Humans could move to ‘floating asteroid belt colony’ home to millions within 15 YEARS
HUMANS could live on giant orbs floating in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter for the next 15 years.
This is the crazy claim of top scientist Pekka Janhunen, who says that millions of people could inhabit a mega-city in space by 2026.
Dr Janhunen, an astrophysicist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, described his vision in a research paper released this month.
He outlined the plan for the “mega-satellites” floating around the dwarf planet Ceres, which is about 325 million miles (520 million km) from Earth.
“The motivation is to have a colony with artificial gravity that allows growth beyond the living surface of the Earth,” wrote Dr. Janhunen.
The vast majority of plots to colonize distant worlds revolve around the Moon or Mars. This is largely due to their proximity to Earth.
Dr. Janhunen’s proposal, on the other hand, goes a step further.
Its disc-shaped habitat is believed to include thousands of cylindrical structures, each housing more than 50,000 people.
These capsules would be connected by strong magnets and would generate artificial gravity by rotating slowly.
Residents would mine Ceres resources 600 miles below the settlement and bring them back using “space elevators,” Dr Janhunen said.
“Lifting Ceres materials is energetically inexpensive compared to transforming them into habitats, if a space elevator is used,” he wrote.
“Because Ceres has low gravity and spins relatively fast, the space elevator is achievable.”
Ceres – the largest object in the asteroid belt – is the best destination for alien colonies due to its nitrogen-rich atmosphere, Dr Janhunen added.
This would make it easier for settlers to create Earth-like conditions than those colonizing the harsher, carbon dioxide-rich environment of Mars.
This does not address threats from malicious asteroids or space radiation, although Dr Janhunen, who worked with a number of Finnish researchers on the article, also thought about it.
He proposed that giant cylindrical mirrors placed around the mega-satellite could protect it from bombardments of all kinds.
These mirrors would also focus sunlight on the habitat for growing crops and other plants.
Everything looks pretty rosy, but Dr Janhunen also pointed out a number of issues with the plans.
What is an exoplanet?
Here’s what you need to know …
- An exoplanet is a planet outside our solar system that orbits its own star, like the Earth orbiting the Sun.
- They are very difficult to see with telescopes because they are often hidden by the brightness of their star.
- NASA sent the Kepler Space Telescope to orbit in an attempt to find Earth-sized exoplanets that could support life
- More than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered to date and further missions to find even more exoplanets are planned
- A good way to spot an exoplanet is to look for “flickering” stars, as a disturbance in starlight can indicate that a planet is orbiting it and is intermittently blocking its light.
- Expoplanets are very common in the universe and the more Earth-like we find they are, the closer we get to whether Earth is the only planet that carries life.
On the one hand, there is the not-so-small obstacle of making people steal from Ceres.
NASA sent a probe there in 2015, a journey that took eight years – far too long to support hundreds of people using current technology.
Dr Janhunen also admitted that the energy required to transport Ceres’ building materials into orbit would be a major obstacle.
The research was published on January 6 in the preprinted journal Arxiv. It has not yet been evaluated by scientists.
In other news, NASA last month unveiled the brave astronauts who will be heading to the moon in 2024.
Cremated human ashes are due to be sent to the moon next year as part of a commercial funeral service to piggyback on a NASA lunar mission.
And, wars could be settled in space in the future, warned a senior RAF chief.
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