Growth Capable Tensegrity Structures as an Enabler of Space Colonization Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper demonstrates, through structural and control energy calculations, the feasibility of providing a 1-g habitable environment for humans in deep space, with shielding for long-term occupancy acquired from asteroids or the moon. Initially a few rocket launches from earth would deploy structure and equipment for a 10m radius habitat, spinning to provide 1/3-g, increasing subsequently to 1-g. The design configuration is capable of enlargement through a series of growth events to at least a 1 km radius, using chiefly space based resources. The key enabling technology is tensegrity engineering, a new methodology backed by rigorous mathematical methods that allow the integration of structure and control design, where minimal control energy for the controls and minimal mass for the structure are achieved.

name of conference

  • AIAA SPACE 2014 Conference and Exposition

published proceedings

  • AIAA SPACE 2014 Conference and Exposition

author list (cited authors)

  • Skelton, R., & Longman, A.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Skelton, Robert||Longman, Anthony

publication date

  • August 2014