Could humanity live amongst the stars? Not on a planet, but actually within the inly blackness of our galaxy? Well, a group of Finnish scientists believe that we can indeed live in space, with the help of a Ceres megasatellite.
Reported by Futurism, the researchers are proposing the construction of a permanent human habitat in Ceres’ orbit. But what's the purpose of a human settlement next to a dwarf planet? And is it just a rip-off of The Expanse?
Finnish researchers propose real Ceres megasatellite
Proposed in a new paper on arXiv, the Finnish research team explains that a Ceres megasatellite would be incredibly beneficial to humanity. The team argues that the orbital settlement would have access to an environment “better than Earth”.
The megasatellite would be a huge disk-shaped base that connects to multiple smaller satellites. These smaller satellites would spin around the base to create an Earth-like sense of artificial gravity for citizens.
The team proposes that the Ceres’ nitrogen-rich atmosphere could be terraformed into an Earth-like atmosphere. Additionally, the lack of extreme weather on the dwarf planet could allow human settlers to cultivate crops more efficiently than on Earth.
Most impressively, the researchers claim that the space station could be built from materials on Ceres. However, the process for how this would be done was not explained in the long research paper.
A population the size of New Jersey
The research team explains that the Ceres megasatellite would be the first step towards humanity populating space. In the paper, the team explains:
“The motivation is to have a settlement with artificial gravity that allows growth beyond Earth’s living area, while also providing easy intra-settlement travel for the inhabitants and reasonably low population density of 500/km2.”
However, there are issues with humans living in space. For example, cosmic storms and meteors could be massive threats for the station. Additionally, the habitat’s artificial gravity would cause mass nausea to passengers.
The team is prepared for these issues. For storms and meteors, a series of mirrors could help to block those threats. For the nausea, citizens would be expected to adapt to the circumstances, not unlike a cruise.