The maintenance of a livable environment to he occupied by colonist will entail Providing pressure, livable temperature ranges, gravity, protection from radiation, and protection from meteor impact.
The Earth's sea level Pressure is 1 atm = 760 torr = 14.7 p.s.i. Colonies may face either as zero pressure, low pressure or high pressure environment depending on their location.
Zero and low pressure evironments can be compensated for by either providing elevated air pressure and through the use of pressure clothing that squeezes the individual.
There are several ways to maintain a 14.7 p.s.i. pressure.
- Conventional rigid airtight construction
- airtight cavities dug in solid rock, ice or other suitable material.
Extremely high and low temperatures are likely for any space colony.
A combination of techniques will be used to maintain a livable temperature within a colony
- Heat radiators for cooling
- Variable configurations of station to accelerate heat absorption or loss.
- Heat and cooling storage techniques such as thermal mass and phase change.
There are several kinds and sources of harmful radiation in most potential colony locations. Electromagnetic radiation is can be shielded with a modest thickness of dense material. High energy ionized particles from the solar wind and deep space require many feet of material to provide adequate protection.