Trees will grow on comets



Freeman Dyson : physicist, mathematician
A genetically-engineered plant wiil be capable of growing on a comet. Dyson suggested that comets could be engineered to contain hollow spaces filled with a breathable atmosphere, thus providing self-sustaining habitats for humanity in the outer solar system.
"Plants could grow greenhouses…just as turtles grow shells and polar bears grow fur and polyps build coral reefs in tropical seas. These plants could keep warm by the light from a distant Sun and conserve the oxygen that they produce by photosynthesis. The greenhouse would consist of a thick skin providing thermal insulation, with small transparent windows to admit sunlight. Outside the skin would be an array of simple lenses, focusing sunlight through the windows into the interior… Groups of greenhouses could grow together to form extended habitats for other species of plants and animals."


"Warm-blooded plants and freeze-dried fish: the future of space exploration. Played" The Atlantic Monthly, November 1997