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Orbiting the Imaginary

What images come to mind when you think of a future that includes human beings living in outer space?

Do you think about enormous colonies drifting through the cosmos in structures built with futuristic metals and expansive solar panels, rotating to provide gravity for the occupants inside? Do you think about domed habitats on Mars—tucked gently inside of a crater or against a cliff face in order to stay safe from Martian sandstorms—complete with greenhouses and giant all-terrain vehicles pockmarked throughout the? settlement so you can roam the rocky surface? These may seem like idle musings, but the fact is we live in a time when the reality of living in space is an ever more real possibility. The way we imagine outer space settlements will undeniably affect how the reality of human space travel? is? realized.

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