Population Capacity of Outer Planetary Orbits

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M. Hempsell (2020), JBIS, 73, pp.372-381

Refcode: 2020.73.372
Keywords: Space colonies, Human population, Outer planet exploration

Past Space colony studies have concentrated on the engineering financial and other issues relating to creating space colonies as isolated systems. However in reality, if they are to be viable, they will not be isolated but will be connected to a wider Earth/Space economy. This opens the question as to how big can such economies become? That is, what is the maximum potential population of the solar system? It is suggested Earth orbit could contain well in excess of ten billion people living in such colonies with a limitation being the amount of suitable locations. The other inner planets and heliocentric orbits are less certain as locations for colonies due to less suitable sources of material for their construction and lack of economic justification. However it was found that largely independent economies of colonies could be clustered around gas giants and that the population capacity of such societies could be hundreds of billions of people.

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