Author Topic: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?  (Read 11872 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #30 on: 09/11/2012 12:42 PM »
Colonization, interesting concept… “So we talking of taking an inhabitable world and make it a habitable one and meanwhile taking a habitable one, Earth and do our best to make it inhabitable.” Perhaps we are the wrong species to consider propagating ourselves on other worlds…
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #31 on: 09/11/2012 01:24 PM »
But once you have a constant flow of tourists (hundreds to thousands/year), with infrastructure and industry built around it, then you will begin to have permanent staff working there.
Which is actually exactly the point i made above. Substitute tourism for mining ops, or any other activity that man might find useful or profitable at large in space, and some sort of settlement is likely to be a byproduct of that.

Which point I do not dispute.  The idea and the historical precedence that colonization in historical times came about after an economic draw was created.  In the case of the New World, they initially applied the PRI model of today: There's gold in them thar "asteroids", so we shall cross the great ocean and help ourselves.  Eventually, in the case of Cortez and all, they found the gold; the economic draw had been created; colonization happened as a matter of necessity, since the mines needed management for one thing.  Soon after, indentured servants came over, drawn by the promise of land grants after their period of servitude, or at least economic freedom after servitude.  And here we sit.

Before that, in prehistoric times, colonization also happened.  As you suggest, it may not have been deliberate; perhaps nomadic tribes discovered a particularly fertile valley or some other desirable location, and never came back to the traditional lands.  In the case of islanders, perhaps some got blown off course, others island hopped, and so forth.  Clearly people have wanderlust even today, and many keep looking for the perfect place to settle down and establish "roots".

There is a clear conceptual difference with colonization off planet.  Daughterkind will have to make an admission that we have choice and free will, and our governments, I think, will have to support our choices.  This type of colonization, ignoring directed panspermia, would be the first time that humanity would decide to go and colonize a distant destination.  This is the difference that you realize:

I'm not sure i can clarify much better, but to restate that humans have colonized a lot, but rarely, if ever, with explicit stated intent of doing so.

What you didn't say, but which I assumed you were implying, is that since mankind has not historically and explicitly stated an intent to colonize yet, then that would stand as some sort of proof that we should not state an intent to colonize.  Hopefully, that is not what you're implying.

Thinking a moment about "how" an interplanetary colonization effort should be undertaken:  The knee jerk reaction is to bring up the half century debate between RP-1/LOX or LH2/LOX.  Or the new knee jerk debate topic of SEP vs. chemical rocketry.  Which is fine, but rocketry is not the only aspect of "how" a colonization effort could be attempted.  The other aspect of "how" would be how such a large effort could be undertaken; with or without government, or some combination of private and governmental enterprise.

Under the "who" category, proponents of private enterprise are stacked up against the very few proponents of a government attempt.  I wonder if the East India Company model could be considered; a sort of public/private collaboration.  The East Luna Company?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #32 on: 09/11/2012 01:31 PM »
Colonization, interesting concept… "So we talking of taking an inhabitable world and make it a habitable one and meanwhile taking a habitable one, Earth and do our best to make it inhabitable." Perhaps we are the wrong species to consider propagating ourselves on other worlds…

As an aside, well, yeah. 

Our government's current throwaway exploration paradigm doesn't inspire confidence that the price of exploration will ever come down.  In fact, the outright antagonism expressed by some of the "players" on this forum, to the idea of reusability, seems to be an expression of the government's intent to keep spaceflight expensive, and thus limit the possible economic utility of space to the private citizen.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #33 on: 09/11/2012 01:33 PM »
ISS is a space based laboratory.

