Author Topic: Other than earth where is the best place to live?  (Read 37184 times)

Offline 02hurnella

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Where in this solar system is the most habitable space/land. I've heard of quite a few ideas and been sceptical. I mean, could we really terraform mars? Theres no magnetic field and little atmosphere. Could we live in the clouds of venus? Isn't is too acidic and while Earth "Air" is a lifting gas, could it support a sort of venus-perma-blimp? How feasible is mass habitation of the moon? could we live on Ceres?, asteroids?, the moons of Jupiter?, the moons of Saturn? or Beyond.....

Offline MKremer

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/2007 05:19 PM »
I think that's up to each individual where they'd prefer to live, whether it be an L5/O'Neil-style station, a Mars dome, on or inside an asteroid or gas giant moon, a Venus 'cloud city', etc. Much like folks here on Earth prefer to live in different areas - in towns/cities, the countryside or seashore, or a remote home on a mountain somewhere. One person's "habitable" is another's "Geez, who'd want to live *there*?"
Some of the choice would also depend on one's career/employment possibilities, too.

Offline hornet

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2007 05:49 PM »
The moon at first because it is close to home and you will alway be able to see earth and be close to come back should the colony/base fail. Then out on mars and the asteriods before we move to the outer solar system we need to spread out in the inner solar system with small bases on the large moons of the outer solar system to get things started

Offline Celeritas

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2007 07:21 PM »
Most any place in the solar system where there is a profit to be made you will eventually find human beings.  Now, whether it's a good place to live or not is another matter.  Eventual human colonization of the solar system will go where there's money to be made.  500 years ago, Central Florida was (by modern standards, at least) a miserable place to live and now I call it home--but it's a radically different place than it used to be centuries ago.  The same will probably go for the solar system.  :cool:

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/2007 07:35 PM »
I've heard Washington DC is nice, if you don't have to work there.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #5 on: 06/02/2007 07:57 PM »
I would say asteroids of all types, including Ceres and the Jovian Trojans, because they are small, easily accessible airless bodies that are (possibly) resource rich. I also chose the moons of Saturn (plenty of water and a planet-sized body covered with organics, including seas and lakes full of rocket fuel). I did not choose the moons of Jupiter due to the radiation environment for all moons closer than Callisto. And having grown up in Washington, DC, I have to say I'd much rather move to Vesta.

Offline palebluedot

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #6 on: 06/02/2007 10:13 PM »
I've always loved the idea of space habitats. An O'Neill cylinder at earth-moon L4/L5 wouldn't be bad.. Though I guess there are other good L-points throughout the solar systems that could be stable enough.

Offline Ankle-bone12

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2007 03:52 AM »
Even if we could live  on Venus, whay would anyone want to choose such a scary place? Acidic atmosphere, volcanicaly active, etc... horrible place.
Alex B.

Offline MKremer

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2007 06:05 AM »
Quote
Ankle-bone12 - 2/6/2007  10:52 PM

Even if we could live  on Venus, whay would anyone want to choose such a scary place? Acidic atmosphere, volcanicaly active, etc... horrible place.

My point exactly. :)

Offline mong'

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #9 on: 06/03/2007 11:33 AM »
mars contains most of the ressources modern civilization needs, and it's not too far from the asteroid belt. after a few hundred years of painful settlement efforts it should be a really nice place to live.

Offline JonSBerndt

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #10 on: 06/03/2007 12:07 PM »
Quote
mong' - 3/6/2007  6:33 AM

mars contains most of the ressources modern civilization needs, and it's not too far from the asteroid belt. after a few hundred years of painful settlement efforts it should be a really nice place to live.

Define "really nice". :)

I think there's no place in this solar system (and probably no place we currently know of) that is better than Earth.

Jon

Offline TyMoore

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #11 on: 06/03/2007 12:47 PM »
Jon, I think you're probably right. Although when we get far enough along that we have actual colonists sitting on or in various 'rocks' I suspect that  (for want of a better word) ecological artistic engineering (creative ecology?) will create some very nice places to live--but it will take time.

I suspect that as we move out amongst the stars, we will probably find planets similar to earth in temperature and in life supportability--many of them may already have life--but none will be truly 'earth like.' We may find planets where it is possible for humans to live without life support systems, but will they be close enough that such living is a pleasure? I don't know--that is a qualitative question that can only be answered by those (future) groups of individuals willing to take on such a challenge--and one of the beauties of the human species in my humble opinion--is that there are almost always some individuals willing to take a shot at it.

I will make a prediction though--and this won't happen until I am long gone I am sure--but when we do find habitable worlds that are infact colonizable, it is my suspicion that none will be quite like Earth; that Earth will be a unique example (as will all life bearing worlds) of life in this tiny corner of the universe, and that eventually when we do move out to the stars, we will recognize our homeworld for this uniqueness and preserve and protect it.

To the folks who actually move and take up residence wherever they end up: whatever worlds are close enough to earthlike conditions that an adventurous few take up the challenge--after they have invested generations of blood, sweat and tears, those worlds will also become home. And that I think is the natural way of things and is as it should be.


Offline meiza

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #12 on: 06/03/2007 01:59 PM »
In the solar system it's Mars - it has most of the chemical substances that bodies like the moon lack. People could live there in underground facilities.

Of course, it's probable that some better-than-mars planets exist at a 30 light year radius but interstellar travel is very very far off.
One issue is the stability of the star - the sun is a very stable one.

Offline stargazer777

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #13 on: 06/04/2007 03:35 AM »
While we will explore most, if not all, of the places mentioned above -- very few of them will prove to be suitable/desirable places for long-term human settlement.  I think that something along the lines of the O'Neill space habitats will ultimately prove to be the the solution of choice for off-world habitation, at least until we find or create another Earth-type planet.  They offer earth type gravity, an earth like environment, and security from a wide variety of environmental threats we will find on the planets, moons and asteroids we are exploring or exploiting.  The O'Neill habitat concept is mobile and can be located virtually anywhere in the solar system.  In addition, it could conceivably be used as the basis for a multi-generation interstellar vessel.  As our technology and capabilities grow these habitats will ever more flexible and capable solutions for humans in space.

