Shell Worlds: The Question of Shell Stability

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K. L. Roy et al. (2014), JBIS, 67, pp.364-368

Refcode: 2014.67.364
Keywords: Shell worlds, mega engineering, terraforming, and space colonization

The initial idea of shell worlds was first proposed in the January 2009 edition of JBIS. In that paper the stability of the shell around a central world was not discussed at any length except to say that it was stable due to forces induced by gravity. This paper demonstrates in a qualitative and quantitative manner that a material shell supported by atmospheric pressure around a moon or small planet is indeed stable and does not require active measures to remain centered, provided that the central body is large enough. The minimal size of the central body to provide this stability is discussed.

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