It cannot be realistically considered anything other than that.  Sometimes you can save a lot of time by considering the assumptions before reading the argument.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, and why?
« Reply #34 on: 09/11/2012 02:18 PM »
This was only possible after a technological breakthrough: upwind sailing. Sure, sailing had been around for millennial, but it took a propulsion change to make it happen.
Huh ? Viking ships were able to sail upwind. Nevertheless, Leif Ericson's name is not widely recognized.
Viking ships had square rig, it can't sail upwind. But they could row.
...
No, they could also sail slightly upwind.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, and why?
« Reply #35 on: 09/11/2012 02:43 PM »
This was only possible after a technological breakthrough: upwind sailing. Sure, sailing had been around for millennial, but it took a propulsion change to make it happen.
Huh ? Viking ships were able to sail upwind. Nevertheless, Leif Ericson's name is not widely recognized.
Viking ships had square rig, it can't sail upwind. But they could row.
...
No, they could also sail slightly upwind.

Actually pretty well. I happened to be on a replica one two weeks ago. And square rigging has an impact, but does not prevent sailing upwind. Upwind sailing ( and fore-and-aft rigging by the way ) has been around for ages, it wasn't "invented" in europe in 15th century. Portugese carracks were not a "fundamental technological breakthrough in propulsion"

EDIT: and sorry, this is wildly off topic.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2012 02:44 PM by savuporo »
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Offline IRobot

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, and why?
« Reply #36 on: 09/11/2012 02:52 PM »
This was only possible after a technological breakthrough: upwind sailing. Sure, sailing had been around for millennial, but it took a propulsion change to make it happen.
Huh ? Viking ships were able to sail upwind. Nevertheless, Leif Ericson's name is not widely recognized.
Viking ships had square rig, it can't sail upwind. But they could row.
...
No, they could also sail slightly upwind.

Actually pretty well. I happened to be on a replica one two weeks ago. And square rigging has an impact, but does not prevent sailing upwind. Upwind sailing ( and fore-and-aft rigging by the way ) has been around for ages, it wasn't "invented" in europe in 15th century. Portugese carracks were not a "fundamental technological breakthrough in propulsion"

EDIT: and sorry, this is wildly off topic.
Portuguese Caravel (not the carrack) was the first large ship with latin sails, which can sail upwind. Latin sails existed since roman times, but they were not used on large ships because of structural issues.
And no, squared rig boats cannot sail upwind, their shape becomes deformed due to lack of luff tension and they just sail sideways.

They can reach maybe 60º apparent wind, which might be around 80º true wind, but they lose all ground because of leeway. So yes, you can "point" them upwind but you gain zero ground doing it.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #37 on: 09/11/2012 03:15 PM »
I am sorry, but pretty much all what you just said is wrong and probably based off a 20th century high school textbook. I'll leave it to you to correct that.
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Offline RanulfC

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #38 on: 09/11/2012 06:49 PM »
Colonization, interesting concept… “So we talking of taking an inhabitable world and make it a habitable one and meanwhile taking a habitable one, Earth and do our best to make it inhabitable.” Perhaps we are the wrong species to consider propagating ourselves on other worlds…
Not sure who you're "quoteing" but I believe it's incorrect :) You seem to have missed the "un"-s

"So we're taking an UN-inhabitable world and make it a habitable one and meanwhile taking a habitable one, Earth and do our best to make it UN-inhabitable"

habitable/inhabitable = Means you can live there :)

As for the idea that "Perhaps we are the wrong species to consider propagating ourselves on other worlds" I can only say that as far as we KNOW we are the ONLY species currently capable OF "considering" it and what's more we appear to be the only one with the capability of doing so :)

Anti-humanism aside, (and yes I know well it's out there and thriving) perhaps we should consider that from our current knowledge and perspective that for all intents and purposes the REST of the "Universe" is DEAD and as the one and only KNOWN species with the aformentioned capabilities we might do well to consider that we actually have the power to change this situation. Forever.

Something to think about anyway :)

Randy

Offline baddux

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #39 on: 09/11/2012 07:29 PM »
One thing you must keep in mind is that long before colonization is possible a visit to that place to be colonized is routine and boring, not cool. Going to Antarctica or crossing the Atlantic or flying in the air was cool and new 100 years ago but not anymore (cool and new for mankind I mean).

