Building enormous aerostat habitat is not easy. How do you assemble all the parts and provide a place to build it mid-air?
If they are moderate in size we could imagine some sort of larger aerostat structure which functions as an air born dry dock. Dry docks are where maritime ships are built today.
Basically it is a place where people and cranes can come together to put together a ship in one place.
Exactly how to best construct another airship or aerostat habitat in mid-air without having a ground to stand on is something I still struggle with coming up with the best approach.
However there are actually people who have paid some thought to something similar. Usually geodesic domes are built from the top down. However due to weight and balance considerations we would likely want to build stuff from the bottom down. Turns out there is a patent for doing just this. You see an illustration here:
Alternatively there might be possible to use some sort of inflated structure and build around that. Examples of this are monolithic domes.
All the way back in the 1940s Wallace Neff built what he called bubble houses. An inflated bubble was covered with concrete with a sort of concrete gun. They would build a house in just a day.
Yet we don’t see such houses all over, despite being fast and cheap to build. That doesn’t rule out using this principle for making bubble structures on other planets, since the reason for their failure are mainly earth specific:
- Look weird and out of place. People don’t want to stick out and live in a house totally different from everybody else.
- Impractical furniture wise with round walls, since most furniture has not been built for it.
- Hot and humid inside in many of them.
- Does not appeal esthetically to a lot of people.
Living on another planet you will stick out anyway and since this might be the only shape use, all furniture on your planet will be made to fit that shape. Hot and humid is a matter of ventilation systems you build in. You have to do a lot more in that department on extraterrestrial planets anyway.