Spaceship Concept Art

People have thought of some interesting designs for the next generation of space stations giving us a glimpse into the future of space today. We're taking a look at the top 15 most unbelievable space station design concepts.

1. Spider

spaceship concept art

The spider while the spider may look more like a toy spinning top than a space station this concept was at one point seriously considered to be one of NASA's next big projects the design for this station was made in 1977. 

And used a spent shuttle engine tank as its body while a circular solar array provided the station with power being equipped with a control center and a space habitat. It was thought that the spider could act as a stopover for astronauts on their way to either the moon or mars however in the end the plan wound up falling flat. 

2. The Brick Moon

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The brick moon should come as no surprise that in the 1800s no one really knew that much about the ins and outs of space flight, therefore, we can give Edward Everett. Hale a little bit of a break when in an 1868 edition of the Atlantic monthly. 

He designed a brick sphere that was 61 meters in diameter that could be launched into space with people on board estimating that it would take 12 million bricks and cost about 250 thousand dollars or four and a half million dollars today. He hoped that it could be used in a similar fashion to the north star to help ship captains navigate the ocean's waters leading to Everett hale writing a novella known as the brick moon just one year later. Many believe it to be the first description in the history of an artificial satellite. 

3. The Noordung Wheel

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While there are many incredible space station concepts out there a few areas wacky as the noordung wheel first conceptualized in 1929 by Slovenian rocket engineer Hermann noordung. It was a space station designed in the shape of a wheel the plan being that it would constantly rotate in order to generate gravity power would.  Then be created by collecting sunlight through the concave mirror in the center and the station would also feature an observatory and machine room. That would connect to the living quarters however given that it was designed over 100 years ago. It was way ahead of its time and has now largely been forgotten.

4. The Von Braun Wheel 

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The Von Braun Wheel made famous by its rendition in the film 2001 a space odyssey the von Braun wheel is one of the most fascinating concepts in space history first conceptualized by famed german American aerospace engineer Verna von Braun in 1952. 

It was supposed to be about double the size of the noordung wheel as it would come in at about 76 meters in diameter how're 80 crewmen use solar power collectors along the rim rotated. Three rotations a minute to produce artificial gravity and be made of rubber in fact. 

It was supposed to be used not just as a space station but as a base for us to spy on the Soviets. And would be an architectural marvel that would blow the USSR out of the water in regards to the space race however despite von Braun heavily marketing the idea it would eventually be shelved in favor of a series of much less expensive but nearly as effective alternatives.

5. US Skylab b

sci fi spaceship concept art

While the u.s skylab gained worldwide fame after its launch in 1973 as an orbital workshop a solar observatory and an in-space laboratory. The u.s skylab b was a concept design that was supposed to replicate these uses with the planned launch date being either 1975 or 1976.

The skylab b already had a number of modules ready to go with a full-size training module even still being on display today at the Lyndon b johnson space center in Houston. And most of the parts were either used for other missions or donated to museums as a result the world never got to see what could have been a pretty cool space station.

6 . Galatic Suite Space Resort

spaceship concept art deviantart

The galactic suite space resort of all the proposed space stations on this list was as luxurious as the galactic suite space resort originally. Devised by the Barcelona-based space tourism company galactic suite design reportedly entered development after an unknown space enthusiast invested three billion dollars into the project. 

The original design called for a central hub with dozens of modules radiating outwards with each module having a bedroom in which space, spa, and spacewalks could be facilitated supposed to cost about four million dollars per customer. For a three-day stay the company was planning to give guests a quote James bond style astronaut training however after missing its planned launch date in 2012 the company eventually fizzled away with nothing to show for its efforts.

7. Opsek

concept art spaceship

Opsek well the is may be a station that was built largely thanks to American and Russian cooperation opsek is a concept that was originally set to derail this partnership first planned in 2009.  The orbital piloted assembly and experiment complex or opsek was supposed to be a Russian replacement for the once it's decommissioned in the late 2020s.

The original idea is that it would use a mix of new modules and recycled modules from the iss to make a Russian space station with this station having the ability to assemble large spacecraft conduct flight tests and launches. Create service and complete inter-orbital tugs and provide rehabilitation centers for interplanetary astronauts after they've returned to earth's orbit.

From either the moon or mars yet in spite of this very ambitious concept being in planning all the way up until 2017 it was eventually dropped by the Russian federal space agency also known as roscosmos instead they have now chosen to attach these modules to the existing is rather than to an independent space station the exact reasons for this change of heart are still unknown.

