SpaceHouse: Jetson's Skypad Apartment

SpaceHouse, an ESA-designed structure designed for space, is being examined for use here on earth. The German Antarctic station Neumayer-III must meet stringent laws intended to protect the Antarctic environment.

(From SpaceHouse on earth)

Fritz Gampe, Senior Technology Transfer Officer at ESA, gives these reasons for using space technology:

"The initial objective was to use the same ultra-light CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic) composites that ESA uses onboard its spacecraft for large self-sustained structures, antennas and solar panels, to make a self-supporting lightweight shell-like structure able to withstand severe earthquakes. This approach is in sharp contrast to many contemporary design solutions that use ever more steel and concrete to withstand the induced forces."
(From SpaceHouse on earth)
In his comment on this story (see comments below) Mr. Gampe adds that the SpaceHouse can be relocated using heavy-lift helicopters (unlike other structures, which typically would be torn down rather than moved).

Fans of 60's science fiction cartoons like the Jetsons may recall the classic Skypad apartments shown below.

(From Late Night Pool)

One difference is noted in the two approaches. The SpaceHouse is intended to stay where it is and weather the storms and extreme temperatures of the Antarctic. The Skypad apartments, as you may recall, were built on huge hydraulic central posts that could raise the living quarters above the level of bad weather. Thanks to Winchell Chung for pointing out this story idea.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/25/2004)

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