Offline lambda0

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #14 on: 06/04/2007 06:28 AM »
According to Landis (NASA), the best place is ...Venus !
At 50 km altitude :
- Atmospheric pressure is 1 bar
- Temperature between 0° and 50°C
- Plenty of solar energy but protection against the most dangerous radiations by the atmosphere
- As the atmosphere is composed of CO2, a quite heavy gase, a balloon filed of oxygen and nitrogen would be in equilibrium, and a 1 or 2 km diameter balloon would easily carry a small city
- Due to the rotation of the atmosphere, and by controling the latitude, it is possible to reproduce a day/night cycle similar to Earth
- The atmosphere contains oxygen, carbon, sulfur, in fact many of the elements necessary for life

At first sight, Venus seems to be a very hostile place (500°C on the surface, P=100 atmosphere), unless this thick atmosphere is considered as an ocean : Earth is also not so pleasant at 10000 m under the level of the sea.
In fact, Venus may have many advantages compared to Mars...



Offline mong'

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #15 on: 06/04/2007 10:28 AM »
the big problem with venus cloud cities is that you can't access the ressources within the ground. you have the carbon in the atmosphere but that's about it, you can't really live off the land there.

Offline JonSBerndt

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #16 on: 06/04/2007 10:50 AM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 3/6/2007  10:35 PM
They offer earth type gravity, an earth like environment, and security from a wide variety of environmental threats we will find on the planets, moons and asteroids we are exploring or exploiting.  The O'Neill habitat concept is mobile and can be located virtually anywhere in the solar system.  In addition, it could conceivably be used as the basis for a multi-generation interstellar vessel.  As our technology and capabilities grow these habitats will ever more flexible and capable solutions for humans in space.

"Security"? At least Earth has an atmosphere to weed out lots of space debris. And as for use as an interstellar vehicle, doesn't the craft require sunlight for crop growth?

Jon

Offline 02hurnella

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #17 on: 06/04/2007 11:15 AM »
You can create artificial sunlight with nuclear power I guess......... might need quite a bit of nuclear materials for a generation ship. As for venus, yes i think you would need to import quite a bit, but that wouldn't HAVE to come from earth. If you got resources and materials from the moon and food production and habitats on venus you might be able to sustain a long term, off earth human popualtion. That should be one of the first goals of exploration i think.

Offline mong'

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #18 on: 06/04/2007 02:15 PM »
the fact that you have to import material from the solar system to survive on venus kinda ruins the motivation for establishing a colony there in the first place.
mars is said to be the next best place to earth because it has lots of readily available ressources, necessary to establish a growing human presence.
the cost of space travel, even centuries from now forbids the appearance of human colonies that would need to import too much stuff to grow.

Offline stargazer777

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #19 on: 06/04/2007 04:56 PM »
"Security"? At least Earth has an atmosphere to weed out lots of space debris. And as for use as an interstellar vehicle, doesn't the craft require sunlight for crop growth?
If you read the heading on the thread, it says "Other than Earth, where is the best place to live?"  I think that excludes Earth from consideration, don't you?   Besides, none of the habitable alternative locations -- has a significant atmosphere.  Additionally, space debris ceases to be a threat once you get out of the debris laden orbit of Earth.  These habitats can and will be designed to survive minor impacts and to get out of the way of larger stuff -- something no planetary or moon base can do.  As far as requiring sunlight -- it all depends on the design.  I am sure as we advance we may develop things like artificial light sources (whoa!) or even no longer need to plant crops in soil to grow food (ever heard of hydroponics?.)   Remember, as soon as you get beyond the asteroid belt, sunlight wouldn't be sufficient to sustain crops or for most solar power generation.  It is a very flexible concept and I am sure the design can and will change to suit whatever is called for.

Offline Marcus

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #20 on: 06/04/2007 06:29 PM »
I voted for moons of Saturn. It might not be easy--or even possible--to maintain a self-sufficient colony there but; oh, the skies!
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Offline stargazer777

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #21 on: 06/04/2007 06:46 PM »
It wouldn't be possible on the Moons themselves -- but I can't argue about the view.   A space habitat,  or even a group of them, at one of the Saturnian Lagrange points would also have a spectacular view  -- and you would live to tell about it.

Offline scienceguy

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #22 on: 06/04/2007 08:03 PM »
I picked Mars because of its nearly 24 hour day (perfect for plant growth) and the fact that it has carbon dioxide and nitrogen in its atmosphere and it receives enough sunlight for plant growth.

All we would need are greenhouses!
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Offline Marcus

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #23 on: 06/04/2007 08:34 PM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 4/6/2007  11:46 AM

It wouldn't be possible on the Moons themselves...

Why not?
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Offline MKremer

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #24 on: 06/04/2007 08:57 PM »
Quote
Marcus - 4/6/2007  3:34 PM

Quote
stargazer777 - 4/6/2007  11:46 AM

It wouldn't be possible on the Moons themselves...

Why not?
I concur - why not?

Sure, Jupiter's large moons have big problems with radiation, but, other than Enceladus and Titan, there could be a lot to be gained in resources and location basing a station/colony on one of Saturn's other moons.

Offline mong'

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #25 on: 06/04/2007 09:05 PM »
actually titan would be a pretty good spot for colonization.
it has lots of hydrocarbons and water, and the atmosphere is almost pure nitrogen, everything life needs.
the cryogenic atmosphere would make power generation from nuclear reactors very efficient too.

it's also a good target for terraforming, methane is a pretty strong greenhouse gas, and the ambient temperature is just below its boiling point, if you could just raise the temperature a few degrees on certain spots it could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect potentially warming the surface to slightly above the freezing point of water.

but it's unclear what to do afterwards, it might not be a good idea to start releasing large quantities of oxygen in such a hydrocarbon rich atmosphere...

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #26 on: 06/04/2007 10:46 PM »
What's the radiation environment of Saturn like? I'm aware that all of the Galilean moons are uninhabitable because of this, but what about the other gas giants?
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Offline meiza

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #27 on: 06/04/2007 11:58 PM »
Quote
lambda0 - 4/6/2007  7:28 AM

According to Landis (NASA), the best place is ...Venus !
At 50 km altitude :
- Atmospheric pressure is 1 bar
- Temperature between 0° and 50°C
- Plenty of solar energy but protection against the most dangerous radiations by the atmosphere
- As the atmosphere is composed of CO2, a quite heavy gase, a balloon filed of oxygen and nitrogen would be in equilibrium, and a 1 or 2 km diameter balloon would easily carry a small city
- Due to the rotation of the atmosphere, and by controling the latitude, it is possible to reproduce a day/night cycle similar to Earth
- The atmosphere contains oxygen, carbon, sulfur, in fact many of the elements necessary for life

At first sight, Venus seems to be a very hostile place (500°C on the surface, P=100 atmosphere), unless this thick atmosphere is considered as an ocean : Earth is also not so pleasant at 10000 m under the level of the sea.
In fact, Venus may have many advantages compared to Mars...



