Forty years ago, America was still reeling from the astronomical success of the moon mission and high on the idea that space age innovations would keep happening at a breakneck pace. Well, we got the shuttle, and we got the Mars rover(s). What we did not get, however, were mind-bending super space stations capable of holding entire civilizations inside.

But that doesn't mean we weren't thinking about it. Back in the 1970s, a handful of artists drew up intricate renderings of said mind-bending super space stations for NASA. They make the International Space Station look like a flying tin can—which is essentially what it is. In these concepts, the space stations are big enough not only to support suburban-looking neighborhoods with houses and blonde-haired dudes in polo shirts but also entire farms with livestock and everything.

Certain aspects of the designs themselves should look somewhat familiar. There's a lot of stock thrown into the centrifugal design that would enable artificial gravity, not surprising since it popped up in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey around the same time. And most of all there are lots of colors. Don't forget that the 60s had just ended and the days of disco were just beginning. There's a solid chance that one or two of these futurists did a little bit of drugs. []


Images via NASA