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What are the advantages and disadvantages of colonising  an asteroid?

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lalithareddy | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:46 PM via web

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of colonising  an asteroid?

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mgoode1944 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 3, 2011 at 5:48 AM (Answer #1)

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That is an interesting question. I have never heard of the idea of colonizing an asteroid before. But from what I have gotten in the short time after reading your question is that it is probably more viable than actually trying to colonize one of the other planets because they are "gravity holes". It seem to be that living inside an asteroid is something that seems possible. Here is a link to something I found on the subject. I hope that helps.

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gopikrishna | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 3, 2011 at 1:00 PM (Answer #2)

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A larger planetoid, with a slow rotation, to provide a more stable surface, might be preferable, especially one with a stable orbit, to prevent collisions and other mishaps. Once one has a large asteroid, either in the asteroid belt, or moved back closer to Earth, then one has to make it comfortable. Shielding the asteroid from micrometeorite strikes and radiation would be vital if the site was to be habitable. A hydroponics greenhouse for growing vegetables and some kind of protein source of protein would be required..An asteroid would be advantageous for a small colony for several reasons. They are mobile, and could be moved about for astronomical observations or for safety reasons. They could also be aimed at various points in the sky for communications. And they are not subject to huge storms like Mars or Venus.

But the initial cost would be high. Someone would need to step forward and make the first move. Low gravity. Humans would have to adapt, or some form of artificial gravity would have to be implemented.Most asteroids are far from the Sun. The main asteroid belt is roughly 2 to 4 times further from the Sun than Earth. This means that the available solar energy (solar constant) is 4 to 16 times less, although building large reflectors to collect sunlight is possible in space.Many asteroids may merely be loose agglomerations of dust and rocks, which may be very difficult to use.Asteroids are vulnerable to Solar radiation, lacking similarities like Earth's ozone layer and magnetosphere Shielding with several meters of asteroidal regolith is a trivial solution to this problem.Asteroids have no or very little atmosphere.

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