Kolkata, Oct.11 : A West Bengal teenager has won the Space Settlement Design Contest sponsored by the NASA Ames Research Centre.
Ayon Pal of Kolkata has successfully made a blueprint for living in space, which he calls 'Earth Prime'.
Ayon Pal won the 2008 Space Settlement Design Contest by designing a Torus-a round shape housing a space city, with its own power generation systems, agriculture, businesses, and research and development facilities.
The space settlement contest is an annual contest, which NASA sponsors to promote young talent across the world.
The design by Ayon is well planned with facilities to accommodate 12000 human beings.
The outer Torus is structured for the human habitation while the inner Torus is for the plantation. The central cylinder has facilities for power generation and computer systems while the vertical cylinders on the side are dedicated to research and development and docking management systems for emergency evacuation from 'Earth Prime' as the space city has been named.
"There will be two Torus one outer and one inner connected by another set of cylinders which connect in central. Now, the Outer Torus is the one where all the human population would live, where all the residential areas and business areas related to people will be situated. The Inner Torus, on the other hand, is called the plantation center, the agricultural center for the entire circulate," said Pal.
'Earth Prime' will revolve on its axis at an altitude of 35, 786 km and have a mass of eight million tones with a usable surface area of 2,497,946.678 square meters. Its total atmospheric volume will be 645,828,972.9 cubic meters.
In case of a threat of collision of 'Earth Prime' with any celestial body, Ayon has charted an evacuation plan, which would take 15-20 minutes while information of any possible collision would be in hand a week in advance.
Ayon admits that his model looks like science fiction, but adds that it can be materialized using the current technology.
"It's possible using current technology. It's just about having the right amount of money and given the dismal state of money that's going into space right now well I guess that's not possible right now. Given advances in technology, you have prices lowered. 20-50 years when I have projected this thing to be possible, it should be possible by then," he says.
Ayon himself accepts that people living on 'Earth Prime' would face problems like claustrophobia, asphyxia, isolation, insomnia and depression.
The business and economics too have been specified in the project. Ayon plans to generate employment opportunities in the fields of entertainment, maintenance, community service, robotics, tourism, engineering etc.
Ayon's project also has an interesting postscript. The dead on 'Earth Prime' would have to be brought back to the mother planet, Earth, for the last rites, as the rituals would not be possible in space.