How to Colonize the Solar System
Colonizing other planets in our solar system is not possible with our current level of technology. Most planets have too much gravity for people to survive. Most of the other planets have too little gravity. For instance, the Planet Mars only has a surface gravity of about 38% of Earth's gravity. This low gravity would probably cause severe birth defects in any possible children born on the planet. As a result, no one would want to colonize a planet where they could NOT have healthy children. Only the Planet Venus has a gravity close enough to Earth's gravity at about 90% of Earth. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of Venus is too hostile to support life, that even the most robust robots could survive only a few minutes in the intense heat (over 460 degrees Celsius or 860 degrees Fahrenheit), high pressure (about 100 times Earth's pressure), and extremely acidic atmosphere.
With all of the other planets of the solar system ruled out for possible colonization, the next step is to investigate if any moons are possible to colonize. First, most moons have a gravity that is way too low to properly support humanity. For instance, Earth's Moon only has a gravity of about 17% of Earth's gravity, thus insufficient for normal human development. This low gravity could cause potential fatal deformities in newborn babies. Even Saturn's largest moon, Titan, that has large amounts of water where life could already exist has a very low gravity that is only 14% of Earth's gravity. Furthermore, Jupiter's moon, Europa that could also hold life has only 14% of Earth's gravity. As a result, no known moon in the solar system would be adequate for human colonization based solely on their gravity.
Both spaceships and space stations are also not suitable for long term colonization. Assuming large sections of these spaceships and space stations spin in order to make sufficient artificial gravity for humans to develop without birth defects, both would have very limited resources. As a result, both spaceships and space stations would have to recycle everything (that is not currently possible with our current technology) and be self sufficient for all resources especially energy, repairs, manufacturing, and food (that is also no currently possible). Even their populations would be tightly controlled at sustainable levels.
The only possible solution is for these spaceships and space stations to orbit or be near resources that are easily attainable, such as from nearby asteroids and comets. Asteroids themselves could be slowly hollowed out and used as both space stations and spaceships, and they could be spun for artificial gravity. These asteroids could even provide natural protection from space radiation. Colonists could be able to mine metals, minerals, and soil from asteroids and attain water, methane fuel, and hydrogen fuel from comets. As a result, colonies could continue to grow while hopscotching from one asteroid or comet to another asteroid or comet; all the while, attaining critical resources to sustain and grow their colonies.
Therefore, the other planets and moons of the solar system could never have healthy growing human colonies. The only places for self sufficient colonies in our solar system would be in spaceships and space stations that mine resources from nearby asteroids, comets, and even possibly small moons.
Furthermore in my opinion, the only true sign of a successful colony is for it to spawn separate self sufficient colonies of its own. Only time and human determination will see if I am right.
by Phil for Humanity