Move over, International Space Station (ISS) – Austrian researchers believe it is possible to build future space stations inside the bigger asteroids orbiting the Earth and mine the space rocks for valuable resources.
In a study supported by the University of Vienna, the researchers used mathematics to demonstrate how to dig a tunnel toward the center of an asteroid, set up shop inside the rock, and extract the minerals. If the asteroid was several hundred feet wide and sturdy enough for the job, it could host a cylinder-shaped base.
Skeptics pointed out the considerable logistical challenges faced by the asteroid-space station-mine concept. Even the Vienna researchers acknowledged the need for several decades of technological advances and the construction of other orbital infrastructure before the idea becomes feasible.