STANFORD TORUS SPACE COLONY

EXTRACURRICULAR PROJECT

 

This is one of my largest and most detailed SketchUp projects: a model of a Stanford Torus, a space habitat estimated to support 10,000 people. This is a work-in-progress, although the exterior is mostly complete. 

Many of the 70s concept art you can find circulating the web is in the public domain, but all the images on this page (except the video by NASA and the artwork by Don Davis) are copyrighted by myself with all rights reserved.

This space colony was proposed in a NASA design study from 1975. Although possible to build, it would take considerable effort. The torus has a major radius of 900m and a minor (cross sectional) radius of 65m.

For a number of reasons I chose to put this project on hiatus; I was too busy with schoolwork and other projects.

 

Composite image of a render (using Podium) and a direct image export from SketchUp. Getting a full render of the torus interior with good lighting is still very tricky at this point in the project.

Left: test render of my Stanford Torus in Podium. Right: original concept art from the 1975 study by space artist Don Davis.

Test render: Due to technical difficulties, many parts of the model failed to load before raytracing began. I think it's a blessing in disguise; it shows the model is more detailed then you'd expect at first glance.

It will take some time for me to get the torus to render properly in Podium; I still haven’t gotten the chevron mirrors working correctly. This is likely because Podium takes some shortcuts to render scenes faster, which means the lighting isn't always accurate.

 

THE ORIGINAL SUMMER 1975 DESIGN STUDY:

More information on the design study can be found at the following links: (Mirrors of the original NASA pages hosted by the US National Space Society)

This video was produced by NASA in 1975 to showcase the results of the study: