Author Topic: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?  (Read 25316 times)

Offline Celeritas

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I was wondering what alternative is more feasible: would it be easier to terraform an entire planet in the solar system like Mars or Venus from scratch, or send an interstellar colonist ship to a much more Earth-like world in another star system, say within 5-15 light years away.  I know that we could build domed enclaves on plenty of worlds, but I'm talking about making a world--atmosphere included--ours.  Granted, neither of these approaches would be "easy," but which approach do you think will be the best option for near term (next 100-500 years) expansion?

Offline scienceguy

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RE: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #1 on: 06/15/2007 06:00 PM »
I picked generation ship because it seems that it would take less effort than say terraforming Mars. I once did some quick calculations that it would take 10 000 ships each carrying a billion kg of nitrogen from Titan to Mars 158 years to bring enough nitrogen for Mars to have an Earth-like atmosphere. This didn't take into account oxygen, but assumed that plants could make enough over  time.

It would seem easier to send a bunch of colonists to another star system using say a fusion powered VASIMR engine (generation ship) with artificial gravity.
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Offline Tom Ligon

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RE: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #2 on: 06/15/2007 08:00 PM »
Honestly?  O'Neil colonies, and lots of them.

If determined enough, we can get to other star systems, but the business model is terrible.  Commerce with our neighbors would be impossible unless we dream up FTL drives.  If we're still around, we'll do this before the Sun dies.

I personally think Mars is too small for human health ... too little gravity.  Probably is terraformable.  Maybe humans can be modified to deal with the light gravity.

Venus is closer, just the right size, plenty of solar energy.  I can even believe we could possibly kill the greenhouse effect and then keep it tamed by surface albedo modification.  But the stinking rock has days longer than its years!  Altering the rate of rotation of a planet of that size enough to make it habitable is so great an undertaking, traveling to the stars is probably easier.

Offline stargazer777

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RE: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #3 on: 06/16/2007 02:47 AM »
I was wondering what alternative is more feasible: would it be easier to terraform an entire planet in the solar system like Mars or Venus from scratch, or send an interstellar colonist ship to a much more Earth-like world in another star system, say within 5-15 light years away. I know that we could build domed enclaves on plenty of worlds, but I'm talking about making a world--atmosphere included--ours. Granted, neither of these approaches would be "easy," but which approach do you think will be the best option for near term (next 100-500 years) expansion?

I think you are mixing apples and oranges in this question -- perhaps unintentionally.  

First, within the solar system, we will probably try both planetary colonizations -- terra forming, domed colonies, etc. -- and the O'Neill type space based habitat colonies.  I have said on several threads previously that I believe the O'Neill type space habitats will prove to be the better method -- earth type gravity and environment, mobile, more easily protected by technology from the various hazards we will encounter, and with the full availability of the latest technology to facilitate the comfort and productivity of the colonists and to keep them closely identified with mainstream human culture.  

Second, for interstellar exploration/colonization, I think multi-generation ships or "sleeper/hibernation" ships are the only way to go unless or until we develop a faster than light drive or find some other trick in physics (worm holes, dimensional shifts, etc.) to get from one point in the know universe to another substantially faster than the speed of light.  Clearly keeping in touch with the ship's inhabitants and keeping them focused on their exploratory objective will be an immense problem -- particularly for multi-generation ships.  However committed to their mission the generation that takes off from Earth may be, the group will certainly be very different two, five, or even ten generations later -- perhaps radically different -- and may have decidedly different objectives in mind.  You also have the problem of whether that population will still identify themselves as "earth type" humans at all.  Just look at the vast diversity of human cultures right here on Earth if you want examples of how quickly and profoundly human groups and cultures can diverge. If they lose contact with earth, they may even forget who and what they are, why they are on such a ship, or perhaps that they are even on a ship at all.   Sleeper/hibernation ships don't pose this risk, but they would be very vulnerable in case of serious damage in flight and the technology itself may never be practical for extremely long duration missions.

I think we will have to pursue both options in the long run -- colonization within the solar system and, subsequently, interstellar colonization.  


Offline texas_space

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #4 on: 06/16/2007 03:21 AM »
I voted for interstellar since I'm not convinced there are any planets or moons in the solar system truly worth terraforming.  Mars would be best due to various factors, but its small mass could be problematic over the long run (e.g. Martians not being able to visit Earth due to a lifetime of lower gravity, ability to retain an atmosphere due to solar wind etc).  

Maybe in-space O'Neill space habitats really are the way to go.  I believe the station on the show Bablyon 5 was something like this and it always looked neat.
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Offline meiza

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #5 on: 06/16/2007 09:50 AM »
Interstellar travel requires resource use on a solar system scale. So that space infrastructure has to be done first before interstellar craft can be constructed and energy supplied to them.

Offline MTKeshe

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #6 on: 06/16/2007 06:39 PM »
From present new technology development by Chine's space sector , the colonisation of the Moon within a few years is highly feasible and most probably possible.

Offline BrighamUSAF

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #7 on: 06/17/2007 04:06 AM »
Quote
MTKeshe - 16/6/2007  2:39 PM

From present new technology development by Chine's space sector , the colonisation of the Moon within a few years is highly feasible and most probably possible.