What about hydrogen? There is potentially some amounts of hydrogen on mars.

Offline JonSBerndt

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #28 on: 06/05/2007 12:21 AM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 4/6/2007  11:56 AM

"Security"? At least Earth has an atmosphere to weed out lots of space debris. And as for use as an interstellar vehicle, doesn't the craft require sunlight for crop growth?
If you read the heading on the thread, it says "Other than Earth, where is the best place to live?"  I think that excludes Earth from consideration, don't you?   Besides, none of the habitable alternative locations -- has a significant atmosphere.

Of course I read the heading. My comparison was an aside that referred to your statement, "They offer earth type gravity, an earth like environment ...". I'll add that with a planet or moon, for any point on the surface, you are protected from roughly half of the incoming trajectories because of the planet you are standing on that gets in the way.

Although I had seen these habitats as among the most far-fetched of space colonization pipe dreams, Bigelow's efforts have inspired me to think a little more open-minded. I still wouldn't want to live in one, should I live to be 969 years old.

Jon

Offline MKremer

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #29 on: 06/05/2007 01:52 AM »
Quote
meiza - 4/6/2007  6:58 PM
What about hydrogen? There is potentially some amounts of hydrogen on mars.

Not much at all, unless you decide to spend the effort/resources to first mine frozen H2O from the poles or deep under other widely (and limitedly accessable) separate locations. Methane/LO2 production is lots easier... at least considering you're doing it from Mars' surface and what's available there.

Offline stargazer777

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #30 on: 06/05/2007 02:17 AM »

Your right.  Let me rephrase.  I was assuming the Saturn's moons posed the same radiation problems that exist for the Jovian moons.  I was incorrect.  Saturn's 59 moons orbit mostly beyond the radiation belts of Saturn.  However, that does not change the extremely difficult & dangerous environment we will encounter on those moons.  For example, several contributors to this thread mentioned Titan.  Titan has an atmosphere 1.5 more dense than Earth's atmosphere 98.4% nitrogen 1.6% methane with an estimated surface temperature of minus 289 degrees F with ethane or methane clouds and methane rain.  This is an almost unimaginably hostile environment for humans.  One that would surely leave any potential settlers dreaming of an airless moon or planetoid.  However, if you want to chance it, be my guest.  Among the 59 moons of Saturn, I imagine that there are some moons that are no more hostile than our own moon.  My principal point remains correct though.  A space borne habitat would be a far better alternative.

 

http://solarsystem.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Saturn&Display=Moons

http://solarsystem.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Sat_Titan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_%28moon%29

 


Offline stargazer777

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #31 on: 06/05/2007 02:47 AM »
Of course I read the heading. My comparison was an aside that referred to your statement, "They offer earth type gravity, an earth like environment ...".
You need to work on your backhand.
 
I'll add that with a planet or moon, for any point on the surface, you are protected from roughly half of the incoming trajectories because of the planet you are standing on that gets in the way.
Tell it to the dinosaurs. And, of course, with a planet or moon you are at the receiving end of a deep gravity well continually drawing in all manner of big deadly objects.  Pleasant dreams....  
Although I had seen these habitats as among the most far-fetched of space colonization pipe dreams, Bigelow's efforts have inspired me to think a little more open-minded. I still wouldn't want to live in one, should I live to be 969 years old.
Open-minded.  Sure, Jon.  Who could question that?
   


Offline JonSBerndt

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #32 on: 06/05/2007 11:06 AM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 4/6/2007  9:47 PM
Tell it to the dinosaurs.

Which thrived for how long? In the case of a meteor hit on a moon, without an atmosphere and extant plant life, obviously the end effect is different.

The opinion I was expressing is that there is no place better than Earth here in this solar system, and no place that we yet know anything about outside of it - though I expect a compatible world will be discovered someday. Obviously, we disagree on the topic of enormous, self-contained, space habitats.

Jon

Offline mong'

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #33 on: 06/05/2007 11:34 AM »
the main problem with space habitats are ressources availability, there's nothing in orbit nothing at all, whereas on a planetary surface you have a rich solid ground under your feet, you have basically the whole planet (or moon) available to make oxygen, water, rocket fuel, construction materials, ...

the availability of vast amounts of readily available ressources significantly reduces the complexity, cost and risk of a colony.
no need to ship anything from the earth, maybe some high tech components and medicine at the begining but that's it.
and no need for a 100% efficient closed loop life support system if you can extract oxygen and water from the planet's surface/atmosphere. it's also easier to work inside a gravity field than in microgravity.

all those factors contribute to making a planetary colony more practical than a space habitat, thus they are likely to appear sooner and in greater numbers. if the latter even ever appears at all.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #34 on: 06/05/2007 12:26 PM »
I think it's important to remember we're not going to any of these places unless we have the technology to get there and stay there. Places like Titan are only far away and forbidding with today's off-the-shelf technology (but not impossible even now, merely too hard). The first "colonists" on Titan are likely to be second-generation space pioneers who grew up on the Moon, Mars, maybe Callisto, the asteroids, etc., and they'll be there to work Titan as a resource node for an embryonic space-faring civilization. Space colonization is never going to be anywhere near as risky as, for example, Jamestown or Plymouth, where the over-winter mortality rates were staggering. I dare say a nice comfy gaol in London was probably a better bet than Jamestown in 1610 (not to mention Roanoke, a generation earlier, where the mortality rate was 100% in the end).

Offline stargazer777

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #35 on: 06/06/2007 04:47 AM »
the main problem with space habitats are ressources availability, there's nothing in orbit nothing at all, whereas on a planetary surface you have a rich solid ground under your feet, you have basically the whole planet (or moon) available to make oxygen, water, rocket fuel, construction materials, ...
the availability of vast amounts of readily available ressources significantly reduces the complexity, cost and risk of a colony.
  no need to ship anything from the earth, maybe some high tech components and medicine at the begining but that's it.  
  and no need for a 100% efficient closed loop life support system if you can extract oxygen and water from the planet's surface/atmosphere. it's also easier to work inside a gravity field than in microgravity.
 all those factors contribute to making a planetary colony more practical than a space habitat, thus they are likely to appear sooner and in greater numbers. if the latter even ever appears at all.

