Building a Colony on an Asteroid Belt Is the New Wild Ambition of Astronomers

Building a Colony on an Asteroid Belt Is the New Wild Ambition of Astronomers

Who said that the human race should build a colony only on Mars? Of course, everybody dreams about preparing ourselves a new home way beyond our solar system, whether we’re fans of sci-fi movies or not. But while the current technology is definitely not on our side, moving our toys only elsewhere in our solar system remains the only option.

While Elon Musk and NASA are trying to figure out how to build a colony on Mars, astrophysicist Pekka Janhunen from the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki has another wild idea: creating a floating habitat around the dwarf planet Ceres.

A colony of tens of millions of people

As Live Science writes, the idea is to build a mega satellite composed of thousands of cylindrical spacecraft connected inside a disk-shaped frame that would permanently orbit Ceres. Each cylindrical spacecraft could accommodate a maximum of 50,000 people, generate a gravity similar to the one from Earth by the centrifugal force of its own rotation, and support artificial intelligence. Ceres is a dwarf planet and the largest space object in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter, which means that the hypothetical colony would practically be ‘next-door’.

“Mars’ surface area is smaller than Earth’s, and consequently it cannot provide room for significant population and economic expansion,” Janhunen declared for Live Science. But a Ceres colony “is growable from one to millions of habitats.”

However, building such a colony near Ceres would still take a lot of time if it will ever be done. Janhunen says that the first human settlers would need a maximum of 15 years to begin their journey towards the dwarf planet.

The new paper was published in the preprint database arXiv.


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