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How to turn an asteroid into a space station

Let’s dream a little because, of course, this is not appropriate. However, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk imagine a multi-planetary civilization, so why not talk about asteroids as well? One study estimates that turning an asteroid into a space station might only require sending a single probe.

First, let’s be real. Indeed, to send a mission to Mars it would take decades, so colonization is above all in the realm of science fiction. Two main technical reasons put an end to this dream: the cost of space flight, and the effects of zero gravity and radiation on the human body. study He proposes the process of converting the asteroid into space stationspace station in one trip, with a modest achievement. What about feasibility?

One flight initially solves the budget issue. Turning the asteroid into a large ring-shaped station revolving around itself solves the problem of zero gravity, at the very least.

The Magic of Isro

This is the main goal of the US, European and Chinese space agencies. to permanently settle on moonmoon Or on Mars without having to move all the materials, particularly the infrastructures, agencies would like to be able to use local materials. This is calleduse of the site’s resources – Isru – or resource use On siteie “immediately”. Several demonstration missions are under consideration.

Turning an asteroid into a space station is based on this principle. The probe will fetch some botsbots and some devices. These will then work on the asteroid regolith to recover various materials, in particular mineralsmineralsand then the manufacture of components, and even other, more primitive robots.

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The study’s simulation estimated that with 4 “spider-shaped” robots, we could have 3,000 clones and more than 23,500 pieces and equipment. Little by little, it is buildingbuilding It will give a ring station, the diameter of which will be 30% smaller than the diameter of the asteroid. Simulations estimate that it would take 12 years to build a station with a diameter of 5 km, capable of accommodating 700,000 people. Sci-fi? This type of study underscores Isru’s essential contribution to building the future of space exploration.