Remember the movie “Armageddon” with Bruce Willis inthe main role? How famously his hero controlled the drill to plant a bomb inside a malicious asteroid that threatened to kill all life on Earth! However, in real life, his cunning plan would fail miserably, the asteroid would fall to Earth, and we would not live happily ever after. And all this would happen because the asteroid drilling devices shown in the film simply would not work in low gravity conditions. And if they worked, they would serve as nothing more than an attraction for the rotation of astronauts in outer space.
If so, why are scientists from the University of Vienna seriously determined not only to drill an asteroid, but to settle the first colonists inside it?
Countless riches flying right above our heads
Have you ever wondered how muchcan one asteroid cost? It would seem that you can find in a gray-black stone from space, which sometimes flies aimlessly over the Earth or spends time somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. However, the cost of one medium asteroid can reach more than 10 trillion dollars! The fact is that most of the known objects located in the asteroid belt consist of iron, cobalt, platinum and nickel.
See also: A huge asteroid the size of a skyscraper flies to Earth
Arguing about this, scientists from ViennaUniversities are considering the idea of creating the first settlement inside one of the asteroids located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The natural body of the asteroid could prevent the effects of cosmic radiation, and the beginning of the development of mineral deposits could more than pay for such a grandiose project.
How to drill an asteroid
As mentioned earlier, not a single drilla facility operating under gravity would not be able to function in low gravity conditions. In order to solve this issue, scientists have proposed a very original version of the work in such extreme conditions. According to calculations, future researchers will have to find an asteroid that can rotate around its axis. This feature will provide the ability to use the centrifugal force of the asteroid to install mining equipment.
If there is a “right” asteroid, then it will besignify the beginning of the era of mining no longer on Earth, but in outer 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 will become a reliable protection against radiation, which can be easily used in operation, if only because such natural casing will not need additional strengthening.
Can an asteroid ... break?
Despite all the benefits of developing usefulfossils on asteroids, a person may encounter certain dangers that accompany this extremely unusual process. The fact is that due to the most insignificant mistake the whole mission can be easily lost. So, if as a result of the actions of astronauts the asteroid loses the ability to rotate around its axis, then the researchers will have to return to Earth. They will have to do the same in the event that the space rock cannot withstand the active development of metals and simply ... explodes!
See also: Can microbes be engaged in mining on Mars?
Well, anyway, scientists still have timein order to think over all possible scenarios of the development of events and prevent them: according to calculations, a full-fledged flight to conquer the first cosmic stone can happen only after 20 years.
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