Project to create an Artificial Gravity Open Standard (AR.G.O.S.).

The MARVEL DSRB, designed as the first open platform for artificial gravity research, will consist of several standard MARVELS. To make the most of this unique facility,  open standards could be created that inform developers how they should take into account in their designs, the unique range of environments present on a 120-160m diameter rotating facility. Not only that, the exact dimensions of this MARVEL DSRB platform will be provided so developers can start flexing their creativity muscle and be ready when MARVEL becomes available.

Researchers, space industry specialists, architects and talented individuals with an interdisciplinary mind, who have experience or a valuable input to helping create and manage (these) industry standards, or have experience with relevant ISS standards, are invited to contact us here. A link to your research, publications and/or organisation will be published on our platform.

Subsequent versions will be made available to developers through this site. The majority of MARVEL DSRB-ARGOS standards developed will be transferable to other designs.
Some areas that could benefit from this standard: MARVEL structures + architecture
  • Connector node: e.g. how many G it needs to withstand etc.;
  • Design constraints on the hull;
  • Interface between drop tank and aerospike engine (resistance to stresses, AG);
  • Interface between Upper deck of Marvel and detachable compartment+heatshield (heat shield + crew compartment can disconnect/or crew compartment alone can disconnect;
  • Inflatable habitat integration (wear and tear, pressure, creep, etc…)
  • Other.
Crew Comfort
  • Taking into account Coriolis forces when designing crew quarters;
  • Vertical ventilation over a gravity gradient;
  • Fluids running through a gravity gradient;
  • Etc…


Since MARVEL DSRB has the potential to serve as the first Artificial Gravity generating station into which other companies can integrate equipment and components, it is uniquely placed to become an open platform just as the ISS is today. The MARVEL DSRB is different from the ISS in that MARVEL needs systems to work in a fork of separate environments: one where the DSRB is spinning and where equipment will work in a similar way as on Earth; one where there is complete micro-gravity (in the center of the hub or in an non-spinning MARVEL DSRB); and, unique for the MARVEL DSRB: everything in between. This entire range, from 0 to 1 G, is available due to the Hub-Spoke configuration in which there is one open or accessible internal volume of corridors and habitats.

The advantage of having artificial gravity of around one G in the main crew quarters at the extremities, is the fact that we can predict better if systems will work, due to the likeness to the terrestrial environment. We also have good data on what happens in microgravity through years of experimentation in the space programs. A common issue is for instance that Life Support Systems work less well in 0 G than their prototypes on Earth.

On the MARVEL DSRB interesting questions surface. What happens if you run plumbing (for fluids, gases) through a gradient of gravity intensities as you move closer to or farther away from a central hub. How does ventilation work? Will fluids be bouncing around or not? Because the habitats are near the outer edges of the rotating base, and condensed height wise; this might not cause a head ache for crew.

Some equipment will need modification to cope with all gradients, while others do not. Finding out in the relevant environment is very useful.

It is a good idea to poor all research that already has been performed into preliminary design standards, successive versions of ARGOS, each building on each other. We will learn to design plumbing, equipment and interfaces that will stay functional and reliable in the entire range of gravity intensities. ISS standards might be useful in some areas, in others ARGOS will be tailor-made (e.g. taking into account Coriolis effects when designing dizzying crew work areas). Ultimately the ARGOS will be tested and updated through the data we gather from working with them on the MARVEL DSRB.


The  International Docking Standard (IDS). To prevent every country from reinventing the wheel, and all in the process of building their own national space vehicles, which resulted in incompatible interfaces to dock ships and spacecraft modules together, the international docking standard was invented. Several years of iteration eventually lead to a standard that every nation and private company can design their ships around. It contains precise common dimensions and tolerances that need to be respected if you want to be able to dock to the ISS. The International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) has approved for public release an International Docking System Standard (IDSS) which contains the information necessary to describe physical features and design loads of a standard docking interface.  
International Docking Adapter ring

Footnote: Header Image Attribution: credit (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License).