Shell-Worlds: How Humanity Could Terraform Small Planets (Infographic)

Infographic: how an engineer proposes to encase planets inside a shell
An engineer suggests building a roof over a small planet so that Earthlike conditions could be maintained. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

Engineer Ken Roy envisions someday encasing small planets inside artificial shells to retain their atmosphere and provide an Earth-like environment. This could provide a shortcut for terraforming, the process of  redesigning a planet’s surface to be more hospitable for human habitation.

Full Story: Incredible Technology: How to Use 'Shells' to Terraform a Planet

Mars or perhaps a moon in another solar system could be encased in a shell of dirt, steel and Kevlar fiber. With air presssure raised to a safe level and enough oxygen in the atmosphere, people could live freely on the surface. A small planet would have low enough gravity to allow for human-powered flight. [Photos: Visions of Future Space Habitats & Artificial Ecosystems]

Lighting would be artificial since the shell could not admit sunlight. Heavy industry would be located on the outside of the shell, in the vacuum of space. Airlocks in the shell would allow spaceships to enter and land.

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Karl Tate contributor

Karl's association with goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.