When it comes to colonizing outer space, Mars gets most of the attention, but there are also some very compelling reasons why we should colonize Titan.
Saturn’s largest moon Titan is the only natural satellite with more than a trace atmosphere. The muddy orange world had eluded scientists for decades until ESA’s Huygens probe landed on the surface in 2005, making it the only spacecraft to ever land on a body in the outer solar system. It found what many scientists already suspected – a world that, in many ways, is an analogue to Earth. Titan has seas, rain and snow but, instead of water, they are based on methane and ethane. Titan is undoubtedly home to one of the most hospitable environments in the solar system, which makes it a great candidate for a permanent colony.
#1. Low Radiation
Titan’s atmosphere protects the surface from lethal radiation.
The Moon and Mars are often cited as being the most likely places where mankind will first establish a permanent presence beyond Earth. However, while far closer than Titan, one of the biggest problems they present is surface radiation. Without a thick enough atmosphere to protect their surfaces from deadly solar radiation, any colonies would ideally have to be located underground. Titan, however, has by far the densest atmosphere of any rocky body in the solar system aside from Venus. The atmosphere, combined with the solar magnetic field, is particularly effective when it comes to keeping potentially deadly ionizing radiation away from the surface.