Actually Mong, I think you are wrong on that.  You just have to expand your vision a bit.  There are enormous -- almost unlimited -- amounts of ice and minerals of all types available on the countless asteroids in the asteroid belt and the "trojans" (not the condoms) trapped in Lagrange points by Jupiter, Saturn and the other gas & ice giants.  Ultimately these will prove to be far easier to mine and consume than most planetary resources and are perfect for sustaining the space borne civilization I am describing.  I didn't even mention the immense resources that will be available in the Kuiper Belt.  

Beyond this, my saying that I think we are unlikely to place large colonies on extremely hostile planets and moons doesn't mean we cannot or will not mine them or explore or exploit them.  I fully anticipate with tele-robotics and the far more advanced technologies we will have when we finally get out that far, we will be able to explore and exploit these worlds with limited human presence on the surface of those planets.  Humans will have better things to do than freeze their buns off in an intensely hostile environment.  I am not saying just do it from Earth -- I feel certain we must and will expand out as a people.  I am saying that -- just like current deep ocean exploration -- most can and will be done robotically by people who reside somewhere else.   And I think that somewhere else may well be the space habitats predicted by O'Neill.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_%28astronomy%29
http://space.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8663
http://space.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn9340&print=true

Offline mong'

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #36 on: 06/06/2007 11:09 AM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 6/6/2007  6:47 AM  

 There are enormous -- almost unlimited -- amounts of ice and minerals of all types available on the countless asteroids in the asteroid belt and the "trojans" (not the condoms) trapped in Lagrange points by Jupiter, Saturn and the other gas & ice giants.  


I agree with that, actually my personnal belief is that space colonies are the most likely to appear near asteroids when mining them will prove to be practical, this way the mining crews can live with their families near their work sites, and not cost a fortune to bring back to mars/earth after work.

Quote
stargazer777 - 6/6/2007  6:47 AM

Ultimately these will prove to be far easier to mine and consume than most planetary resources and are perfect for sustaining the space borne civilization I am describing


this I don't agree with, at least in the short to mid term. asteroid mining will prove to be much more difficult than advertised, simply because of the lack a gravity, your digging machine will have nothing to pull against, since they will have almost no weight.
we will need other techniques to extract large quantities of material, and it's unclear what they will be.

this can't compete against a planetary surface, even with reduced gravity, where working is much simpler and you can use "traditionnal" techniques, also you will find propellant on planets/moons, in readily available form, whereas the asteroids rich in ressources don't have much volatiles.

finally a planetary body offers much more radiation protection than a space habitat; as was posted earlier, half the time you have the entire planet/moon between you and the sun.

and if you need additionnal protection, you can just cover the roof of your habs with the local dirt, no need to import expensive material from earth

Offline whitewatcher

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #37 on: 06/06/2007 04:23 PM »
Quote
lambda0 - 4/6/2007  8:28 AM

According to Landis (NASA), the best place is ...Venus !
At 50 km altitude :
- Atmospheric pressure is 1 bar
- Temperature between 0° and 50°C
- Plenty of solar energy but protection against the most dangerous radiations by the atmosphere
- As the atmosphere is composed of CO2, a quite heavy gase, a balloon filed of oxygen and nitrogen would be in equilibrium, and a 1 or 2 km diameter balloon would easily carry a small city
- Due to the rotation of the atmosphere, and by controling the latitude, it is possible to reproduce a day/night cycle similar to Earth
- The atmosphere contains oxygen, carbon, sulfur, in fact many of the elements necessary for life

At first sight, Venus seems to be a very hostile place (500°C on the surface, P=100 atmosphere), unless this thick atmosphere is considered as an ocean : Earth is also not so pleasant at 10000 m under the level of the sea.
In fact, Venus may have many advantages compared to Mars...



Interesting! What would be the "gravity" in such a "balloon"? What's your source of information?
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Offline 02hurnella

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #38 on: 06/06/2007 05:23 PM »
Gravity would be similar to that on the surface of venus... Like that theres gravity on a plane. venusian gravity is marginally less than earth (a few percent).

Offline meiza

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #39 on: 06/06/2007 05:55 PM »
I ask again, is there hydrogen in the atmosphere of Venus? It's pretty essential for humans you know, and Mars has it.

Offline stargazer777

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #40 on: 06/06/2007 05:57 PM »

 

lambda0 - 4/6/2007  8:28 AM

 According to Landis (NASA), the best place is ...Venus !
 At 50 km altitude :
 - Atmospheric pressure is 1 bar
 - Temperature between 0° and 50°C
 - Plenty of solar energy but protection against the most dangerous radiations by the atmosphere
 - As the atmosphere is composed of CO2, a quite heavy gase, a balloon filed of oxygen and nitrogen would be in equilibrium, and a 1 or 2 km diameter balloon would easily carry a small city
 - Due to the rotation of the atmosphere, and by controling the latitude, it is possible to reproduce a day/night cycle similar to Earth
 - The atmosphere contains oxygen, carbon, sulfur, in fact many of the elements necessary for life

 At first sight, Venus seems to be a very hostile place (500°C on the surface, P=100 atmosphere), unless this thick atmosphere is considered as an ocean : Earth is also not so pleasant at 10000 m under the level of the sea.
 In fact, Venus may have many advantages compared to Mars...

Interesting! What would be the "gravity" in such a "balloon"? What's your source of information?
 

 

Come on guys!  Venus -- on the surface or in the atmosphere is incredibly hostile and dangerous environment.  We need to realize that planets with atmosphere like Venus are actually far more hostile and dangerous than planets or moons with no atmosphere at all.  Venus is probably a great potential candidate for terra forming but until that happens -- barring some stunning leaps in technology -- planting a colony on Venus, on the surface or in the atmosphere, would be criminal negligence at best and probably suicide as well.  Surface temperature of over 752 degrees F,  90 times higher atmospheric pressure than Earth, sulfuric acid clouds, winds of 300 km per hour -- sounds like Hades to me.  Read it and weep (from Wikipedia -- Venus Atmosphere.)

