An interesting post over at Colony Worlds suggests that the dwarf planet of Ceres would be a better bet for early human colonisation than Mars – it has supplies of water ice and valuable minerals, but a far shallower gravity well, making it a more viable proposition from logistical and economic perspectives. Personally, I think getting a few working orbital colonies around our home planet would be a sound first move … but after that, why not? [Image from Wikipedia]
[tags]space, Mars, Ceres, colonisation, economics[/tags]
6 thoughts on “Space colonisation – Ceres first, Mars second?”
Why must these decisions always be presented as either-or. Why not do both? It is much more cost effective to build two (or three, or more) than to build unique vehicles for each mission.
Good point Robert, but at the moment we seem to be struggling to find enough budget for simple missions to orbit and back, let alone the moon or beyond. Maybe if we all trimmed back on the defence budgets … 😉
Interesting, but we also have to ask how much is the difference in distance, and what effects the low gravity would have long-term on the people working there.
What we really need is better (that is, economical) access to Low Earth Orbit (and the infrastructure that will come of that), high-performance deep space propulsion, and a better handle on long-duration life support (which you will want, even staying in LEO, to minimize re-supply requirements). Then it’s simpler for anyone to go out and do what they deem necessary or desirable.
Robert is right. This is a civilization that can walk and chew gum at the same time. Whenever the first starship to Alpha Centauri departs,someone will still be learning something new about Mars, the Moon, or even Earth…
i think what we need is to work together with other spage agencies, cause on the current budget we’ll be able t put another robot on a distant planet and find aout more in a few decades, when if we would work together and make one of these planets a target we would be able to move alot faster…u know how they say, where there’s 2 there’s more power…what about when there’s 5 or more?(european space agency, russians, chinese and so on)
I agree that Ceres may be a better option for colonisation when compared to Mars when it comes to resources, nonetheless adaptation to Mars gravity would be easier. I have recently put together a blog related to colonisation of Ceres.
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