Asteroid 1997 XF11
In picture: Asteroid 1997 XF11 on different axes.Nasa official website

As space agencies like NASA are busy gearing up with upcoming planetary colonization missions, a team of researchers has now started discussing the possibilities of building space cities in asteroids. Even though there is n number of problems to materialize a space city in these giant rock bodies, space experts believe that it will apparently happen in the future.

Martin Elvis who works at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics recently told BBC that cosmic rays would be the most crucial problem to be addressed while planning to build a city on asteroids. Apart from radiation, long-term exposure to micro-gravity is detrimental to the human body and living for long days in zero gravity will result in huge problems for asteroids.

"Cosmic rays are high energy particles, mostly just protons or high-energy nuclei. They zip straight through you and do bad things to you," said Martin Elvis, BBC reports.

However, space boffins argue that the problem of cosmic radiation can be combated by having a huge layer of water surrounding the city, which will prevent the deep impact of space radiation.

To overcome the problem of microgravity, experts suggest creating artificial gravity. Creating artificial gravity is likely to counteract the health problems that may arise due to prolonged zero gravity exposure.

As per Elvis, the ideal asteroid in which humans can settle down is carbonaceous, as it contains more than 10 percent water.

"Water is pretty common in space, as it is made of the most common elements in the universe. Water can also be broken down into oxygen and hydrogen, allowing you to breathe the oxygen," added Elvis.

Elvis also made it clear that asteroid belt in which cities are going to be built should be a closed ecosystem which is self-sustaining, as emergency support from earth will be very difficult. He added that sending a message to earth could take more than an hour.

"It could take months to get there and back, so if you have an emergency, you will have to deal with it on the asteroid. You will need an awful lot of people, you do not just go out there and have a Star Trek replicator," said Elvis.