Atmosphere

 Main article: Atmosphere of Venus  

Venus has an extremely thick atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a small amount of nitrogen. The pressure at the planet's surface is about 90 times that at Earth's surface—a pressure equivalent to that at a depth of 1 kilometer under Earth's oceans. The enormously CO2-rich atmosphere generates a strong greenhouse effect that raises the surface temperature to over 400 °C (752°F). This makes Venus' surface hotter than Mercury's, even though Venus is nearly twice as distant from the Sun and receives only 25% of the solar irradiance.

 
Cloud structure in Venus' atmosphere, revealed by ultraviolet observations
Cloud structure in Venus' atmosphere, revealed by ultraviolet observations
 

Studies have suggested that several billion years ago Venus' atmosphere was much more like Earth's than it is now, and that there were probably substantial quantities of liquid water on the surface, but a runaway greenhouse effect was caused by the evaporation of that original water, which generated a critical level of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere.[13] Venus is thus an extreme example of climate change, making it a useful tool in climate change studies.

 

Thermal inertia and the transfer of heat by winds in the lower atmosphere mean that the temperature of Venus' surface does not vary significantly between the night and day sides, despite the planet's extremely slow rotation. Winds at the surface are slow, moving at a few kilometers per hour, but because of the high density of the atmosphere at Venus' surface, they exert a significant amount of force against obstructions, and transport dust and small stones across the surface.[14] Above the dense CO2 layer are thick clouds consisting mainly of sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid droplets. [15][16] These clouds reflect about 60% of the sunlight that falls on them back into space, and prevent the direct observation of Venus' surface in visible light. The permanent cloud cover means that although Venus is closer than Earth to the Sun, the Venusian surface is not as well heated or lit. In the absence of the greenhouse effect caused by the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the temperature at the surface of Venus would be quite similar to that on Earth. Strong 300 km/h winds at the cloud tops circle the planet about every four to five earth days.[17]

 

 

 

 



Offline clongton

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #41 on: 06/06/2007 06:52 PM »
Quote
stargazer777 - 3/6/2007  11:35 PM
I think that something along the lines of the O'Neill space habitats will ultimately prove to be the the solution of choice for off-world habitation, at least until we find or create another Earth-type planet. 
I would think that by the time we can actually build and maintain something like that, we should be able to terraform a place like Mars. Terraforming would probably be easier than the space habitats.

Has anyone read Rendevous with Rama"? It's a great read - I recommend it. Rama is an O'Neill-type space habitat. Fascinating read.
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline stargazer777

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #42 on: 06/07/2007 01:29 AM »
I would think that by the time we can actually build and maintain something like that, we should be able to terraform a place like Mars. Terraforming would probably be easier than the space habitats.

 Has anyone read Rendevous with Rama"? It's a great read - I recommend it. Rama is an O'Neill-type space habitat. Fascinating read.

Actually, by the time we start assembling space craft and other large structures in space we will be half  way home toward developing a space-based industrial infrastructure.  Obtaining raw materials launched via mass drivers from the Moon or asteroids to a processing point -- at first probably one of the Lagrange points -- will be a second critical step.  The others will come quickly.  This will begin to happen within our lifetimes.  Habitats are, ultimately, just very big space stations. If the bulk of the mass can be obtained this way that will go most of the way to making these ventures economically feasible.  Initially at least, they don't have to have all the bells and whistles O'Neill imagined -- big lakes, forests, vast farms -- to be totally functional and very pleasant place to live and work for human colonists and their children.  

We will reach this point long before we are in a position to begin significant terra forming of a planet.  Additionally, I think terra forming on a planetary scale is going to prove to be far more difficult and far more complex than we imagine. The time line for meaningful improvements for planets like Mars or Venus could easily be centuries -- and that assumes no catastrophic set-backs.  But, ultimately, only time will tell on these predictions.

Virtually everything by Clarke is excellent.  Thanks for the recommendation.

Offline MKremer

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #43 on: 06/07/2007 02:32 AM »
Speaking of terraforming, let's not discount the (sometimes radical) environmentalists who'll try everything legal they're able to, to delay or cancel planetary terraforming plans/financing.

Offline JulesVerneATV

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RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #44 on: 06/12/2007 10:11 AM »
Some of the Moons of Jupiter like Ganymede or Europa may be more hospitable than Mars, they've got plenty of resources and water unlike Mars which may have water burried deep within.

The only problem with our current technology is getting to places in a certain time, to orbit can be counted in mins/hours, getting to the Moon and back a few days, going to Mars will be 6 months just for a single way trip
but a planet Jupiter may take at least five years.


The Saturn-Titan mission proves Landing something on Callisto or Europa is possible but Keeping an astronaut, feed, active, safe and sane for these years would be a really difficult task

Offline MichaelOve

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #45 on: 06/18/2009 10:48 PM »
I'd think that once you've gotten out of a gravity well, you'd rather stay out, so I agree that some kind of space-habitat would be ideal if you want to preserve your mobility. What I'm curious about (and far too ignorant of the physics involved to gauge this myself) is this: how practical is it to use some type of solar sail or such to capture a comet? It seems like if you're looking for the resources to support yourself in space it's pretty hard to find anything better than the makeup of a typical comet. Also, if you wanted to terraform Mars, what about dropping a few of those captured comets on it to boost the atmosphere? I'm sure it's much more complicated than it seems in my head, so I'm hoping people who know more about these fields can provide me with a bit more information on these matters.

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #46 on: 06/18/2009 11:34 PM »
Most comets are travelling at something akin to 'ludicrous speed'. Good luck doing a rendezvous with that!
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #47 on: 06/19/2009 09:36 AM »
I think we are talking about a totally artificial environment, as close to enclosed as you can make it, and close to necessary resources.

We need pressure, a temperature between the melting and boiling points of water, protection from radiation, power and access to chemicals of which the most fundamental are hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. Dealing with cold is far easier than dealing with heat. For a large enough enclosed city the problem will always be getting rid of the waste heat, even if you do not have a large nuclear power plant to cool.

I dont think gravity is the big show stopper. There are many options to deal with this, besides which earthlife evolved in the oceans which are basically equivalent to zero g as far as bone-loss etc are concerned.

The space you need for a human to live within is probably not as significant as the acres you need to grow their food.

My conclusion? The future of humanity under the ice, anywhere in the solar system where ice exists, and learning to live in space may be like learning to return to the oceans.