So if for example the moon would be colonized, before that an average person could easily afford to visit the moon, it would not be cool adventure anymore. So there still be a reason to establish the colony even though there is no "cool factor" anymore. So far there have not been colonies in antarctica, Middle of the Atlantic Ocean, bottom of the ocean or floating in the air, even though these would be technically and financially possible.

Back to the question:
Where: I think the first place to be colonized will be Mars because you cannot go there for short trip. When the mars travel happens it will be more or less start for a longer term presense.
When: Not in this century
The rest: I have no idea, probably if there will be some pro-science dictatorship in some country they could start own colony

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #40 on: 09/11/2012 07:46 PM »
Our government's current throwaway exploration paradigm doesn't inspire confidence that the price of exploration will ever come down.  In fact, the outright antagonism expressed by some of the "players" on this forum, to the idea of reusability, seems to be an expression of the government's intent to keep spaceflight expensive, and thus limit the possible economic utility of space to the private citizen.
I'd point out that, (as is being noted in the Griffin-Gripe thread under Space Policy :) ) given how government (and politics) dictate HOW a government "space program" is going to be run the idea of "government" EVER lowering the "price" of exploration is totally out of the question. It has to be because a "goal" orientated program, (as the majority of government programs must be in order to gather political funding and support) MUST be focused on the GOAL leaving considerations of "how" and "why" far, far below "secondary" levels.

We have seen this time and time again. Need to put a man on the Moon and return him safetly to the Earth in under a decade? Put three men and mostly aluminum foil lander on a big honking rocket and throw everything away except the men and the crew cabin. Tada! "Goal" achieved...

Is the Goal to build a spaceplane capable of going from Earth to LEO and then back again? Now here we have the "politics" come in because that isn't a "goal" so we have to add in getting "input" and "buy-in" from all the possible other users. (Which "politics" says is going to be "everybody" no matter what the reality actually is)
Hello Space Shuttle... Tada! "Goal" achieved so on to the next "goal"...
(What? New Shuttles? New Vehicles? Shuttle-II??? No way in hell, we said "goal-achieved" now go away...)

The "goal" isn't really the issue as much as the most expedient method that usually shakes out of the process in getting to that goal.

Put people on Mars and return them to the Earth as a "goal"? Remembering for a moment that colonization is NOT a "politically-acceptable" goal in and of itself, which method would make more "senes" for a government program?
A slow, incrimental build up of infrastructure and capability to make multiple trips to Mars and just about any other destination in the Solar System...

Or a BFR and mission which puts a couple of people on Mars and brings them back while throwing the majority of equipment away for a couple of flights?

One "enables" colonization the other does not...

On the other hand we must consider that while the government "program" would preclude direct investment in reducing costs, there is a somewhat indirect incentive in that once the government program tends to "demonstrate" a capability that allows "private" users to find profitable ventures.
In general this can be seen as the "trend" of colonization on Earth, however this hasn't happened in space. The "reason" being fairly obvious in that few (if any really) economic operations in space actually REQUIRE humans, other than those in support of Humans in space.

This is the "opposite" problem from our historic experiance on Earth where sending humans to do the job was always the "cheaper" alternative. (Until very recently at any rate) Add in how expensive access is and fact that the only "viable" Human presence required in space is in support of government Human Space Flight and pretty much the only "justification" left for advocating Human Colonization of Space is rhetorical.

Yet there is the situation as it stands. Support of Government Human Space Flight is currently the only "viable" economic driver for private space, yet because of the political factors which surround that type of specific, goal oriented program there is only going to be limited availability to cash in on that economic situation. And the strictly limited customer base means that when push comes to shove that availablity will be strictly politically controlled.
(I mean come on, is there ANYBODY here who seriously doubts that if it came down to a direct decision to support COTS OR SLS as an either/or choice what the political desicion would be?)

Eventually cost of access has to have SOME effect on the situation, and it will/does, but it begins to look more and more likely that the cost of "human" access will not be a deciding factor in the equation. Reusablity is all well and good but to truely "shine" there has to be a requirement for many more flights than are foreseen today. And for that to happen there has to be an economic driver.

