Colonie spatiale

Space colonists could turn cannibals, scientist says

With all the research that is underway regarding space travel, one can be sure that sooner or later humans will succeed in landing on another planet or another moon in the solar system. But when it comes to living for the long haul, that’s a whole different story. According to some specialists in the field, it is very likely that future settlers will find themselves facing a food problem, and there they will only have to turn to cannibalism.

In an interview with Metro, Charles Cockell, professor of astrobiology at Edinburgh University, discussed the challenges astronauts will face on their missions. He spoke in particular of the attempts to colonize worlds like Callisto, a moon of Jupiter, or of Titan, a moon of Saturn.

According to Cockell, if the cultivation or ranching systems fail, the settlers will face dire consequences unless they are regularly provided with food from Earth. But if the colony in question is too far away, or if there is a collapse of life on Earth, this solution will not be possible.

History may repeat itself

To reinforce the idea he wanted to convey concerning cannibalism, Cockell brought up the history of the exploration of the Arctic by Sir John Franklin in 1845. The unfortunate members of the crew on this trip indeed passed through cannibalism to try to survive.

Cockell explained that Franklin and his companions aimed to find the Northwest Passage to reach the Arctic. Their boats were the most sophisticated pieces of technology of the time. They also had canned food which was new technology. Despite everything, they ended up getting lost and turning to cannibalism.

What is likely to happen in space

According to Cockell, if we send a group of astronauts to Callisto for example, things may go wrong and the module for planting food is beyond repair. In this case, if there is no other way to survive, the group members will start devouring each other.

While this is a pretty pessimistic prediction, there is still a lesson to be learned from Cockell’s post. For example, cultivation systems would need to be pre-tested on the Moon or Mars before settlers went to distant moons.

For now, the next step in space exploration by astronauts will be the return to the Moon. We will have to wait a while before a possible manned mission to the moons of Jupiter or Saturn. Until then, let’s hope scientists find ways to secure the food supply to avoid space cannibalism.

SOURCE: Futurism

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.