MOSCOW, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Asteroids could be used as natural spaceships for travels to the deep space, a Russian space industry scientist said Thursday.
"There are about 10,000 asteroids orbiting close to the Earth and about 2 millions of them in total," head of the Designer and Research Bureau in the Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center, Sergei Antonenko, told the Technoprom-2013 conference in Novosibirsk, southern Siberia.
He proposed to use asteroids' underground for setting up permanent bases there and use them as "natural spaceships" for travels to Mars and Jupiter.
Some asteroids regularly approach Earth closer than the Moon, so it would be easy to land on them, Antonenko believed.
The scientist said if people land on Mars for permanent residency, this would lead to formation of the new biological type of a human being due to the different gravity and completely non-Earthly environment.
"These creatures will never come back to Earth," he said.
Participants of the two-day conference will discuss ways of providing Russia's technological leadership in the modern world.
Astronomers find first asteroid with six comet-like tails
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. and German astronomers said Thursday they have found for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust in solar system's asteroid belt.
Unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light in space telescope, this asteroid, designated P/ 2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler, according to astronomers who are puzzled over the space rock's unusual appearance. Full story