The Red Planet was not the only candidate for the role of a new home for humanity.
Astrophysicist Pekka Janhunen from the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki proposes to build a “colossal” colony in the asteroid belt around the dwarf planet Ceres.
According to the scientist, there are necessary minerals, including nitrogen, gravity will be artificial, and sunlight will be provided by two giant mirrors.
To colonize Ceres, Pekka Janhunen proposes to build a “megasatellite” of thousands of cylindrical spacecraft connected to each other inside a disc-shaped frame constantly rotating in the orbit of Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
“Each cylindrical habitat would measure about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) long, have a radius of 0.6 miles (1 km) and complete a full rotation every 66 seconds to generate the centrifugal force needed to simulate Earth-like gravity,” says Janhunen.
In his opinion, such a design allows the colony to grow in size almost indefinitely, simply by adding new modules from the edge, while “the possibilities of Mars are limited.”
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The scientist emphasizes that Ceres is rich in nitrogen, an important element for the creation of life, but emphasizes that the planet is too small, and therefore “instead of building a colony on the surface of this tiny object, settlers will be able to extract minerals on it and deliver them into orbit for processing”.
Life in orbit will allow, according to him, to avoid the most important problem of the plan for the colonization of Mars – the negative impact on the health of low gravity.