Dr Al Globus, a contractor for the Nasa Ames Research Centre in California, says humanity could soon begin to build space settlements

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Humans are now spread across all corners of the globe, but what’s the next step?

According to Dr Al Globus, a Nasa contractor and space settlement expert, he says the next logical move is to colonise Earth orbit.

And, he says barring any major national disasters, we could soon have huge habitats floating around the planet by the end of the century.

Dr Globus  is a contract scientist at Nasa Ames research centre and over the years has worked on the  and much more.

But a few decades ago his interest was piqued by the possibility of space settlements, leading to him setting up Nasa’s annual Space Settlement Contest, which challenges students to come up with designs for space colonies.

Now he’s a major proponent for living in space, and believes that it won’t be long before people are visiting cities in Earth orbit as readily as they travel from London to New York.

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WHAT IS A SPACE SETTLEMENT?

A space settlement would be a large structure, comparable in size to a town or small city, built in Earth orbit.

It would have similar amenities and services to towns and cities on Earth, and would enable people to live in space.

The ISS currently houses six astronauts at a time, but a space settlement would have hundreds or thousands of people on board.

Future space settlements may also have artificial gravity by rotating around an axis. 

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