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Space news: Asteroid edge can support trillions, says Christopher Wanjek | Science | News

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The claim was made by Christopher Wanjek, a science writer who authored ‘Spacefarers: How Humans Will Settle the Moon, Mars, and Beyond’. According to the latest estimate from the United Nations, the current human population is around 7.8 billion.

But some scientists believe that humanity will end up colonizing space beyond Earth, potentially allowing for enormous population growth.

NASA plans to return a human to the Moon by 2024 and then create a permanent base on the Moon’s surface.

Then it hopes to land a human astronaut on Mars, the first planet humans will have stepped over Earth.

Speech to Express.co.uk Mr. Wanjek said space colonization would open up enormous resources for the human species.


Space author Chrisopher Wanjek (Image: EXPRESS)


The International Space Station is the only current permanent human presence in space (Image: GETTY)

He argued that the available resources at the asteroid edge could facilitate an explosion in the number of people.

Sir. Wanjek commented: “In a world of unlimited resources, when you take up space resources, it all opens up and suddenly no one is your enemy. Everyone has potential.

“There will be so many more people who have more ideas to get you into this positive cycle of what humans can do and they can harness these endless resources in the solar system.

“There are enough resources on the asteroid edge to support trillions of people.

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NASA hopes to return humans to the Moon in 2024 (Image: GETTY)

“When you think about minerals and oxygen and all the things you need for life, it’s all out there.”

Sir. Wanjek argued that space hotels will play a key role in the commercialization of space and argued that they are likely to be built before a permanent lunar base.

The Trump administration set NASA a goal of returning humans to the Moon by 2024 through its Artemis program and then continuing to establish a permanent base.

Sir. Wanjek commented: “We want manned space hotels and space tourism determined within this decade.

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SpaceX is working with NASA to return humans to the Moon (Image: GETTY)


NASA astronauts preparing to travel into space via SpaceX last year (Image: GETTY)

“I do not think the lunar base will happen in this decade.

“This plan to get people back to the Moon by 2024 is unfortunate. It was a bad idea to begin with, and now with the pandemic, it certainly will not happen.

“What you want to do and what NASA planned to do is slowly get back there by setting up an infrastructure.

“Send some robots, map the area, lay infrastructure.

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“We learn nothing by sending a few people there so as not to do anything again and waste a lot of money.

“Getting people on the moon by 2024 will actually hinder our ability to have a base there by the end of this decade.”

Sir. Wanjek stressed the importance of commercial opportunities to promote human space development.

Several companies, including Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, are currently developing vehicles for sub-orbital space tourism.


Elon Musk wants to help establish a human colony on Mars (Image: GETTY)

According to the author of the science, mining could also play a key role with iron and silicon deposits available on the Moon as well as water that could decompose to provide oxygen and hydrogen.

He commented: “The money producers would be mining, if possible, and tourism, which is probably more feasible than mining.

“Everything works in parallel. You get more people interested in space by starting people up in a low earth orbit to perhaps walk into an expandable space hotel.

“As more and more people get involved, the costs will definitely go down, and that means even more people are able to get up there.”

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