Just think, the only thing a subglacial home does not immediately provide is a place to stand. Add a power source (and its waste heat) and you get everything else for free.

Ice provides good protection from cosmic rays. It is much easier to live below a few meters of ice than spin up a planets core!

Where there is ice there is obviously oxygen and hydrogen. I expect other elements not available on the moon would also exist close at hand.

Ice provides a necessary heat sink. Bury a city or a nuclear power plant  under the ice and it is going to surround itself in a lake of circulating water.

A lake of circulating water is also a very good starting point for your food farm. Humans may not wish to spend all their time swimming but a lot of earth life could be quite at home. Rather than struggling to grow alfalfa under thin domes you aim for an earth ocean environment with everything from plankton to fish to perhaps dolphins.

The pressure on mar's surface is about a hundredth that of earth's, essentially vacuum. However just thirty meters under water on mars pressure is about that at sealevel on earth. If the surface ice were totally fractured then the water would boil, but someone swimming thirty meters below the water would not have to worry for days by which time the surface would probably have refrozen. No living hiding behind air-locks. you could swim from a diving bell home at thirty meters up to mars atmosphere pressure without ever passing through a door.


Offline gospacex

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #48 on: 06/19/2009 12:40 PM »
Spaceport on the summit of Mount Olympus offers quite incredible views from the rim.

Partly underground habitats in the slopes of Valles Marineris do the same. Grand Canyon looks like a small crack in comparison...

Offline khallow

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Re: RE: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #49 on: 06/19/2009 01:54 PM »
Most any place in the solar system where there is a profit to be made you will eventually find human beings.  Now, whether it's a good place to live or not is another matter.  Eventual human colonization of the solar system will go where there's money to be made.  500 years ago, Central Florida was (by modern standards, at least) a miserable place to live and now I call it home--but it's a radically different place than it used to be centuries ago.  The same will probably go for the solar system.  :cool:

This is my view as well. If you and your colony can't make a living (the profit need not be with the outside world, though that probably would help a lot), then it's not going to work in the long term whether it be on an exotic body in the Solar System or on Earth.
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Offline winkhomewinkhome

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #50 on: 06/19/2009 04:10 PM »
A nice little house on Picon with Grace Park! :)

Otherwise - One of the moons in the Saturn system would be interesting - like living in Switzerland with the Alps out your back door - imagine waking up to a view of the rings!

Again as mentioned - don't know about radiation, and what about variations of gravity???
Dale R. Winke

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #51 on: 06/19/2009 05:36 PM »
Titan is a very nice place and yes, you get that view of the rings.  I'm selling land parcels to anyone interested. . .

Offline Hop_David

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #52 on: 06/19/2009 05:59 PM »
Most comets are travelling at something akin to 'ludicrous speed'. Good luck doing a rendezvous with that!

Not all comets come from the Kuiper or Oort. Outgassing has been detected from mainbelt asteroids: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main-belt_comet

Also it's believed many icey bodies are in the Trojan L4 and L5. Give the disproportionate number of short period comets with 5.2 A.U. apohelions, I'd guess the Trojans are feeding our population of NEOs.


There's an erroneous meme floating around: "All comets have 30 AU or more apohelions and are too fast to rendezvous with" Sadly this meme will continue regardless of obvious counterexamples.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #53 on: 06/19/2009 06:08 PM »
Titan is a very nice place and yes, you get that view of the rings.  I'm selling land parcels to anyone interested. . .

How much?

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #54 on: 06/19/2009 06:58 PM »
Depends if you want beachfront.  Just off the beach is much more affordable.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #55 on: 06/19/2009 07:14 PM »
What about colonies just out side the asteroid belt or even buried inside an asteroid?
Ceres pretty much has just about everything you need and it's surface is supposedly mostly water ice.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #56 on: 06/19/2009 07:26 PM »
I have resisted and resisted, but the imp of the perverse wins: Barsoom. It's those monotreme girls...

Offline gospacex

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #57 on: 06/19/2009 11:39 PM »
What about colonies just out side the asteroid belt or even buried inside an asteroid?
Ceres pretty much has just about everything you need and it's surface is supposedly mostly water ice.

Ceres is pre-stashed ocean in storage for Mars terraforming. Keep your appendages off please.

Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #58 on: 06/20/2009 02:43 AM »
Ceres is pre-stashed ocean in storage for Mars terraforming. Keep your appendages off please.

Spacex the space pirate places Ceres in Martian orbit as Mar's new moon, and let's Mars slowly suck it dry.  You know I would love to see a cgi of a planet like mars sucking a planet let like Ceres dry.

My anser for the best places to live near term would be

1. Earth orbit (easiest access to the only steady stream of food and people)

2. Orbit around another planet (Atmospheric deceleration, possible tether power, microgravity, solar flare protection, possible resources from the planet)

3. Cycler habitat.  Constant stream of new people, and supplies, unbeatable view of the solar system, access to multiple planet's data networks with lower lag)
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #59 on: 06/20/2009 08:55 AM »
What about colonies just out side the asteroid belt or even buried inside an asteroid?
Ceres pretty much has just about everything you need and it's surface is supposedly mostly water ice.

Ceres is pre-stashed ocean in storage for Mars terraforming. Keep your appendages off please.

OMG that would be horrific :)

Mars at best would give us another Australia (or Antarctica) of living room. With the effort it would take to move a fraction of ceres to mars, you could convert Ceres into the death star. In fact all it takes is one self sufficient colony capable of building another.

Ceres could probably support a thousand times the population of earth, let alone mars, because you could live throughout its volume, not just a  a scummy layer on its surface. Nor are you limited to its current volume. It would only take 300m/s or so to put something into orbit. The whole world could bloom like a flower as we build continent-sized space solar power collectors in a saturn-like ring around it, but always precessing to face the sun.

To anyone who wants to drop Ceres down a gravity well, Cerians will gladly make a small one-cubic-km donation courtesy of the Ceres magnetic launchers. Not enough for a very large ocean, but plenty to discourage such notions! :)

Offline gospacex

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #60 on: 06/20/2009 10:24 AM »
Ceres is pre-stashed ocean in storage for Mars terraforming. Keep your appendages off please.

OMG that would be horrific :)

Mars at best would give us another Australia (or Antarctica) of living room.

Last time I checked, surface area of Mars ~= surface area of Earth's continents combined.

Quote
With the effort it would take to move a fraction of ceres to mars, you could convert Ceres into the death star.

