Life Outside Our Biosphere
The fragile balance of the Earth’s ecosystem is constantly being
rainforests to make enough farmland to feed everyone. The ozone layer is slowly
just enough to provide for our population now! As the population grows, we will
find ourselves more and more crowded, with no room left to expand. Solution:
problems associated with overcrowding.
explored more in depth. Scientists have now found it to be a red, rocky, barren
were to settle on Mars, we would remain totally dependent on the Earth’s
Another close planet is Venus, the second from the sun. This “sister
planet” of Earth proved to have extremely hostile conditions. Scientists were
the water. Venus has surface temperatures of around 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and
an atmosphere one hundred times as thick as the Earth’s. (This produces
conditions project a less than comfortable life on Venus.
settlement: it has little to no atmosphere, and only one sixth of the gravity of
would be an excellent source of resources for nearby space stations. (
metals as well.)
Space stations orbiting in the past have been very dependent on the
Earth’s supplies for construction and maintenance. The Soviets have launched a
brigade of structures called Salyuts. In fact, one of their cosmonauts has
lived in space for more than 235 days! They supplied the Salyuts by shuttle
craft flying from the Earth and back, carrying supplies and returning with
far larger than the Soviets’, was too expensive and was abandoned after some
months of occupation. These mini-colonies had very primitive conditions, with
no gravity and an awkward lifestyle.
different from these first primitive attempts, but knowing which design they
will adopt is difficult. Most engineers agree that they will be in a round
configuration, slowly rotating, causing centrifugal force with effects like the
Earth’s gravity. Some experts believe that colonies will eventually be around
The only things to worry about will be asteroid showers, which only occur about
every one thousand years. Factories and other industrial facilities will be
nearby, along with the greenhouses.
One of the biggest benefits of these space stations is the excellent
agricultural potential. The orbiting space station is constantly exposed to the
colony all the food and oxygen it could need. If some of these resources could
be sent back to Earth, less arable land would be ruined by over farming for
starving people. Massive amounts of energy in the universe are unused, and
solar panels constantly exposed to unfiltered sunlight may harvest some of this
energy. Huge solar panels attached to the station could provide for all of its
energy needs, leaving extra to provide for those still on Earth.
The construction of space stations will be a compilation of resources
from across the solar system. Initially, we will obtain much of the material
from Earth, but we have other sources available to us. Rock, glass, metal, and
oxygen taken from the moon would be better than if it were taken from the Earth,
because the moon has such low gravity. Our planet has very strong gravity, and
removing matter from our planet uses up a lot of energy. Removing metals and
rock from the moon is relatively easy, however. Water is another element vital
from Saturn’s rings for this valuable resource.
Establishing settlements outside the biosphere we have lived in for so
long will be very difficult. It will take cooperation from all the nations in
the world, at huge expense to the technologically advanced countries. We will
Colonization of outer space, however, is a good solution to the world’s energy,
overpopulation, and agricultural problems.