Author Topic: Radical Terraforming Methods  (Read 27177 times)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #40 on: 03/16/2012 03:42 AM »
Too bad we don't have star gates put a few on Venus and Mars and dial Mars and the atmosphere could be moved.

More realistic maybe build a massive a fleet of thousands of airships built with space materials filled with nitrogen and lower them to Venus via an orbital sky hook also known as a Rotovator that is long enough for the entry speed to be within the structural limits of the airship.

Inside these airships would be a CO2 scrubber powered by solar energy.

The carbon could then be coverted into blocks and lowered or even dumped or retrieved by the rotovator and disposed of in space.
Maybe use it to make more rotovators.

Comet ice can be use to reboost the rotovators and replace the lost water on Venus at the same time.

« Last Edit: 03/16/2012 03:46 AM by Patchouli »

Offline nyar

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #41 on: 03/16/2012 05:48 PM »

More realistic maybe build a massive a fleet of thousands of airships built with space materials filled with nitrogen and lower them to Venus via an orbital sky hook also known as a Rotovator that is long enough for the entry speed to be within the structural limits of the airship.

Inside these airships would be a CO2 scrubber powered by solar energy.

The carbon could then be coverted into blocks and lowered or even dumped or retrieved by the rotovator and disposed of in space.
Maybe use it to make more rotovators.

Comet ice can be use to reboost the rotovators and replace the lost water on Venus at the same time.


Realistic!?  ???  In any event here y'are,...sort of. :D






Offline gbaikie

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #42 on: 03/17/2012 12:45 AM »
If we cooled Venus down with a Sun shade to were the CO2 was solid then we would have a mostly nitrogen atmosphere in the dark.

It could take centuries for Venus to cool down if all sunlight was effectively blocked.
Total mass of atmosphere:  ~4.8 x 10^20 kg
Average temperature: 737 K (464 C)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/venusfact.html

Not sure how much energy is being absorbed and therefore emitted. Nor if Venus is warming or cooling. But some imagine that if the albedo         is 0.67 then 67% of sunlight is reflected or 33% of the sunlight is absorbed and emitted. At Venus distance the solar flux is averages about 2700 watts per square meter. Or Venus emits 891 watt per square meter times it's disc area. [Divide this by 4 for global square meter radiation from Venus- so 222.75 watts per square meter of it's surface area.
It's surface area is: It's radius is 6051.8, so square and times pi times 4:
460 million sq kilometers. And 4.6 x 10^14 square meters. So 102,517 trillion watts [per second]. 1 x10^19 joules per second. Or 3.15 x 10^27 joules per [earth] year.

To cool 4.8 x 10^20 kg of CO2 1.126 kJ/kgK
So 5.4 x 10^23 is amount joules to cool atmosphere by 1 C.
Or 5.4 x 10^25 joules cools 100 C.

Edit: (missed two orders:)
Edit: try again:
1 x10^17 joules per second. And 3.2 x 10^24 per year.

Correction: So less than year the atmosphere would cool 100 C- but with it cooler it would radiate less energy
Less than year to cool 10 C. Decade to cool 100 C
 
Plus not including the heat content of the surface [which is unknown- but reasonable guess it as one goes deeper the temperature doesn't decrease but instead increase by some amount- if that is accepted one also has to include heat content of, say several miles of rock also at +464 C].

But since since atmosphere cools faster than I first calculated and rock will take some time radiate heat. If you want say 200 C cooler [or when CO2 is liquid], rather than a century, as first supposed, it could take somewhere around a decade a century to cool down,
So at some point, CO2 would rain, and ground cool enough to have lakes of warm CO2 liquid. Once you got atmosphere reduced- it also would less greenhouse affect- and one get an increase the amount radiated into space.
« Last Edit: 03/17/2012 06:52 AM by gbaikie »

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #43 on: 03/17/2012 01:19 AM »
Then it is probably best to put the atmospheric cities ( cloud cities ) in.

No Sun shade at this time.

Have them harvest N2 and O2 for new cities to be built and have plants to convert the CO2 in O2.

