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  #1  
Old 04-26-2011, 02:37 PM
Taronyu
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Default Colonies in space, our future?

Already in the 1970s Gerard ONeill and others suggested that one way to lessen the pressure from increasing population and industrial exploitation was that parts of humanity moved out in space and that heavy industry also went there. That would perhaps give society a possibility to expand further without destroying our planet and its life.

What is you take on such a thought?

The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  #2  
Old 04-26-2011, 03:20 PM
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Politics will probably get in the way unfortunately. Its kind of hard to sell the idea of space to the public when the benefits require a massive initial investment and a lot of time. We will be stuck on Earth for a very long time (a small moon colony aside). Assuming we are still around in the distant future, we will have space colonies eventually

The first colony would be more like a reset and a chance to do everything right. The communication gap between Earth and the colony would be enormous and they would practically autonomous as a result.

Last edited by Banefull; 04-26-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:37 AM
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:12 AM
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Never really been keen on the idea of living in an O'Neill colony. Now, living on Mars, trying to make it Earth-like, that's another matter...

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Old 04-28-2011, 07:52 PM
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Mars' gravity is too low to really be practical without some kind of artificial gravity technology, and deploying it on a planetary scale wouldn't be easy

The real answer is deeper in space, but it's very unlikely even within a few generations
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:41 AM
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i DO BELIVE IT WILL HAPPEN, NO ALTERATIVE, BUT WHEN, WELL THATS A DIFFERENT MATTER.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Mars' gravity is too low to really be practical without some kind of artificial gravity technology
You don't know that. Mars has more than 1/3g. Whether that would be excessively deleterious to long term human health or could be successfully countered with drugs and/or resistance training is a complete unknown. All the experimental data to date is for microgravity or 1g+.

Last edited by ISV Venture Star; 04-29-2011 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Mars' gravity is too low to really be practical without some kind of artificial gravity technology, and deploying it on a planetary scale wouldn't be easy

The real answer is deeper in space, but it's very unlikely even within a few generations
Launch the red matter!
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:26 AM
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Artificial gravity can be simulated using rotating centrifuges. The human body does not need 1g gravity all the time, just enough to keep the body from atrophying. A few hours of spinning per day could be a sufficient substitute.

As a species, we should consider ourselves lucky enough to have bodies that can survive in zero-gravity. If aliens exist, I would imagine that many of them probably have much greater stumbling blocks to becoming a spacefaring civilization (bodies that can't withstand zero-g, more gravity to overcome, capsule needs to be filled with water for aquatic lifeforms, lack of abundant resources for rocket fuel, etc). Our biggest impediment is simply politics.

Last edited by Banefull; 04-29-2011 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:04 AM
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Launch the red matter!
YES! (I have to see that movie again soon...)




I have always been a little mad that I am in this "time-frame" of 70 years or so...I really really want to live during a time where we can explore space and have colonies everywhere and environmental issues are solved...but I'm stuck in 2011 at the moment... what I wouldn't give for it to be stardate 49556.2 )
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:22 PM
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Do not want. I'll stay on Earth as long as there's something left of it.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aketuan View Post
YES! (I have to see that movie again soon...)




I have always been a little mad that I am in this "time-frame" of 70 years or so...I really really want to live during a time where we can explore space and have colonies everywhere and environmental issues are solved...but I'm stuck in 2011 at the moment... what I wouldn't give for it to be stardate 49556.2 )
Cryogenics perhaps?

I'd prefer to stay on Earth and keep it preserved, but I suppose we might need support from other planetoids. (and a way to move part of our population)
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISV Venture Star View Post
You don't know that. Mars has more than 1/3g. Whether that would be excessively deleterious to long term human health or could be successfully countered with drugs and/or resistance training is a complete unknown. All the experimental data to date is for microgravity or 1g+.
True, but it would still present issues in day to day life with different physical behaviour of objects and mass.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:45 PM
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I used to be very fascinated with space travel and colonies. I can imagine that they would be possible and that they would be similar to the settlers coming from Europe to the US in 16th century.
However I think a couple of things make it a rather bad idea at the moment. One is that we actually have our hands full with keeping the planet alive we are living on - our home, our base of operations if you want to call it - the place we can always return to. I think definitely that has to be solved first, if humanity has learned how to keep the planet alive and still exist on it in some sort of peaceful coexistence with the natural world, then maybe we as a species are also ethically and morally evolved enough to go to other planets.

Otherwise I think the result would be all too much like Avatar - with private companies being the only ones powerful and rich enough to make it happen but wanting a revenue for that - with taking land from indigenous people as the Europeans did in America - with decimation of alien species, basically just continuing the story of human civilization on Earth. That would really be disastrous and I would in that case rather have humanity stuck on Earth, if they did not made that evolutionary step before leaving the solar system.

The other points are more practical - I think the challenges of space travel are huge - unexpected problems will arise, so it will take quite some time. If there are inhabitable planets out there the next question is if they already are teeming with life? And what to do then? Colonizing would most likely mean a deep cut into the indigenous ecosystems and eventuall it or the colony might be wiped out. If there is no indigenous life on it, the planet will not be inhabitable to Earth life either, because it is life itself that makes Earth habitable to life. It prevented Earth from turning into a Mars or Venus billions of years ago and kept the balance up to now. A planet in the habitable zone without life (which I think is unlikely as I believe life will develop really fast in the right conditions) would not have a breathable atmosphere, possibly no liquid water and so on. It would need some kind of (bio?)technology to change that. Same of course with Mars, though anything we can do to Mars is futile in the end because of the low gravity that cannot hold a proper atmosphere. So humans on Mars or the Moon would basically live in ground-based space stations. The question is what the benefit of that is.

The idea to ease population problems or to put industry in space makes no sense at all, because the effort to actually move billions of people into space and provide habitats for them there is incredible. More likely new colonies would have a growth in population themselves instead. Compare it to a field of dandelions - if you plow a field next to them to give new habitat, you can start digging them up and transplanting them, but more likely the seeds will colonize the field faster. And in respect of industry - if you can build factories that are self-containing enough to work in space (not wasting anything, recycling everything, not leaking anything etc), you can as well let them exist on Earth. Expections may be industry that requires zero-g.

So in summary - I think humanity first has to "evolve" in some way - become most-industrialized or post-civilized in some way and develop completely new ways at all levels before they should be space farers. We cannot have a competition/greed based economy, a lifestyle that is detrimental to the planets ecosystems, a society that opresses many of its members, a "winner takes it all" mentality, a mentality of thinking of everything from rock to plants to living beings including humans as "resources". We have to regard nature and human rights as primary, live sustainably and then we can (if we have the means then) go explore. To go out in space in a hope to finding a solution for our present problems there is madness and will just result in worse problems.

So I do not oppose space travel or colonies, but I think the culture of humans has to evolve first, so I am not in favour of these ideas at the present time. It is not polite to look for a new home because one is unable to learn how to not wreck the home one is living in.
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