humans throughout space for centuries, and rewarming them at the other end
Whats necessary for progress?
There are several key scientific advances that would be necessary for more progress in megastructures, which are large-scale structures that are designed to perform a variety of functions, including space habitats, space stations, and other complex systems. Some of the key areas of research that would be necessary to advance the field of megastructures include:
- Materials science: Developing new materials that are strong, lightweight, and able to withstand the extreme conditions of space would be essential for building megastructures. This could involve research into new materials such as advanced alloys, composites, and nanomaterials.
- Structural engineering: Megastructures would require advanced structural engineering to ensure that they are stable, safe, and able to withstand the forces that they would be subjected to in space. This could involve research into new structural design approaches, such as tensegrity structures, which are made up of a network of interconnected rods and cables.
- Energy generation and storage: Megastructures would need to be self-sustaining and would require advanced systems for generating and storing energy. This could involve research into new technologies for generating renewable energy, such as solar panels or fusion reactors, as well as research into advanced batteries and other energy storage technologies.
- Life support systems: Megastructures would need to be able to support human life, and this would require advanced systems for generating breathable air, removing waste, and providing other essential life support functions. This could involve research into new technologies for generating oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, as well as research into advanced water recycling systems.
- Robotics and automation: Megastructures would likely require significant levels of automation and the use of robotics to perform various tasks. This could involve research into new robotics technologies and advanced control systems.
- Space transportation: Building and maintaining megastructures would require advanced space transportation systems to ferry people and materials to and from Earth and other locations in space. This could involve research into new rocket engines, advanced propulsion systems, and spacecraft designs.
- Space debris management: Megastructures would need to be protected from space debris, which can pose a significant threat to these structures. This could involve research into new technologies for tracking and mitigating space debris, such as laser cleaning systems and advanced sensors.
- Space medicine: Living and working in megastructures would have unique health challenges, and research into space medicine would be necessary to understand and address these challenges. This could involve research into the effects of long-term space travel on the human body and ways to mitigate these effects.
- Artificial intelligence: Megastructures would likely require advanced artificial intelligence systems to perform various tasks and make decisions. This could involve research into new AI algorithms and machine learning techniques.
- Space law and policy: Building and operating megastructures would require the development of new laws and policies to govern these structures and ensure that they are used safely and responsibly. This could involve research into the legal and policy frameworks needed to govern megastructures and the activities that take place within them.