We would need fast growing plants that do not need much nutrients.
Harvest the plants and make mulch and compost.

Bring in H2 from else were to make H2O with the Venus O2 from it's CO2.

The cities could also make dry ice blocks from the gaseous CO2 and drop the large dry ice block down to the surface to start cooling it.

As O2 is made it would float above the CO2 layer and so would water vapor.
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Offline indaco1

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #44 on: 03/17/2012 03:01 PM »
IMHO:

Create space habitats could be less "sexy" but it will cost infinitely less per capita than terraforming a planet.

Furthermore barriers to entry are infinitely lower, time required is infintely shorter and scalability is infintely greater.

Even if we had interstellar travel the galaxy could sustain an infinitely greater total biomass building Dyson swarms of habitats around other stars than with the few suitable planets.

This is the first and last habitable planet inhabited by a significant fraction of humanity.
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Offline nyar

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #45 on: 03/17/2012 03:29 PM »
If we cooled Venus down with a Sun shade to were the CO2 was solid then we would have a mostly nitrogen atmosphere in the dark.

It could take centuries for Venus to cool down if all sunlight was effectively blocked.
Total mass of atmosphere:  ~4.8 x 10^20 kg
Average temperature: 737 K (464 C)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/venusfact.html

Not sure how much energy is being absorbed and therefore emitted. Nor if Venus is warming or cooling. But some imagine that if the albedo         is 0.67 then 67% of sunlight is reflected or 33% of the sunlight is absorbed and emitted. At Venus distance the solar flux is averages about 2700 watts per square meter. Or Venus emits 891 watt per square meter times it's disc area. [Divide this by 4 for global square meter radiation from Venus- so 222.75 watts per square meter of it's surface area.
It's surface area is: It's radius is 6051.8, so square and times pi times 4:
460 million sq kilometers. And 4.6 x 10^14 square meters. So 102,517 trillion watts [per second]. 1 x10^19 joules per second. Or 3.15 x 10^27 joules per [earth] year.

To cool 4.8 x 10^20 kg of CO2 1.126 kJ/kgK
So 5.4 x 10^23 is amount joules to cool atmosphere by 1 C.
Or 5.4 x 10^25 joules cools 100 C.

Edit: (missed two orders:)
Edit: try again:
1 x10^17 joules per second. And 3.2 x 10^24 per year.

Correction: So less than year the atmosphere would cool 100 C- but with it cooler it would radiate less energy
Less than year to cool 10 C. Decade to cool 100 C
 
Plus not including the heat content of the surface [which is unknown- but reasonable guess it as one goes deeper the temperature doesn't decrease but instead increase by some amount- if that is accepted one also has to include heat content of, say several miles of rock also at +464 C].

But since since atmosphere cools faster than I first calculated and rock will take some time radiate heat. If you want say 200 C cooler [or when CO2 is liquid], rather than a century, as first supposed, it could take somewhere around a decade a century to cool down,
So at some point, CO2 would rain, and ground cool enough to have lakes of warm CO2 liquid. Once you got atmosphere reduced- it also would less greenhouse affect- and one get an increase the amount radiated into space.
I agree with your assessment except that you should be using the Bond albedo rather than the geometric albedo for any thermal equilibrium calculations.  For some strange reason the Bond albedo varies from source to source from 0.75 to .98.  But if you use the NASA site value of 0.90 the global square meter radiation from Venus drops considerably from your stated 222.75 to 67.5 watts per square meter of it's surface area.  This increases the time required to cool off Venus.  Also you neglected the latent heat of condensation (sublimation) for CO2 of 571000 joule/kg which is the heat loss required to convert CO2 vapor to a liquid (solid). For the entire atmosphere that equals 2.74^26 Joules.  The boiling point of CO2 at 5 bar is 217 K so to get to that point you would have to cool the atmosphere 464C = 737K-217= 520 K.  That will take 5.4^23 Joules * 520 = 2.8^26 Joules.  Adding to the sublimation energy gives 2.8^26+2.74^26= 5.54^26 Joules.  Dividing by the planetary radiation of 67.5 Watts*4.6 x 10^14 square meters= 3.1^16 Watts to get time.  5.54^26/3.1^16 =  1.78^10 seconds = 566 years.

