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Glass Dome Cities On Mars, Dreamed By Elon Musk
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, is working toward cities on Mars.
(SpaceX Starship on Mars)
On Wednesday, the SpaceX CEO explained via Twitter that this city would involve "life in glass domes at first." The planet would "eventually" be "terraformed to support life, like Earth." While the planet-changing process would be "too slow to be relevant in our lifetime [...] we can establish a human base there in our lifetime." If the worst comes to the worst, Musk explained, "at least a future spacefaring civilization — discovering our ruins — will be impressed humans got that far."
As far as I know, the earliest use of the idea can be found in the 1905 story A Modern Utopia, in which H.G. Wells refers to the idea of covering at least parts of cities with sturdy glass domes:
One will come into this place as one comes into a noble mansion.
They will have flung great arches and domes of glass above the wider
spaces of the town, the slender beauty of the perfect metal-work far
overhead will be softened to a fairy-like unsubstantiality by the
mild London air.
The first reference to using a clear dome to cover an entire city on an alien planet was Ray Cummings in his 1931 story Brigands of the Moon:
The Grantline camp stood midway up one of the inner cliff walls of the little crater. The broken, rock-strewn floor, two miles wide, lay five hundred feet below the camp. A broad level shelf hung midway up the cliff, and upon it Grantline had built his little group of glassite dome shelters…
(Read more about Cummings' glassite dome shelter)
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