Outer Space / Society / Technology
Mankind's first space colony, completed in 2010. It orbits around Lagrangian point L5, one of the 2 most stable gravitational areas around the Earth in relation to the Earth and the Moon (the other being L4). The circle it makes with the Moon and 2 of the other Lagrangian points, likened to the shores of the vast ocean of outer space, has given it the name "Beyond Coast". It is the first and last O'Neill colony, shaped like a cylinder. It makes a full rotation every 2 minutes, creating artificial gravity nearly equal to 1G. It has 3 mirrors for gathering solar rays and can produce the effect of night by closing them for 8 hours. The mirrors also serve as radiation shields.
The other reason the colony was named Beyond Coast is because its climate is based on that of the west coast of America. Its energy needs are supplied by solar energy stations positioned outside the colony, in addition to nuclear reactors.
The colony is approximately 4 miles in diameter and 20 miles long. The total surface area of any one of its 3 surfaces is 56 square miles. The combined 3.5-mile thickness of the cylinder and its atmosphere helps reduce the cosmic radiation drawn in by the mirrors to 0.5 rem all year round. It is also equipped with protective shields that automatically lower during times of intense radiation bombardment.
Parts of the colony's outer walls and mirrors have since deteriorated with age; the ISPA is studying a plan to replace all of the colony's parts over the next 10 years.