Earth’s Second Moon

O.K. now that I’ve got your attention, Earth doesn’t really have a second moon, though when it was first discovered I can well believe 3753 Cruithne might at first have  been considered as such.

Now I’m being a little bit thick, but interesting fact struck me from the wikipedia article… Cruithne would in 2058 be within 13,600,000 kilometres, or for the astronomers amongst you 0.09 Astronomical Units of Mars. Given that Cruithne can at times come very close to Earth, why cannot we think about colonising Cruithne, hitch a ride to Mars and then colonise Mars?

I’m sure the 5 kilometre diameter asteroid can afford some protection against radiation, which is one of several major problems with the long journey to Mars.

Well, there has been a recent proposal to send a mission to Cruithne – proposed by an Italian scientist, PierPoalo Pergola, at the University of Pisa. But this is for science purposes to discover more about the history of our Solar System. Nevertheless it is certainly a step in the right direction. Many more steps would have to follow.

English: Orbit of asteroid 3753 Cruithne as vi...
English: Orbit of asteroid 3753 Cruithne as viewed from the Earth’s frame.I created this animated GIF as an illustration on my Cruithne page located at: http://www.orbitsimulator.com/gravity/articles/cruithne.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Timing of course is an issue and I don’t have all the details, but hey, isn’t it worth investigating?

Here’s another crazy thought… could life on Mars have used Cruithne to transport itself to Earth? Or is this not so crazy after all?

And isn’t it worth a science fiction story or two? Well it does appear in Stephen Baxter’s novel, Manifold: Time, but only as a place for a gateway. But that’s the only reference I can find and nothing to do with Mars….

Hopefully some of you good people will come up with an interesting story or two… I have other fish (squids?) to fry?

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