What new Chinese tech. are you talking about?
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Offline Celeritas

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #8 on: 06/17/2007 04:58 AM »
Quote
BrighamUSAF - 16/6/2007 12:06 AM

Quote
MTKeshe - 16/6/2007 2:39 PM

From present new technology development by Chine's space sector , the colonisation of the Moon within a few years is highly feasible and most probably possible.

What new Chinese tech. are you talking about?

Hopefully not someting out of Bruce Sterling's Taklamakan.

Offline MTKeshe

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #9 on: 06/22/2007 03:53 PM »
Within next few month,  Chinese space scientists will complete the development of  the first gravitation , magnetic field shielding system.

This will allow colonisation in real term and without the need for all these shuttle game business .

This technology will put the chine's space program in one leap some 50 years ahead of NASA.

Watch the chine's space program, western  space scientists  have a lot to learn from progress of this sleeping giant.

Offline stargazer777

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #10 on: 06/22/2007 04:38 PM »
Within next few month, Chinese space scientists will complete the development of the first gravitation , magnetic field shielding system.
You must understand that it is very hard to take you seriously when you make such completely unsupported claims.  I would love it if that technology was possible.  However, up to this point at least, there is nothing to indicate this is a real possibility -- for the US or the Chinese.

Offline MTKeshe

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #11 on: 06/22/2007 04:58 PM »
The technology has been  tested and patent published.

NASA has done the first phase testing under M2P2 program in New York university, and published the results last month.

But as they  did not come to agreement with patent applicant due to incompetence of their patent lawyers.

 They can not even apply for patent on what they have tested and confirm the correctness of, which is very unusual for NASA after spending so much money to confirm a finding but not being able to apply for patent.

So the technology has gone in full package to China and will be in public domain as compleate craft and system in the next few month.

Offline Oberon_Command

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #12 on: 06/22/2007 05:08 PM »
Quote
MTKeshe - 22/6/2007  9:58 AM

The technology has been  tested and patent published.

NASA has done the first phase testing under M2P2 program in New York university, and published the results last month.

But as they  did not come to agreement with patent applicant due to incompetence of their patent lawyers.

 They can not even apply for patent on what they have tested and confirm the correctness of, which is very unusual for NASA after spending so much money to confirm a finding but not being able to apply for patent.

So the technology has gone in full package to China and will be in public domain as compleate craft and system in the next few month.

As stargazer said, please provide backup. A news article would be nice, and a patent document would be even better.


Offline MTKeshe

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #13 on: 06/22/2007 05:09 PM »
The development of this technology will cost a fraction of NASA moon project and with the most amassing results and speeds of  achievement, as the system is very simple and easy to develop.

The system will maintain gravitational field force within the craft, very similar to compression system of jetliners of  now in high altitude,

On the moon the system will create a dome, which is creates a dynamic magnetic shielding very much like our own atmosphere.

Offline Oberon_Command

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #14 on: 06/22/2007 05:12 PM »
Quote
MTKeshe - 22/6/2007  10:09 AM

The development of this technology will cost a fraction of NASA moon project and with the most amassing results and speeds of  achievement, as the system is very simple and easy to develop.

The system will maintain gravitational field force within the craft, very similar to compression system of jetliners of  now in high altitude,

On the moon the system will create a dome, which is creates a dynamic magnetic shielding very much like our own atmosphere.

Please provide backup for your claims, otherwise we have no reason to take you seriously.

Offline MTKeshe

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #15 on: 06/22/2007 05:16 PM »
There has been a total news blackout on this technology by  several governments for past two years as the inventor is an Iranian nuclear engineer.

The patent publication is by European patent office , the title of invention is “Gravitational and energy system”  patent application publication No 1770717, published on the 4.4.2007.

Offline stargazer777

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #16 on: 06/22/2007 06:45 PM »
There has been a total news blackout on this technology by several governments for past two years as the inventor is an Iranian nuclear engineer.

 The patent publication is by European patent office , the title of invention is “Gravitational and energy system” patent application publication No 1770717, published on the 4.4.2007.
Without being too conspiratorial, let me just say that if such revolutionary technology existed -- and actually worked -- the US government wouldn't let a little thing like patents get in the way of acquiring it and neither would Russia or the Europeans.   And they wouldn't leave it to NASA to make these decisions or cut the deal.  This technology would have national security ultra top, top secret written all over it and we would never hear about it unless and until the government decided to make it public.

Offline stargazer777

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #17 on: 06/22/2007 07:07 PM »
The patent publication is by European patent office , the title of invention is “Gravitational and energy system” patent application publication No 1770717, published on the 4.4.2007.
I just checked this citation on the European Patent Office data base and there is no such record.  The numbers are not valid. 

Offline Giovanni DS

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #18 on: 06/22/2007 07:32 PM »
I think that probably colonization will never happen, it seems we are just going to put flags on the Moon and, may be, Mars instead of researching methods that could make real space travel possible. We should invest into space propulsion/energy research rather than going on the moon again using the same chemical rockets technology. Without some huge breakthrough we will stay around here forever.

Offline Oberon_Command

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Re: Which is the more feasible mode of human colonization?
« Reply #19 on: 06/22/2007 07:41 PM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 22/6/2007  12:07 PM

The patent publication is by European patent office , the title of invention is “Gravitational and energy system” patent application publication No 1770717, published on the 4.4.2007.
I just checked this citation on the European Patent Office data base and there is no such record.  The numbers are not valid. 

I call hoax/scam, in that case.

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