Christopher S. Jannette

Christopher Sean Jannette is the 31 year old chief engineer of Ripple Aerospace, designing and building oceanic launched rockets and leveraging the 50 year old technology to revolutionize the industry to enable robust industrial off-world development. While serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force in Tokyo, Japan; he was awarded the humanitarian medal for his participation in the contingency operations following the 2011 earthquake. During that time he volunteered several months working as the PR and Marketing Director for a 503(c) Nonprofit out of Venus, Florida that studied a hypothesized economic model for a post-scarcity civilization. He was the executive organizer for the Extreme Futurist Festival in 2012 that was held at Los Angeles Center Studies on December 21st 2012 and served briefly as the Project Manager for Cybernetics at Grindhouse.

He holds a degree in Avionics Systems and while is currently towards a PhD associated with Space Development. He also holds three honors in the fields of social sciences and International Relations. He has a Bachelors of Science in Applied Science and is pursuing a Masters of Science through Johns Hopkins University.

Gabriel Licina

Gabriel Licina joined IOaE in 2016

Gabriel received a degree in molecular biology from the university of Washington where he conducted undergraduate research in developmental biology. He is best known for his work with the biohacking community and as a freelance consultant for several Biological R&D firms.

Nicholas A. Carlough

Nicholas A. Carlough is the founder of the Institute of Astro-ekistics.

He received a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science from The Evergreen State College (TESC) for the study of agricultural systems design as well as closed ecological life-support system. The bulk of his work at TESC focused on formalizing the concept of Closed Socio-Ecological life support systems (CsELSS) as distinct from CELSS.

Nicholas began his career as a biomedical equipment and life support systems technician in the United States Air Force (USAF),  where he specialized in expeditionary-medical facilities support systems (E.g, Facilities, power production, medical gas production and ) and personal protective equipment maintenance (E.g, HAZMAT/CBRN protective equipment and power respiratory systems). In addition to his technical profession, he also served as airfield, personnel and decontamination security during OIF/OEF and Operation Tomodachi during the Fukushima nuclear incident. He also volunteered with the Venus Project as Co-director of Marking / Public Relations.

After leaving the USAF Nicholas served as Chief Operations Officer for the extreme futurist festival in LA, and from 2012 to 2014 Chief Science Officer for TRED (Terraforming & regenerative ecosystems development) Laboratories a san-Francisco based R&D firm interested in advanced life support systems and space settlement technology.





Fractal-Emergent Settlement Architecture (FESA)


Fractal Emergent Settlement Architecture (FESA) is a settlement system architecture plan developed by IOaE for a settlement system based upon a single structural module with nearly infinite scaleability. FESA expands along a fractal pattern using a standardized construction modules and layout, minimizing diversity of necessary manufacturing and maintenance infrastructure. The FESA system is intended to contain a soil based closed socio-ecological life support system (CsELSS).

Mars Ecumenopolis

Mars Ecumenopolis (FESA 15) – Population 78 billion *to scale

A CsELSS is essentially a walled garden within which a human population can sustain itself indefinitely as an integrated function of its host ecological complexity. A CsELSS is not just a home for humans supported by ecological systems (Closed Ecological Life Support system CELSS), but a home for a whole Gaian system within which the day today life of its human inhabitants is fully integrated with the ecological system itself, an organism in its own right. The fractal nature of the FESA combined with CsELSS ensures a uniform environment within which Gaian ecology can grow and evolve over time. By this method, a FESA can theoretically span an entire planetary surface and thrive doing so.

Structure and Function

Below is a high-level description of the various system components that emerge from the fractal expansion of the FESA settlement system, using our methodology.

FESA Module

A single form multi-function module that is the base unit for all levels of FESA development.

Untitled drawing


Astro-ekistic Units of FESA

FESA Infographic

The Astro-ekistic units (AEU) of FESA are adapted from the ekistic units as described by Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, the original formalizer of the scientific study of human settlement known as ekistics. The  AEU of FESA are divided into two subgroups fundamental AEU and Major AEU. Fundamental AEU contain the building blocks of FESA where each scale describes different levels of functionality, where as major AEU are simply fractal conglomerates of the largest fundamental AEU. The differences in functionality emerge as the open spaces that provide for different sized transparent covered spaces between the fractal arrangements of the fundamental AEU and are described below.

Anatomy of a Village Infographic

The “Village” (FESA4) is the largest of the fundamental FESA Astro-ekistic Units, all major units (E,g. Town, Polis, Metropolis) are simply conglomerations of FESA4


Fundamental AEU

Population Density: 1538 – 965 / km2


Major AEU

Population Density: 965 / km^2


Transparent Covered Space & Utility Structures (TCS & US)

The open spaces between the fractal pattern of the FESA units are the largest continuously open spaces within the FESA system. They are covered with transparent roofing and used for various utility and recreational purposes.