Habitats built from... ice?

Quote
Ceres could probably support a thousand times the population of earth, let alone mars, because you could live throughout its volume, not just a  a scummy layer on its surface.

We can do it on Earth too, at least to first ~200m. We dont do that. Why?

Quote
Nor are you limited to its current volume. It would only take 300m/s or so to put something into orbit. The whole world could bloom like a flower as we build continent-sized space solar power collectors in a saturn-like ring around it, but always precessing to face the sun.

Apparently you build them from asteroids, since Ceres surface is mostly ice. Why not put the same continent-sized space solar power collectors on Mars orbit?

Also Mars is warmer than Ceres. Also Mars has atmosphere, maybe even terraformable into breathable one down the road.

Quote
To anyone who wants to drop Ceres down a gravity well, Cerians will gladly make a small one-cubic-km donation courtesy of the Ceres magnetic launchers. Not enough for a very large ocean, but plenty to discourage such notions! :)

Let's see whose launchers are bigger! :]

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #61 on: 06/20/2009 03:36 PM »

We can do it on Earth too, at least to first ~200m. We dont do that. Why?

Mold ;)

Having camped underground more than once in a cave, it is not a fun (The point was to survey, not the hot tub) 100% humidity, constant temp in the mid 50's, the mud, and the mold farm... Yes I do it for Fun...

Just reminds me of people who finish basements and decide to use it as living space... Just breath and enjoy this thing with funny green leafy vegitation and a bright glowing yellow thing just out of reach. If we ever have space colonies, that is what will be missed most. Being able to take that eight mile run down the trail seeing no one but other joggers and dog walkers.
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Offline Vacuum.Head

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #62 on: 06/20/2009 03:54 PM »
Well whilst the Cereans and Martians duke it out! My preference would be for a nice medium sized BubbleWorld with a fusion drive. Grab some big chunks of fuel in the KE Belt and some more on the way? Then it's: Alpha C AB or Bust! Or Epsiilon Eri. They both have Asteroid belts AFAIK. So what more do you need?

BubbleWorlds
Islands in Space: The Challenge of the Planetoids 1964!!!
Dandridge M. Cole and Donald W. Cox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_habitat#Other_designs

asteroid mining will prove to be much more difficult than advertised, simply because of the lack a gravity, your digging machine will have nothing to pull against, since they will have almost no weight.


No No NO! Muddy Terrestrial thinking here. We solved this back in the '70's  Iceteriods we will melt our way into; watching out for CN and other unpleasantness. With Feteroids and just plain 'Rocks' all you need a BIG parabolic concentrator or a better still BIGGER Mining Laser (purely for defensive purposes bearing in mind the first Cerean/Martian war has broken out) ...to vaporise materials to a plasma and a huge solar powered EM field to separate out all the elements: an inside out Mass Spec. The Vacuum and Power comes free!
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Offline khallow

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #63 on: 06/21/2009 12:09 AM »

Just reminds me of people who finish basements and decide to use it as living space... Just breath and enjoy this thing with funny green leafy vegitation and a bright glowing yellow thing just out of reach.

But how do you keep your body from bursting into flames at the mere touch of the Daystar?
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #64 on: 06/21/2009 04:29 AM »
hehe.. let the mars/ceres punchup begin! :)

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Last time I checked, surface area of Mars ~= surface area of Earth's continents combined.
Fair enough, but remember we were talking about moving Ceres to Mars to give it an ocean. I think I read somewhere there is enough ice on mars already to cover it in um.. 11 meters of water? Plenty to irrigate every square mile without adding more.. But if we do use this reasonable approach to argue that mars has the same usable surface area than earth, this neglects that we would probably also colonize the oceans of earth with floating cities, thus negating that argument again.

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Habitats built from... ice?
Well ice would certainly be uncomfortable to sit on. Beyond that it is a very good building material. But as I understand it Ceres is expected to have plenty of regolith on the surface let alone materials in the core (which we could actually reach, unlike other worlds) In fact im not sure any ice is expected to be directly exposed on the surface.

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We can do it on Earth too, at least to first ~200m. We dont do that. Why?
Because the amount of life that can be supported by earth is limited by the light it can receive and convert to energy life can exploit via photosynthesis. Perhaps more importantly it is limited by its ability to get rid of heat. If we had something like fusion power then we still could not build very deeply because we would become limited by heat buildup.

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(re building space solar power around Ceres)

Apparently you build them from asteroids, since Ceres surface is mostly ice. Why not put the same continent-sized space solar power collectors on Mars orbit?
As mentioned, Ceres will have other materials, on the surface, at the core. But on ceres, given the very low gravity (3%) and no atmosphere it is easy to put up vast orbital structures, or perhaps even towers to orbit. The ice and the ability to connect an unlimited surface area directly to the planet lets you do things you could not consider on earth or mars.

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Also Mars is warmer than Ceres. Also Mars has atmosphere, maybe even terraformable into breathable one down the road.
Mars would have more access to sunlight. From memory mars gets about a quarter what earth gets, and ceres gets about a 9th? That is an issue but this just means you have to put up about twice as much surface area around ceres to collect the same amount of heat. The ability to trivially launch from ceres counters this advantage many many times.

Mars's atmosphere is very nearly vacuum. One key advantage it does provide is the ability to aerobrake. But for breathing, you might as well start from scratch with an atmosphere you design beneath enough shielding to protect from cosmic radiation.

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Let's see whose launchers are bigger! :]
Well we only need to put about 0.5 km/s into anything launched from ceres and it will hit another planet with at least the difference in their orbital speeds. And we do not have any atmosphere to interfere with a mass driver. But much more importantly, your argument is that Mars needs (or desires) something from Ceres. Ceres does not need Mars for anything.

Offline gin455res

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #65 on: 06/21/2009 07:15 AM »
I found this website about ceres colonisaton:
https://home.comcast.net/~davejanelle/ceres.html

The 9hr day might make energy storage easier if you did decide to use solar power.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #66 on: 06/21/2009 10:00 AM »
Also ceres has a pretty low axial tilt (3 degrees) so a site there would have at least near permanent access to sunlight.

Mars is a lot closer of course, and if you are interested in an asteroid-style base it also has Phobos.

