Humanity has long dreamed of getting from Earth to some safer and friendlier place. Here are ten of the most interesting projects!
Concrete houses on the moon
The moon is a cold and completely inhospitable celestial body. However, it attracts the attention of scientists. They calculated that it was not very expensive to build a settlement on the moon: $ 10 billion (the original price tag was 10 times more!).
Building such a base would be very beneficial. First, it is more convenient to send research expeditions from the lunar base; secondly, hydrogen for fuel of ships can be taken right there, at the lunar poles. So, if there are no lunar Nazis on the moon, this planet could become the goose that lays the golden eggs!
There are many ideas for what a lunar colony should look like, from habitat craters to inflatable space stations in orbit. Against the background of all this, concrete houses look healthy and even a little boring. In 1992, scientist Dong Liu Ling examined a rock from the lunar surface and found that it was full of material for making concrete.
In particular, the mineral ilmenite, which contains iron and titanium oxides. According to Dong Liu Ling, concrete can be made from it, which in its characteristics will be even stronger than earth. And even then, buildings of the most bizarre architecture can be erected on the moon, the attraction allows this.
Cloud cities on Venus
Our neighbor Venus is a dangerous thing. The pressure is 92 times higher than that of the Earth, but it has clouds of sulfuric acid in abundance. But don't let this worry you: when the acid starts eating away at your skin, you will already die from the heat, since the temperature on Venus is 500 ° C.
Nevertheless, scientists do not give up hope one day to populate Venus. Of course, not its surface itself (at least until we learn to tolerate extremely high pressure and sulfuric acid). Venusian cities will be located 50 km above the surface of the planet, where the pressure is approximately comparable to that of the Earth, and the temperature does not rise above 75 ° C. Which, of course, is a little too high, because the highest recorded temperature on Earth is 56.7 ° C (observed in Death Valley in the USA).
The aircraft will be airships (the size of a Boeing 747) with helium and solar panels. This program has already been launched at NASA and bears the ambitious name HAVOC (High Altitude Venus Operational Concept).
According to the founders of the mission, despite the apparent complexity, it is much easier to populate Venus than Mars. It is twice as close to Earth (it takes only 400 days to fly to Venus, and almost 900 to Mars!), Besides, spacecraft will not have to perform complicated maneuvers to land on its surface.
Artificial atmosphere on Ceres
Ceres is a dwarf planet with a diameter of only 950 km, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
In other words, it is a huge ice rock hanging somewhere in the middle of the void. There is practically no gravity on Ceres (2.8% of the earth's), but many minerals are concentrated, such as palladium and platinum. In addition, Ceres is 25% water, that is, there is even more of it than on Earth.
True, this water is located in a layer of ice 90 km thick. And from the water, scientists say, rubbing their hands, you can make oxygen and fuel for spaceships, which would be very useful to the settlers. In addition to all of the above, Ceres is extremely well located: between the terrestrial planets (Earth, Mars and Venus) and the gas giants (Jupiter, Neptune and their cronies). Earthlings are seriously considering them as sources of raw materials, so Ceres, with its low gravity and favorable location, can become a convenient transit point.
Since there is no atmosphere on Ceres, the only way to settle on it is to create a residential dome with an artificial atmosphere and gravity. Then another dome can be attached to this dome and another until the entire surface of Ceres is colonized. Of course, these are not plans for the very near future, but there have already been successful attempts to create such a dome on Earth (albeit without artificial gravity). All that remains is to keep our fingers crossed and wait for technology to develop.
American physicist Freeman Dyson, winner of many prestigious awards, including the Lorenz medals, Max Planck medals and the Enrico Fermi Prize, has devoted a lot of research to space, and they are all insane and brilliant. The scientist's main work is devoted to the Dyson sphere, but he also has ideas for other parts of the solar system. In particular, the Kuiper belt, a dense region of comets near Neptune. These comets often form cohesive groups, in other words, they clump together. At one of these groups, Dyson proposes to organize a colony. It is planned to connect the comets with a long cable.
Dyson proposes to extract energy for the cold-cold world in the Kuiper belt using huge (about 100 km in diameter) mirrors, which will provide about 1000 megawatts of energy.
Free floating capsules
In 1975, NASA pondered the possibility of creating colonies in outer space outside of any celestial body. One of the projects was the Bolosphere (“bolo” means “independent”).
These are two twenty-meter spheres connected by a two-kilometer corridor. They will be in constant rotation to provide their inhabitants with a kind of Earth's gravity. The spheres, which can accommodate up to 20 people, will provide residents with everything they need: energy (from solar panels), food (it is planned to break beds with vegetables inside) and even the ability to reproduce a sphere so that the first settlers can build up entire cities according to the principle of honeycombs.
Underground oceans in Europe
Europa, the moon of Jupiter, has gained obscene popularity among science fiction fans as a place where extraterrestrial life can be. It's all about the underground oceans (more precisely, the guess that they may be there). NASA is even preparing an unmanned mission to explore Europe for life. It would be great to find brothers in mind so close! True, they would most likely turn out to be unicellular organisms, but we are not racists, after all!
To be honest, Europe is not the most pleasant place where you would want to be: the temperature on it is -170 ° C, there is no attraction, but Jupiter constantly irradiates it with a power of 540 bar. Therefore, a hypothetical base on Europe could appear only in one of the underground oceans. Having drilled through a thick crust of ice, naturalists would comfortably sit in one of the air bubbles. On the other hand, the source that keeps the underground ocean in a liquid state has not been explored, so we advise you to think twice before volunteering.
The idea of an extraterrestrial settlement was developed by a group of scientists from Princeton led by Gerard O'Neill in 1974. Located between the Moon and Earth, the station would be a giant cylinder (32 km long and 5 km in diameter) with artificial gravity, which could accommodate 10 million people.
Despite the fact that while this colony remains purely hypothetical, in fact, the only difficulty in building it is funding. The colony is worth $ 100 billion. But the creator believes that the construction would have paid off in 10 years! And no, not by selling calendars, but by broadcasting solar energy to Earth.
Dandridge Cole Colony Ships
Tsiolkovsky was still thinking about colonial ships, but the idea of flying cities was developed only in the 1960s. Even before O'Neill, the scientist Dandridge Cole proposed his own version of the population of the solar system. Unlike O'Neill, who is going to build modules from lunar materials, Cole planned to use asteroids for these purposes.
There are some nuances. Of course, not all asteroids are equally useful and suitable for building space bases. The most suitable can be considered those in which there are alloys of tin and iron in the composition. Following Dandridge's plan, a tunnel was to be drilled in the center of the asteroid, filled with water, and sealed on both sides. Then, using the energy of sunlight, heat the asteroid so that the boiling water stretches its walls. As a result, the hollow interior of the asteroid will become suitable for human life.
Theoretical physicist Robert Dyson predicted the appearance of genetically modified trees that could be planted on comets to create an atmosphere on them as early as 1967.
First, the seed of a tree is planted on a comet, it grows using the light of the stars for photosynthesis, and gradually creates an atmosphere on the comet. When a comet becomes habitable, people move to it. It's that simple!
Photo: Getty Images
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