30 November 2012

Mercury: A potential site for colonization?

In light of the recent news about large deposits of water on Mercury, I wonder why there hasn't been more consideration of the planet as a potential site for human colonization. James Shifflett has an interesting page where he discusses some of the issues involved. As he mentions, one of the great advantages would be the availability of solar power--a disadvantage of Mars which is farther than the Earth from the sun. Mercury also has a magnetic field and has gravity similar to that of Mars. Comparing the two, I can't really see any advantage of Mars except that it's easier and faster to get there and yes, the scenery's much more enticing. I guess Mars is also a better spot for terrafarming, although that particular project is so vast and requires so many resources and time that it's unlikely to make much difference whether we have some small groups of scientists huddled in caves on the planet's surface.

No comments: