Asteroids could be the best places to build space dwellings

(ORDO NEWS) — Given the desire of man to explore the world and expand his capabilities, it is probably only a matter of time before people begin to build their homes in the solar system.

And nearby asteroids could also be our home, a recent study shows.

The cold, weightless, radiation-filled darkness of space creates a number of problems for the construction of human habitation.

We need to be protected from cosmic radiation and the solar wind, and microgravity poses a significant health hazard.

All of these factors could make us live in space under the regolith layer on the Moon and Mars. But perhaps people would be better off living deep inside small asteroids.

The idea of ​​building a rotating space station like the one shown in 2001: A Space Odyssey has been around for a long time, but bringing the idea to life is too much of a task.

There are a huge number of complexities associated with the construction and delivery of such a large amount of materials into space.

The rotating station must be at least 30 meters across to create artificial gravity. Therefore, the engineers proposed to spin the asteroids.

We would have to excavate the interior of the asteroid, but that would provide usable materials.

The metal-rich asteroid 16 Psyche is a good option. Mining rare earths within its interior would provide a radiation-proof habitat, unless the rapidly spinning asteroid is blown apart.

A study of rotating asteroids has shown that solid asteroids up to several hundred meters in diameter should be capable of sustaining a rotational speed sufficient to maintain artificial gravity.

There is only one problem. Most asteroids of this magnitude are loose accumulations of rocks and dust. They would fly apart long before they reached the required rotational speed.

Scientists propose to wrap the asteroid in a material capable of holding it whole during rotation.

The wrapper layer could be covered with solar panels to generate electricity, while the debris would provide resources and protection from radiation.

Such a design would reduce the amount of material needed to lift into space. The study showed that the idea is promising, but not yet very practical.

The materials currently available are not as strong. But by the time we get around to building housing on nearby asteroids, we may well have the materials needed to do so.

This is an interesting idea, and it shows that our housing options in space are more than just the surfaces of the Moon and Mars.


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