55-years after Sputnik we're STILL looking for that "driver" for a real "Space Age" and until we find it, make it, or fake it, (at this point I'm willing to think in those terms :) ) we are going to continue to face the same problem over and over again.

Randy

Offline thydusk666

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #41 on: 09/11/2012 07:51 PM »
When: Not in this century
The rest: I have no idea, probably if there will be some pro-science dictatorship in some country they could start own colony
Interesting idea!
If such a genius form of dictatorship will ever exist, it would probably guarantee the most advanced nation on Earth. And way beyond.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2012 07:56 PM by thydusk666 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #42 on: 09/11/2012 08:23 PM »
When: Not in this century
The rest: I have no idea, probably if there will be some pro-science dictatorship in some country they could start own colony
Interesting idea!
If such a genius form of dictatorship will ever exist, it would probably guarantee the most advanced nation on Earth. And way beyond.
The Soviet Union was sort of such a dictatorship, though they were pretty poor the whole time (and still kind of are). They worshipped science and communism (which they thought were kind of one and the same... there are all sorts of weird theories about communism that people studied as if it was a sort of exact science...). They thought communism and science would conquer everything (this is, according to some people, why Lenin was preserved... they thought science/communism would advance enough to revive him!), including the stars. Early on during the beginning of the Soviet Union, a lot of Soviet science fiction was very, very supportive of the idea, that it was essentially inevitable. This is partly why the Soviets were so gung-ho about space exploration. The Russians still have this ingrained in their culture.

And arguably, we wouldn't have been motivated to do space exploration ourselves if the Soviets didn't do it first, so a pro-science (somewhat weird idea of science, granted) dictatorship is exactly how space exploration started in the first place.

It might eventually happen again with China (who are much wealthier and probably at least as capable industrially as the Soviets), but they don't have quite as great of a love-affair with space travel that the Soviets had. China is more engineering-oriented (and mercantilist). (This isn't to say China doesn't have her own problems...)
« Last Edit: 09/11/2012 08:24 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline gbaikie

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #43 on: 09/11/2012 09:42 PM »

A failed colony is one that people go somewhere, live for some time, then stop living there.

It seems to me, that ISS is a colony


ISS is a space based laboratory. And this is where I stopped reading your post. IMO.

We are still living in a world where some people are born and die in the same general region. And it's possible people consider a colony has to include an element some people continually spending their entire lives in a general location.

Therefore one could have human activity on the Moon involving say as much as million people over a period of a century spending some time on lunar surface, but one could consider that if people are not continuously staying on the moon that there isn't a colony on the Moon.

Whereas I would regard colony the beginning of continual presence of human beings [or even robots] at a location [a location which be could constantly moving as in an orbit].

One could have many different requirements for what some may regard as colony. A cemetery may be one of this elements. Children being born at a location may be another.

But my point was if ISS continues [even if entire structure is replaced] then that could regarded as colony. And if ceases then people in future could regard it as a failed colony.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2012 09:46 PM by gbaikie »

Offline savuporo

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Re: Colonization: Where, when, who, what, why, and how?
« Reply #44 on: 09/11/2012 10:34 PM »
There is a clear conceptual difference with colonization off planet.  Daughterkind will have to make an admission that we have choice and free will, and our governments, I think, will have to support our choices.  This type of colonization, ignoring directed panspermia, would be the first time that humanity would decide to go and colonize a distant destination.  This is the difference that you realize:

I'm not sure i can clarify much better, but to restate that humans have colonized a lot, but rarely, if ever, with explicit stated intent of doing so.

What you didn't say, but which I assumed you were implying, is that since mankind has not historically and explicitly stated an intent to colonize yet, then that would stand as some sort of proof that we should not state an intent to colonize.  Hopefully, that is not what you're implying.

What i'm guessing and implying, is that advocating and supporting some other large scale space development effort ( i dont know what it could be, tourism, resource exploitation, powersats, scientific endeavors of searching for ET life or who knows ) will probably get you to your end goal of a permanent human settlement faster than trying to build the case for colonization directly - for a multitude of practical reasons.
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