Do you remember the movie Armageddon with Bruce Willis? How famous his hero controlled the drill to throw a bomb into a vicious asteroid that threatened to kill all life on earth! In real life, however, his clever plan would fail miserably, the asteroid would fall to earth and we would never live happily ever again. And all of this would happen because the asteroid drills shown in the film simply would not work under low gravity conditions. And if they worked, they would be nothing more than an attraction for space astronaut rotation.
If so, why are scientists of the University of Vienna seriously determined not only to drill an asteroid, but also to set up the first colonists in it?
Countless riches fly directly above our heads
Have you ever wondered how much an asteroid can cost? It seems you find yourself in space in a gray-and-black stone that sometimes flies aimlessly over the earth or spends time somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. However, the cost of a medium-sized asteroid can be more than $ 10 trillion! The fact is that most of the known objects in the asteroid belt are made of iron, cobalt, platinum and nickel.
See also: A huge asteroid the size of a skyscraper flies to Earth
Scientists at the University of Vienna are considering establishing a first settlement in one of the asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The natural body of the asteroid could prevent the effects of cosmic rays, and the onset of mineral exploration could more than pay off for such a grandiose project.
So you drill an asteroid
As mentioned earlier, no single gravity drilling rig can function under low gravity conditions. To solve this problem, scientists have proposed a very original version of the work under such extreme conditions. According to calculations, future researchers must find an asteroid that can spin around its axis. This feature provides the ability to use the asteroid's centrifugal force to install mining equipment.
If there is a "proper" asteroid, this marks the beginning of the mining era no longer on Earth but in space. In addition, such an asteroid can serve not only as a mining base, but also as a real home for the first colonists. The rocky hull around the station is a reliable protection against radiation, which can be used easily in operation, if only because such a natural shell requires no additional reinforcement.
Can an asteroid … break?
Despite all the benefits of developing minerals on asteroids, a person may be exposed to certain hazards associated with this highly unusual process. The fact is that due to the most insignificant mistake, the entire mission can easily be lost. If the asteroid loses its ability to spin around its axis as a result of the astronaut's actions, the researchers must return to Earth. You have to do the same if the space rock can not withstand the active development of metals and just … explodes!
See also: Can microbes be degraded on Mars?
In any case, scientists still have time to think through and prevent all possible scenarios for the development of events: according to calculations, a full-fledged flight to conquer the first cosmic stone can take place only after 20 years.
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