Ecosystem @ Molecule + VitaDAO with product, design and dev background exploring decentralized science and longevity.


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:

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.

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.

Three schematic representations: Earth, Solar System and Milky Way

Energy consumption in three types of civilization as defined by Sagan’s extended Kardashev scale

Weighting pros and cons to prioritize megastructures:

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

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.


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

  1. Study and explore the resources of our solar system.
  2. Development of space probes and robotic spacecraft to explore and collect data from our solar system.
  3. Governments and private companies begin to invest in space exploration and the creation of technology for extracting resources from our solar system.
  4. The first commercial space mining operations are established, allowing for the extraction of resources from the Moon and other bodies in our solar system.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Stellar scale

fractal dyson

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.

fractal dyson Image from Steve Bowers

Related structures which might not be classified as individual stellar megastructures, but occur on a similar scale:

Planetary scale

Orbital structures

Trans-orbital structures

One concept for the space elevator has it tethered to a mobile seagoing platform.

Main article: Non-rocket spacelaunch


A number of structures have appeared in fiction which may be considered megastructures.

Stellar scale

Planetary and orbital scale

Star Wars (1977 – Present, American sci-fi franchise)

Stellaris (2016 Video Game)

Stellar-Scale Megastructures

Orbital/Planetary Scale Megastructures

In addition, many megastructures can also generate in “ruined” versions, which the player can later repair.

Other megastructure concepts

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: