Ceres is the largest dwarf planet inside the Neptune’s orbit and that lies between the mars and jupiter asteroid belt. Expanding the human presence beyond the earth in the near future has a good chance. In another words it means that setting up the infrastructure on the moon and mars or in the low earth orbit. This expanding the human presence beyond the earth comes with number of challenges with various kinds of risks in space and on other celestial bodies considering the health hazards and exposure to low gravity.
Now to cope with this kind of challenges demands innovative solution in establishing the infrastructure and from many years several solutions have been proposed. Let’s take the example Dr. Pekka Janhunen who proposed concept for a megasatellite settlement for Ceres which provides artificial gravity to its human presence and also allows closed loop ecosystem which effectively changes the space settlement.
Dr. Janhunen a physicist from Helsinki, Finland is not unfamiliar with the advance concepts he is also a research manager with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, professor at the University of Tatu, senior technical advisor to Aurora Propulsion Technologies where he is administering the development of Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail).
Dr. Janhunen told that his research paper describing the concept has recently appeared online has something like constructing an artificial habitat near the Ceres that can expand up to the larger population than earth.
Rotating the space colonies in the celestial bodies is a recommended and a tried and tested option. The first example of the is inscribed Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s book named Beyond Planet Earth where he explained that pinwheel station would rotate in the space to provide the artificial gravity.
This concept was followed by several other concepts like Herman Potonik’s the Problem of Space Travel (1929), the proposal of rotating cylinder in space like The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space (1976) by Von Braun Wheel and Gerard K. O’Neill. All of these proposals were for low earth orbit or earth-sun Lagrange’s point.
Dr. Janhunen told that Ceres provide 1g of earth like gravity which is required for human health. It also has enough of nitrogen for its to provide unlimited resources to its habitat atmosphere.
In the architecture of megasatellite settlement spinning habitats is attached disk-shaped with magnetic bearings. It allows artificial gravity inside the habitats which facilitates intra settlement travel ensuring low population density. These habitats are kept for 500 people per km2 in depth of 1.5m with soil which is then upgraded to 4m.
The greenspaces with trees and garden at Ceres drop down the carbon dioxide level to produce the oxygen level. It also has larger amount of ammonia salts on its surface which converts the nitrogen gas to use as buffer gas.
During this process many technical challenges occur as Planar and parabolic mirrors are placed around the frame due to which photosynthesis occur. Colonizing on moon or mars appears to be very easy in many aspects.
Dr. Janhunen also added that earth’s gravity is 9.8 m/s2 or 1 g and the gravity at Ceres is about the fraction of earth i.e. 0.28 m/s2 due to which velocity gets escaped at the rate of 510 meters per second.
The benefit of all this process or settlement results in colonization of outer solar system. It could get a stopover point for ships directed for jupiter and Saturn at Ceres.
Ceres megasatellite gives large number of access to the systems and resources and also provide environment like earth for the sizeable amount of population in the main asteroid belt.
The concept of Dr. Janhunen is a union of space construction and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) that could allow human colonization in the outer solar system and this will only be possible if we are committed to creativity.