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Space settlers just might dig a moon of Mars

Jim Logan's plan for Deimos
Jim Logan, a former NASA flight surgeon who is the co-founder of the Space Enterprise Institute, lays out his plan for putting a space settlement inside the Martian moon Deimos. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

The smaller of Mars’ two moons, Deimos, was named after the Greek god of terror — but the way former NASA flight surgeon Jim Logan sees it, Deimos could be a comfort zone for space settlers.

“The Mars-facing side of Deimos is probably the most valuable real estate in the solar system,” Logan, co-founder of the Space Enterprise Institute, said today at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Logan laid out his case for Deimos during a conference on space settlement, presented this week by the Space Studies Institute to highlight the late Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill’s vision for humanity’s expansion into the solar system.

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Space settlement vision updated after 50 years

Von Braun Rotating Space Station illustration
The Gateway Foundation’s Von Braun Rotating Space Station would take advantage of a ring structure to create artificial gravity. (Gateway Foundation Illustration)

Fifty years ago, a Princeton physicist named Gerard O’Neill asked his students to help him come up with a plan for setting up settlements in space.

Just a few years later, O’Neill published the resulting vision for freestanding space colonies as a book titled “The High Frontier” — a book that helped inspire Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ vision of having millions of people living and working in space.

Now the keepers of the “High Frontier” flame at the California-based Space Studies Institute are revisiting O’Neill’s original vision, with an eye toward updating it for the 21st century.

“The fact is, a lot has changed in the last half-century,” Edward Wright, a senior researcher at the Space Studies Institute, said today at the start of a two-day conference presented by the institute at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

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