Tablinum (TCS-1)


Named for the tablinum of the ancient Roman family home(Domus). The Tablinum is an empty space the size of one module available for personal use. It is located in the center of each Anthropos (FESA-1), and provides a private space available for personal artistic expression, relaxation, and seclusion as necessary. There is one Tablinum space for every Anthropos thus ensuring that private space scales with the carrying capacity of the FESA system

Impluvium & Hydria (TCS-2 & US-2)


The Impluvium is named for its primary function, the storage, and distribution of water for each house (FESA-2). The aesthetic of each Impluvium space might very, however, their function remains the same, it acts as a local meeting space that allows for the broadest possible access to water that is condensed out of the air by the Hydria structure(US-2) which is housed in a single module centered in the Impluvium space.

Atrium and Stoa (TCS-3 & US-3)


Each band (FESA-3) encircles a naturally lit Atrium space and Stoa which functions as a community meeting space and for distribution preparation and storage of food.

Balaneion and Hypocaust (TCS-4 & US-4)


The largest naturally lit space is called the Balaneion and in the center is the hypocaust they get their names from ancient Roman bathhouses and the system by which they were heated. This space is the primary recreational space for each Village (FESA-4) and is the largest standard open space within the FESA system.

The Balaneion contains such facility’s as are necessary for large public meetings, relaxation, recreation and physical fitness, within the Hypocaust(US-4) is contained steam rooms, bathing facilities and such equipment as is necessary for central power and heat distribution to the surrounding bands.

The Ginnungagap Engine

The Ginnungagap Engine (GgE) is a whole systems architecture for the maintenance of life sustaining climatic and biogeochemical patterns within a confined space. Its purpose is to provide a sufficiently complex thermodynamic and biogeochemical climate within which high-level ecological ascendency can emerge and continue to evolve in perpetuity.


Boiling River Hot spring Yellowstone national park, The place of inspiration for the Ginnungagap engine (Oct 2012)

“Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void … which faced toward the northern quarter (Niflheim), became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Múspellheim” – The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson, translated by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, 1916, p. 17.

Systems Synthesis

Within the GgE framework, Passive Energy management and Automation systems act in concert to provide for the perpetual emergence of hydrologic, thermodynamic, and novel material exchange conditions. The GgE framework is intended to provide a suitable climate for the propagation of a closed socio-ecological life support system (CsELSS) within a variety of contexts both open and closed (E.g., Planetary and orbital Space settlement, arcologies, and life shield bunkers)

Energy Management Sub Systems

GgE energy management systems provide both Exothermic and Endothermic influences within the system. Areas under the influence of endothermic processes will tend to gather moisture and those that are exothermic will tend to expel moisture. If these influences are placed within a closed system, along a gravitational well, with exothermic systems being placed below endothermic systems an atmospheric convection and hydrologic cycling systems can be expected to emerge.

GgE Diagram

For example: Imagine an illuminated Martian magma tube, several Km long and about 100m in diameter. This tube is angled ~15 Degrees along its vertical axis. Placed at the bottom end of the tube is a metal sphere that will perpetually remain 100 Degrees C (Exothermic device), at the top end of the tube is another metal sphere that will perpetually remain 0 Degrees C (Endothermic device). The tube is assumed to remain between .9 and 1.1 ATM, contain a fluid material content approximately that of earth and be filled ~20% with water. Over time one could expect ice to grow on and around the endothermic device and extend until it began to melt. The melting and formation of ice would meet equilibrium, and a reliable steady run off of fresh water would eventually emerge.

This water might be captured in a series of pools as it runs down the tube, eventually returning to a resevour, perpetually heated by the exothermic device which if arranged in a particular way could form several pools maintained at a variety of temperatures. Water vapor from this section would travel up words through the tube where it would precipitate and flow back down the tube or be trapped in ice.

Within such a structure a temperature gradient will form along the tube, from end to end. Depending upon the morphology of the tubes internal structure, areas with temperature favorable to life, running water and novel climatic systems can be caused to reliably emerge.

Automation Sub Systems

Energetic potentials across the aforementioned thermal gradient and hydrologic cycling systems can be utilized by automation devices to provide various auxiliary and maintenance services.

For Example:

Consider the tube discussed previously, now in addition to the single tube lets add a smaller utility tube only 10m in diameter running outside the primary tube circumventing all its complex structures.  One end of this utility tube descends from the ceiling of the primary tube and enters the water that sits in the bottom end of the primary tube, with the other exiting near the top end of the primary tube facing the ice formation around the endothermic device. As water is evaporated from the pool surrounding the exothermic device, the water level may drop as water collects in pools and in ice at the top end of the primary tube. If this water level at the bottom of the primary tube where to drop below the end of the utility tube, a portion of steam and warm air flow would then be redirected through the tube and be projected at the ice formation causing the temperature to become elevated at the top of the primary tube. This system state would increase ice melt and water flow which would eventually fill the pool at the bottom of the primary tube covering the utility tube and causing the system state to return to its base condition. This is an example of a basic hydro-thermal logic system, which can be used to create pressure and temperature gradients, with in the system that can be used for power production and to accomplish various types of material transfer or other utility functions.

More complex heat transfer systems can be arranged with the assistance of Closed passive absorption heat transfer systems, constructed of a materially closed network of basins, tanks, and pipes which when properly arranged, transport liquid and gaseous ammonia and H2 gas so as to allow for energy transfer via external heat exchangers. Such systems can be integrated throughout the structure of a GgE powering exothermic and endothermic devices wherever one desires.