 

Offline nyar

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #46 on: 03/17/2012 03:51 PM »
IMHO:

Create space habitats could be less "sexy" but it will cost infinitely less per capita than terraforming a planet.

Furthermore barriers to entry are infinitely lower, time required is infintely shorter and scalability is infintely greater.

Even if we had interstellar travel the galaxy could sustain an infinitely greater total biomass building Dyson swarms of habitats around other stars than with the few suitable planets.

This is the first and last habitable planet inhabited by a significant fraction of humanity.

IMHO terraforming will be an 'art' performed in the future by a civilization that has learned to live in peace and prosperity with itself and it's surroundings.  It will be an expression of life and creative beauty not a way to escape from problems we have created.  People cannot survive in Dyson habitats without an absolute level of maturity and mental stability that we do not have.  That was one of the greatest though unappreciated lessons of Biosphere II. One negligent, suicidal, or vengeful person in a population of millions could open the wrong hatch and kill everybody.  Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere.  By cold necessity unfettered freedom will remain the domain of planetary civilizations.

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #47 on: 03/17/2012 10:28 PM »
What materials might the cloud cities be made of?

What might the size and dimensions be for these cities?

Were might they be placed , north or south of the equator?
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Offline nyar

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #48 on: 03/18/2012 01:17 AM »
What materials might the cloud cities be made of?

What might the size and dimensions be for these cities?

Were might they be placed , north or south of the equator?

My design (see above post) would have a 2 km radius.  The shape would resemble a half of an old Zepplin airship tipped up.  Very strong to resist the winds at that altitude. The material would be transparent to allow light for photosynthesis.  Warm moist air would rise to the colder top to be cooled by radiative cooling. The cool moisture would condense and stream along the sides as rain to begin the cooling cycle again.  The city would have a standard earth atmosphere providing buoyancy comparable to methane. The altitude would be at approx 54 km where air pressure is approx 0.5 earth. I placed my city on the equator to accommodate the shuttles that would come down by means of an equitorial rotovator. They'd be picked up by aircraft carrier sized dirigibles that would ferry them to and from the city. At the the bottom of the city would be a landing/takeoff /maintenance structure for the shuttles. 
« Last Edit: 03/18/2012 01:23 AM by nyar »

Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #49 on: 03/18/2012 06:49 AM »
That was one of the greatest though unappreciated lessons of Biosphere II. One negligent, suicidal, or vengeful person in a population of millions could open the wrong hatch and kill everybody.  Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere.  By cold necessity unfettered freedom will remain the domain of planetary civilizations.
I'm not sure that follows.

If you're in a habitat the size of a city, how much time are you going to spend near exterior walls?

Offline Andrew_W

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #50 on: 03/18/2012 07:15 AM »

  That was one of the greatest though unappreciated lessons of Biosphere II. One negligent, suicidal, or vengeful person in a population of millions could open the wrong hatch and kill everybody.  Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere.  By cold necessity unfettered freedom will remain the domain of planetary civilizations.

1. Imposing absolute controls on behavior is a sure way of making people negligent, suicidal, or vengeful.

2. If a person can destroy a large habitat so easily it needs to be redesigned.

3. Even today an individual determined to go out taking as many lives with them as they can is an incredibly rare event. I can only think of one instance in which a suicidal individual acting alone took more than 50 people with them, even though it would be easy for a such people to take many more lives.
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Offline khallow

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #51 on: 03/18/2012 03:51 PM »

That was one of the greatest though unappreciated lessons of Biosphere II. One negligent, suicidal, or vengeful person in a population of millions could open the wrong hatch and kill everybody. Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere.  By cold necessity unfettered freedom will remain the domain of planetary civilizations.

