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Реакция читателя

2022-12-26 10:43:34

Astronomers propose to build the first extraterrestrial colony inside a «candy asteroid»

Астрономы предложили построить первую внеземную колонию внутри «астероида-конфеты»

When we talk about colonization of extraterrestrial objects, we primarily have in mind large celestial bodies - the Moon, Mars and other planets of the solar system. However, perhaps humanity should take its time and build the first extraterrestrial colony inside the asteroids near Earth.

The icy emptiness of space poses a number of challenges for humanity to provide itself with a comfortable home. Future colonists will not only have to fear cosmic radiation and solar wind, but will also have to be in gravity conditions close to Earth's so that their bodies can function properly.

In the case of the Moon or Mars, the most convenient option is the construction of underground bases that will protect earthlings from harmful radiation. However, the low gravity of these worlds can not be overcome just by descending a few meters deep, and therefore the researchers from the University of Rochester (USA) proposed to start with small asteroids, which will have to spin up a little.

The idea echoes the project of creating a rotating space station, but in the case of a fully artificial object, it will be quite a challenge to the entire Earth's economy. To provide normal gravity, a space station would have to be at least 30 meters across, and the bigger the better. Consequently, isn't it easier not to "reinvent the wheel" and take ready-made material in the form of an asteroid?

For example, the metal-rich asteroid 16 Psyche is an excellent candidate for the title of the first extraterrestrial colony: by extracting valuable rare-earth metals from its bowels, we will provide the new colony with primary construction resources and get a hollow object inside. By spinning Psyche, we get an artificial gravity of half the Earth's gravity, so it would seem that the issue is solved. But there is another problem: hardness.

Most likely, Psyche and similar asteroids are not monolithic boulders, but a compacted pile of rocks, so it will fall apart if we try to spin it. However, even this problem can be solved by wrapping the asteroid with a strong material that will keep it from breaking. In addition, by covering this "candy wrapper" with solar panels, it would be possible to supply the colony with energy.

Unfortunately, scientists have not yet invented a material with the necessary tensile strength, although there are promising candidates, such as carbon fiber. Perhaps by the time humanity reaches the necessary level of technology to create an extraterrestrial colony, we will already have the necessary materials and will be able to build the first houses inside asteroids, wrapped like a candy bar.


Encyclopaedic reference
Космос - относительно пустые участки Вселенной, которые лежат вне границ атмосфер небесных тел.
Астероид - относительно небольшое небесное тело Солнечной системы, движущееся по орбите вокруг Солнца. Астероиды значительно уступают по массе и размерам планетам, имеют неправильную форму и не имеют атмосферы, хотя при этом и у них могут быть спутники. Входят в категорию малых тел Солнечной системы.


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