Could you live on an asteroid as if you were the Little Prince?

Could you live on an asteroid as if you were the Little Prince?

Given the border problems, jurisdictional, secessionist wishes, patriotic chest blows and other secondary effects of tribalism, one ends up aspiring to claim a republic independent of his home . Or directly exclude himself on another planet, his own, small, where only he fits.

Just like Kaito’s character in the Dragon Ball anime and manga does. Or the best known literary case: The Little Prince , by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. But would it be possible to live in such a small place?

The asteroid

The Little Prince was written in 1942 . At a time when it was not yet known what shape asteroids had, since the largest were only visible as points of light ("asteroid", in fact, means "star-shaped").


The Little Prince took poetic license to imagine a small planet-shaped asteroid, with gravity, air, and a rose.

The question would be what would we need in the real world to live like this? First of all, a very dense asteroid: to have Earth-like gravity, a 1.75-meter asteroid would have to have a mass of 500 million tons (the approximate sum of all humans on Earth).

So far fine, but living in a place like this would entail some peculiarities, as described by Randall Munroe in his book What Would Happen If …?

If you stood on the surface, you would experience tidal forces. Your feet would weigh more than your head, which would feel like a slight stretching sensation. You would feel as if you were stretched out on a curved rubber ball or lying on a merry-go-round with your head near the center.

It would also happen that we could leave our world simply by running :

The escape velocity on the surface would be about 5 meters per second. That’s slower than a sprint, but pretty fast nonetheless. As a general rule, if you can’t dunk with a basketball, you won’t be able to escape that asteroid by jumping. However, the weird thing about escape velocity is that it doesn’t matter which way you go. If you go faster than escape speed, as long as you are not heading directly towards the planet, you will escape. That means it would be possible to leave our asteroid by running horizontally and jumping at the end of a ramp.