8. Bigelow Inflatable Space Habitat

spaceship concept art eve online

Bigelow inflatable space habitats while these technologies aren't space stations in and of themselves Bigelow inflatable space habitats are set to make. The is look a whole lot cooler made by real estate tycoon Robert Bigelow's company Bigelow aerospace these capsules are notable for being launched at a tight density of around 2.24 by 2.36 meters.

And then expand to an area of 4.01 by 3.23 meters in one space allowing them to be put into orbit at a more cost-effective price. These capsules will add about 16 cubic meters of space to the is when attached and will primarily be used for storage.

While onboard Bigelow also hopes that his much larger b330 space habitats which have about 330 cubic meters of space could perhaps rival. The is that's because these habitats would be able to house up to six astronauts as they did research on board and would be marketed at a much lower price than what similar space would cost on. The is with Robert Bigelow hoping that these capsules could thus act as a budget space station it is hoped that smaller countries will launch their space programs with the help of these capsules once they're launched in around the year 2024.

9. Lunar Orbital Station

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The lunar orbital station it's no secret that the world's superpowers have a fear of missing out and that certainly seems to be the case with Russia's lunar orbital station or Los see the Los design was first presented in 2007. 

At a conference in Russia's star city where it was pitched as a Russian craft that could orbit the moon now in and of itself, the station is pretty impressive after all be it the spacecraft's high power antenna for communications maneuvering and attitude control engines solar panels or robotic arm.

It really seemed like a multi-purpose tool however it turns out that the plans for the ship were primarily made only. After Russia began to be dissatisfied with their role in the lunar gateway which is another similar project mentioned later on in this list yet with some reports stating. That Russia has now gone all-in with lunar gateway and dumped the lunar orbital station it seems that this design may never see the light of day or the darkness of space.

10. Manned Orbiting Laboratory

small spaceship concept art

The manned orbiting laboratory one of the older additions to this list is the manned orbiting laboratory first announced to the public on December 10th of 1963.

It stands apart due to its intended use as both a lab and spy spacecraft see at this time the cold war was still in full swing space development was not just seen as a way for both the USA and soviet union to show their dominance.

But as a potential tool for spying on each other as a result, a manned orbiting laboratory was not just a NASA project but a joint effort with the united states air force and when announced. It was not done so by any president or NASA authority but rather by defense secretary Robert s McNamara.

However, despite having the potential to be of great use to the u.s the program was eventually canned in 1969 due to it being way behind schedule and way over budget regardless it's still certainly one of the cooler concept space stations on this list.

11. The Aurora Space Station

star wars spaceship concept art

The aurora space station while today's is may be reserved for astronauts and celebrities the aurora space station will allow anyone with deep enough pockets to enjoy a luxury stay in space made by a startup by the name of Orion span.

The aurora space station will reportedly launch in late 2021 and will be open to guests by 2022 it will reportedly be the same size as a large private jet cabin coming in at about 160 cubic meters making it about five times smaller than the 916 cubic meters is and will orbit the earth at an altitude of about 320 kilometers.

which is somewhat less than the is an altitude of 400 kilometers regardless this space is more than enough to give the guests a five-star experience now these space vacations. which are slated to be 12 days in length will be captained by two crew members who will in most cases be former astronauts with as many as four guests being allowed on the station. 

At a time the spacecraft itself will have several onboard activities such as scientific research food farming and zero gravity ping pong and once their vacation is over guests will receive a hero's welcome that would be fitting for a real-life astronaut to top this off guests will have access to high-speed internet.

And will be able to contact their loved ones via video chat allowing them to show off their incredible view to those of us stuck on earth however it shouldn't come as a surprise. That all this comes at a steep price and with a going rate of 9.5 million dollars per trip these intergalactic gateways certainly will be out of the price range of the average vacation goer.

12. The Von Braun Space Station

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The von Braun space station's few space station concepts are as impressive as the von Braun space station the plan is that this spacecraft will be made in the shape of a large rotating circle and would be not just used for scientific research. 

But also to house space tourists and while prices for such a trip have not been set as of yet what has been planned so far makes it seem like the ultimate luxury experience guests will first enter the ship through the docking station at the hub of the wheel-shaped structure.

From that point, guests would take an elevator to one of the rooms arrayed on the outer ring but the steady rotation of the station is enough to simulate gravity equal to 1 6 that on earth's surface as a result of this artificial gravity guests will be able to eat exercise shower.