Or design your infrastructure so that one person can't do that. People are just as much points of failure as any other aspect of infrastructure. Designing your infrastructure so that one person can cause that much damage easily is a failure just as any other case of creating single points of failure.
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Offline khallow

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #52 on: 03/18/2012 04:31 PM »

3. Even today an individual determined to go out taking as many lives with them as they can is an incredibly rare event. I can only think of one instance in which a suicidal individual acting alone took more than 50 people with them, even though it would be easy for a such people to take many more lives.

Arsonists are better examples. The act of arson has lower risk for the perpetrator (often most of the evidence burns in the fire and the culprit can be long away before anyone notices the fire) and can cause a great deal of death and damage in urban areas. Googling around, I see a couple of examples of arson associated with night clubs which killed more than 50 people.
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Offline nyar

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #53 on: 03/18/2012 06:16 PM »

That was one of the greatest though unappreciated lessons of Biosphere II. One negligent, suicidal, or vengeful person in a population of millions could open the wrong hatch and kill everybody. Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere.  By cold necessity unfettered freedom will remain the domain of planetary civilizations.

Or design your infrastructure so that one person can't do that. People are just as much points of failure as any other aspect of infrastructure. Designing your infrastructure so that one person can cause that much damage easily is a failure just as any other case of creating single points of failure.


Attempting to solve sociopolitical problems with technology is one of the failures of humanity.  Its called clinical denial.  Figuring you can build and invent your way out of a problem that comes from inside your own head.  Adolescents become resentful, vengeful, and angry when told they cannot do something. Their commitment to freedom is absolute. Then they grow up, or at least most of them do and recognize the value of limits.  When they have kids of their own to manage their understanding of limits grows.  Its human nature.  Any purely technological solution to preventing a single antisocial person or group to causing horrific damage and death in a space habitat would require loss of freedom thus confirming my point.  We just aren't hard wired to consistently exhibit the almost insect-like discipline necessary survive in space as a community.  That's why astronauts are so rigorously selected and trained. And that's just for limited missions. Of course some people can't be convinced of a fact even when there is plenty of evidence around them to see.  That too is part of human nature.

http://www.sharonlbegley.com/in-the-desert-big-trouble-under-glass


Offline Andrew_W

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #54 on: 03/18/2012 06:31 PM »

That was one of the greatest though unappreciated lessons of Biosphere II. One negligent, suicidal, or vengeful person in a population of millions could open the wrong hatch and kill everybody. Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere.  By cold necessity unfettered freedom will remain the domain of planetary civilizations.

Or design your infrastructure so that one person can't do that. People are just as much points of failure as any other aspect of infrastructure. Designing your infrastructure so that one person can cause that much damage easily is a failure just as any other case of creating single points of failure.


Attempting to solve sociopolitical problems with technology is one of the failures of humanity.  Its called clinical denial.  Figuring you can build and invent your way out of a problem that comes from inside your own head.  Adolescents become resentful, vengeful, and angry when told they cannot do something. Their commitment to freedom is absolute. Then they grow up, or at least most of them do and recognize the value of limits.  When they have kids of their own to manage their understanding of limits grows.  Its human nature.  Any purely technological solution to preventing a single antisocial person or group to causing horrific damage and death in a space habitat would require loss of freedom thus confirming my point.  We just aren't hard wired to consistently exhibit the almost insect-like discipline necessary survive in space as a community.  That's why astronauts are so rigorously selected and trained. And that's just for limited missions. Of course some people can't be convinced of a fact even when there is plenty of evidence around them to see.  That too is part of human nature.

http://www.sharonlbegley.com/in-the-desert-big-trouble-under-glass



 ??? ??? ::)

But you're the one who said: "Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere."

That change in direction must make your head spin.

Sticking a safety catch on a gun or locking a hatch is not using technology to deny freedom, imposing  "Absolute controls on behavior" is denying freedom.
I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years.
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Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #55 on: 03/18/2012 07:10 PM »
Cloud city

One big platform with 4 smaller ones attached to it's side equal distance apart. Each with their own air domes attached to them. If the inner platform were to loose it's lifting air ( leak ) then the outer platforms would need to have enough lift to compensate. Under the center platform then would be a platform with no air dome. It would be for landing craft on or dropping items to the Venus surface.

