Free Space Settlement

bring space to life and life to space

"I want Americans to ... push out into the solar system not just to visit, but to stay." Barack Obama, U.S. President, in the 2015 State of the Union address to Congress

The Idea

Hundreds of millions of years ago there was life in the ocean, but no life on land. Today, there is life on Earth and very little life in space, just a few astronauts, plants and animals on the International Space Station and a few bacteria here and there on spacecraft. We can change that. In the 1970's Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill showed that we can build giant spacecraft in free space (not on a planet or moon) and live in them. These space settlements could be wonderful places to live; about the size of a California beach town and endowed with weightless recreation, fantastic views, freedom, elbow-room in spades, and great wealth. In time, we may see millions of free space habitats in our solar system alone. Unlike earlier colonization events, no people will be oppressed and no ecosystems destroyed for the simple reason that there aren't any out there. Space settlement may become as important as ocean-based Life's colonization of land half a billion years ago, perhaps even more so.

The Revolution

As fantastic as Dr. O'Neill's work is, the space settlements envisioned are too big, too massive, and too far away to be a practical place to start. We now know how to reduce the size, mass, and supply lines of first space settlements by a factor of hundreds by For details see "Space Settlement: an Easier Way," by Al Globus, Stephen Covey, and Daniel Faber, NSS Space Settlement Journal, July 2017.


  • My space settlement writing, asteroid mining writing, space solar power (SSP) writing
  • My work as a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center
  • What you can do right now to move free space settlement forward
  • Space settlement themed music I've written and recorded
  • Online books +, Interviews, Images and video, Quotes, Links, College, Miscellaneous
  • My space blog
  • My home page
  • My online space settlement store

    Take the Space Tourism Survey! Space tourism may be the killer app for space settlement (see below). Help us learn something about the market by taking this short survey. Co-sponsored by Space Renaissance International.

    Some of My Space Settlement Writing

    Some of My Asteroid Mining Writing, Plus

    Some of My Space Solar Power (SSP) Related Writing


    Online Space Settlement Books +

    Images and Video

    Space Settlement Quotes

  • "Provide ship or sails adapted to the heavenly breezes, and there will be some who will not fear even that void," Johannes Kepler.
  • "For me the single overarching goal of human space flight is the human settlement of the solar system, and eventually beyond. I can think of no lesser purpose sufficient to justify the difficulty of the enterprise, and no greater purpose is possible," Mike Griffin, current NASA Administrator, in 2004 testimony before Congress.
  • "In the long run, a single-planet species will not survive," Mike Griffin, NASA Administrator, Rolling Stone Magazine, 23 February 2006.
  • "One day, I don't know when, but one day, there will be more humans living off the Earth than on it," Mike Griffin, NASA Administrator, Rolling Stone Magazine, 23 February 2006.
  • "I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond," Mike Griffin, NASA Administrator, to the Washington Post.

    Other Space Settlement Related Web Sites

    College Bound?

    People who want to work on space colonies sometimes ask me what they should study. The answer is to study what you are interested in, but be sure to include as much math, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, engineering, space science, and other technical fields as possible. Also, look at
    Space Vehicle Design by Michael Griffin and James French if you can afford it. Finally, you might want to consider attending one of these colleges. If you are interested in working as a student with NASA scientists and engineers, consider the NASA Academy.


    Parting Words

    Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that new ideas pass through three periods:

    Princeton professon Dr. Gerard O'Neill got us past the first period in the 1970s by showing that space colonies are technically feasible. We're now in the second stage.

    Space Settlement homepage Contact: Al Globus