And use the bathroom as much as they would back on earth however since this gravitational pull will be much weaker than it is on earth they would be able to enjoy activities that are not available on our planet. These activities would be facilitated by a number of restaurants gyms sports arenas and concert venues and the ship itself would be spacious enough to accommodate 100 guests and perhaps three times as many crew members to top this off several space planes would be at the ready to whisk gas back to earth in case of an emergency.

And the entire ship would be completely temperature controlled to ensure the maximum amount of comfort possible however despite these ambitious plans it may be a while until they come to fruition. 

That's because despite building company gateway foundation planning for the station to be finished by 2025 and ready for passengers by 2027. They've currently been faced with severe underfunding however we hope that by the 2030s this incredible space vacation place will be up and running.

13. The Heavenly Palace

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The heavenly palace while the united states and Russia may have been the pioneers of space exploration for the past 70 odd years china is set to perhaps overtake the two with the launch of its heavenly palace space station first unveiled. 

In November of 2018 at air show china the heavenly palace will be a 60-ton orbiting lab that will enable the crew to conduct research in the same manner. What astronauts currently do on them is now what's interesting about the heavenly palace is that it's essentially being made as a replacement for the is after all by about 2030.

It's estimated that the iss will have to be decommissioned and therefore another station will have to be created however with china not currently part of the team of countries. That maintains the is there may be tension between the two groups regardless.

China hopes that the project will be completed around the year 2022 and plans for the station would have a lifespan of around 10 years and open to every country for various experiments as a result it's expected that many other space agencies will team up with China in order to mutually benefit.

For example, as of now, the European space agency has already sent astronauts to China in order to receive training so that they can use the Chinese station once it's launched however that's not to say it's been completely smooth sailing that's because the Chinese space agency has had some pretty major hiccups rather recently but the most notable being when a space lab known as the tiangong one disintegrated and unintentionally crashed backed into the earth in 2018 regardless we're sure that with increased experience China will soon be able to come closer to overcoming NASA's international dominance.

14. The Lunar Gateway

sci-fi spaceship concept art

The lunar gateway of all the stations on this list will be as helpful to the scientific community as the lunar gateway being made in a partnership between the united states Russia Canada and the European Union and Japan.

The lunar gateway which has a budget of about 330 million dollars is said to be a multi-purpose craft capable of serving as a solar-powered communication hub science laboratory short-term habitation module and holding area for rovers and other robots now the idea is that the lunar gateway can be used as quite literally a gateway to the moon as it could act as a stopover for spacecraft robots and humans as they travel to it it is therefore hoped that the lunar gateway will not orbit around the earth but around the moon traveling in a seven day near rectilinear halo orbit that would bring the station about 3.000 kilometers away from the lunar north pole at its closest point yet.

What's most impressive of all is how the lunar gateway will be created see rather than being one large structure it will instead use a number of attached modules to make one large and functioning space station these include parts such as the power and propulsion element or ppe the habitation and logistics outpost or halo and the European system providing refueling infrastructure and telecommunications module for esprit and with each serving a different purpose in fulfilling lunar missions it's hoped that this spacecraft which should be launched by 2024 will be an extremely useful tool for years to come.

15. Axiom Station

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Axiom station it takes some serious science and impressive development to get NASA on your side but startup axiom did exactly that after recently brokering a five to a seven-year deal with America's space agency founded in 2016 axiom is a private space company that hopes to soon have one of the first-ever private space stations in orbit working with a team of industry leaders from Boeing Thales Alenia space Italy intuitive machines and maxar technologies they landed the contract in January of 2020.

Now said contract stipulates that axiom will first use its modules as part of the is then once the is brought back down to earth in the late 2020s the axiom modules will detach themselves from the is and create their own functioning space station.

However, while many details of this proposed space station are still under wraps there are some key details that have been disclosed the station has been designed by French architect and designer Philippe Starck, and when finished the modules will include a research and manufacturing facility crew habitat and large windowed module for viewing earth with all the walls being covered with tufted padding and LEDs with the entire complex having access to high-speed wi-fi.

The station will likely have one astronaut on board to conduct research and repairs and is likely that space will serve both commercial and scientific uses best of all with a planned launch date of late 2024 this stellar station will perhaps be in operation in just a few short years that's all we've got for you today everyone thanks you all for watching let us know in the comments down below which space station concept you thought was the most innovative.

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