One outer platform for energy production ( possible fusion generator ).
One for manufacturing of part to make another cloud city.
The other two for plant growth.
The center platform for plant growth and living space.

Each city would help build another floating city.
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Offline nyar

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #56 on: 03/18/2012 07:22 PM »
??? ??? ::)

But you're the one who said: "Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere."

That change in direction must make your head spin.

Sticking a safety catch on a gun or locking a hatch is not using technology to deny freedom, imposing  "Absolute controls on behavior" is denying freedom.

Putting a safety on a gun does not keep someone clicking off the safety in a dangerous situation or playing with the bullets.  Or stealing the key to the hatch.  There will always be ways for an irresponsible, vengeful or just stupid person to bypass safety protocol. Mechanical solutions cost money and resources and are only as good as the imagination of the designers.  By necessity space structures will have to be light unless you want to live in the center of a nickel/iron asteroid which sort of defeats the whole point. Who want's to live in a dungeon? The vandals at Biosphere II knew where the surveillance cameras were and knew how to avoid them.  In space you're one bulkhead or one viewport away from instant death.  I guarantee you that one fatal 'Deadman's Curve" incident by some frisky teenagers pushing their limits too far and 'death penalty' regulation signs will be popping up all over your Dyson habitat utopia.

Offline indaco1

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #57 on: 03/18/2012 08:09 PM »
Make people inside haven't access to energy levels required to open a breach or do a great damage.

Besides a robust and redundant design is good not just for security but also for safety and shielding. 

A safe and robust space habitat could look more like an enormeus rotating termitarium or honeycomb than like an hollow and fragile O'Neill cylinder.

We definitely need a thread about space colonies. I haven't been able to find it. Maybe I have to search again.
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Offline Andrew_W

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Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #58 on: 03/18/2012 08:36 PM »
??? ??? ::)

But you're the one who said: "Absolute controls on behavior will have to be imposed at everywhere."

That change in direction must make your head spin.

Sticking a safety catch on a gun or locking a hatch is not using technology to deny freedom, imposing  "Absolute controls on behavior" is denying freedom.

Putting a safety on a gun does not keep someone clicking off the safety in a dangerous situation or playing with the bullets.  Or stealing the key to the hatch.  There will always be ways for an irresponsible, vengeful or just stupid person to bypass safety protocol. Mechanical solutions cost money and resources and are only as good as the imagination of the designers.  By necessity space structures will have to be light unless you want to live in the center of a nickel/iron asteroid which sort of defeats the whole point. Who want's to live in a dungeon? The vandals at Biosphere II knew where the surveillance cameras were and knew how to avoid them.  In space you're one bulkhead or one viewport away from instant death.  I guarantee you that one fatal 'Deadman's Curve" incident by some frisky teenagers pushing their limits too far and 'death penalty' regulation signs will be popping up all over your Dyson habitat utopia.

Could a vengeful person kill the entire population of a 10,000 people habitat? Of course, fly a spacecraft into it at speed and you might kill the whole colony, could a vengeful person kill 50,000 people at a sports stadium? Yep, with a fully fueled jetliner.

But despite all those jets flying around the world, no ones ever done something like that other than on 9/11.

The real question is whether the risk can be reduced to the level at which it's acceptable. I think yes.
I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years.
Wilbur Wright

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Radical Terraforming Methods
« Reply #59 on: 03/18/2012 08:51 PM »
Make people inside haven't access to energy levels required to open a breach or do a great damage.

Besides a robust and redundant design is good not just for security but also for safety and shielding. 

A safe and robust space habitat could look more like an enormeus rotating termitarium or honeycomb than like an hollow and fragile O'Neill cylinder.

We definitely need a thread about space colonies. I haven't been able to find it. Maybe I have to search again.
Use honey comb inflatable blocks to make the air domes for the cities platforms?

How many level should each platform have? Or can have based on mass and lift of the air dome with N2/O2 lifting gas?
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