Humans could move to ‘floating asteroid belt colony’ housing millions of people within 15 YEARS

SPACE FLOATERS 

Humans could move to ‘floating asteroid belt colony’ housing millions of people within 15 YEARS

  • Harry Pettit, Senior Digital Technology and Science Reporter
  • 20 Jan 2021, 15:25
  • Updated: 20 Jan 2021, 16:01

HUMANS could live on giant orbs floating in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter within the next 15 years.

That’s the bonkers claim made by top scientist Pekka Janhunen, who says millions of people could inhabit a megacity in space by 2026.

Nasa illustration of a floating megacity orbiting an alien world
Nasa illustration of a floating megacity orbiting an alien worldCredit: Nasa

Dr Janhunen, an astrophysicist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, described his vision in a research paper published this month.

He laid out the blueprint for floating “mega-satellites” around the dwarf planet Ceres, which lies roughly 325million miles (520million km) from Earth.

“The motivation is to have a settlement with artificial gravity that allows growth beyond Earth’s living area,” Dr Janhunen wrote.

The vast majority of plots to settle distant worlds revolve around the Moon or Mars. This is largely due to their close proximity to Earth.

Orbiting cities have been proposed by scientists many times in the past, but few have looked to Ceres as the ideal host planet
Orbiting cities have been proposed by scientists many times in the past, but few have looked to Ceres as the ideal host planetCredit: Nasa

Dr Janhunen’s proposal, on the other hand, looks a little further affield.

His disk-shaped habitat would boast thousands of cylindrical structures, each home to more than 50,000 people.

Those pods would be linked by powerful magnets and generate artificial gravity by slowly rotating.

Residents would mine resources from Ceres 600 miles below the settlement and haul them back up using “space elevators”, Dr Janhunen said.

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt
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