Mars also has ice which was my original point. Suppose you bury some sort of environmentally friendly reactor deep under the ice in mars, you immediately get the basics of an earth ocean environment in addition to a heat sink for  your reactor. Pressure, radiation protection and of course liquid, circulating water.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #67 on: 06/21/2009 07:59 PM »
In order of liking

1) Moon. Proximity to earth, and the potential to lob rocks at it ;) Yes, volatiles availability will remain a sticking point. But i'd expect a good lunar industrial colony would have a 100:1 population ratio of robots to humans
2) A big suitable rock somewhere in the asteroid belt. Preferrably a good mixture of materials available, and enough to start building a nice big Torus colony next to it.
3) Venus cloud tops. Just for the views.
4) Mercury ! Best tanning in solar system.
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #68 on: 06/22/2009 04:59 PM »
Just read Dave's remarks on Ceres.  He's got one thing right, one thing wrong.  First, he's right about setting up the legal framework for ownership of property in space.  Second, he's wrong on the cost of getting to Ceres.  I had no idea there were so many avid Ceres fans out there, but I'd still pick Mars over Ceres, and after the Moon.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #69 on: 06/22/2009 08:29 PM »
I still vote pluto, may be frozen, but it is tidally pumped and has a chance at a mag. field.

Besides it is about as far as you can get from the loud stereo next door without leaving the solar system ;)
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Offline Cinder

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #70 on: 06/22/2009 11:42 PM »
wrong on the cost of getting to Ceres.
Under or overestimated?
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #71 on: 06/23/2009 12:42 PM »
Under.  Look around on the forum and note the various estimates of launch costs.  I have no idea what the "correct" number would be.  Lots.
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Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #72 on: 06/23/2009 04:06 PM »
IIRC, requires twice the delta V as Mars.  Check out the info on Dawn. Since that's where it's going, you ought to be able to get numbers there.

Offline Cinder

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #73 on: 06/23/2009 05:25 PM »
Thanks John.
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Offline kch

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #74 on: 06/23/2009 05:32 PM »
I still vote pluto, may be frozen, but it is tidally pumped and has a chance at a mag. field.

Besides it is about as far as you can get from the loud stereo next door without leaving the solar system ;)

There are advantages to living "out in the boonies" ... ;D

Offline Hop_David

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #75 on: 06/23/2009 11:27 PM »
IIRC, requires twice the delta V as Mars.  Check out the info on Dawn. Since that's where it's going, you ought to be able to get numbers there.

Sans aerobraking:
LEO -> LMO 5.7 km/sec
LEO -> LCO 9.5 km/sec

Using periapsis drag passes through Mars upper atmosphere to lower capture orbit to LMO:
LEO -> LMO 4.3 km/sec.

So I'd concur it's about twice delta vee.

Offline dmeche

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #76 on: 06/25/2009 05:05 PM »
Would it be possible to use the terrain to our advantage on the Moon or Mars?  For instance, could a small crater on the moon be "capped" with a dome and serve as a habitat?  Would it be possible to irradiate the lunar regolith and reduce the dust?  Would it be possible to break down the O2 in the soil enough to make a biosphere in the dome? 

That way you do not have to "live indoors" all the time.

What do you think?

Offline HarryM

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #77 on: 06/25/2009 05:56 PM »
It would be easier to find a strong lavatube, put some plugs/caps in and pressurize it, (or maybe just inflate a big Bigalow-style inflatable structure within it) than to try to construct a dome. It would also offer much better radiation/meteorite protection.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2009 06:05 PM by HarryM »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #78 on: 06/25/2009 06:14 PM »
I agree about the lava tube, but that wouldn't have windows.  I've always wanted a huge dome, but that would be impractible at first.  Whatever the habitat, it should have windows, and a way to look outdoors.
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Offline Hop_David

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #79 on: 06/25/2009 10:00 PM »
Would it be possible to use the terrain to our advantage on the Moon or Mars?  For instance, could a small crater on the moon be "capped" with a dome and serve as a habitat?  Would it be possible to irradiate the lunar regolith and reduce the dust?  Would it be possible to break down the O2 in the soil enough to make a biosphere in the dome? 

That way you do not have to "live indoors" all the time.

What do you think?

Don't like the dome. Very expensive and vulnerable. But I do like craters. Residing at a flat surface gives you 2 pi steradians of radiation shield. Residing in a crater gives you somewhat more due to the crater walls.

I especially like Stickney crater on Phobos. The crater walls provide lots of protection. Phobos is tide locked with Mars, so Mars always hovers in the sky above Stickney's eastern wall. Since Mars is so close, it's large in the sky and also provides some protection.

The Russians are planning a mission to Phobos. To me, a very exciting mission, I wish them luck!

Offline yinzer

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #80 on: 06/25/2009 10:07 PM »
Would it be possible to use the terrain to our advantage on the Moon or Mars?  For instance, could a small crater on the moon be "capped" with a dome and serve as a habitat?  Would it be possible to irradiate the lunar regolith and reduce the dust?  Would it be possible to break down the O2 in the soil enough to make a biosphere in the dome? 

That way you do not have to "live indoors" all the time.

What do you think?

Pressurized domes are more difficult than they appear.  The force of atmospheric pressure tries to lift the dome off the surface, so it has to be very securely anchored to the ground around its perimeter.  If you do the math to find out how securely, the numbers get very ugly.  When you realize that planetary surfaces are not very strong in tension, it's even worse.
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Offline HarryM

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #81 on: 06/25/2009 11:31 PM »
If you insisted on having a dome type of structure, it would make more sense to make a giant inflatable sphere, the upper part clear, the whole thing resting in a crater. You could even make some sort of spherical girder like structure that you would inflate the sphere within to add some extra rigidity.

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #82 on: 06/26/2009 01:06 AM »
If you insisted on having a dome type of structure, it would make more sense to make a giant inflatable sphere, the upper part clear, the whole thing resting in a crater. You could even make some sort of spherical girder like structure that you would inflate the sphere within to add some extra rigidity.

Yeah, and have the bottom part be a big pond to raise trout or other fish in, along with algae ponds around the circumference to process wastewater.

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Offline Vacuum.Head

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #83 on: 06/26/2009 02:35 AM »
Would it be possible to use the terrain to our advantage on the Moon or Mars?  For instance, could a small crater on the moon be "capped" with a dome and serve as a habitat?  Would it be possible to irradiate the lunar regolith and reduce the dust?  Would it be possible to break down the O2 in the soil enough to make a biosphere in the dome? 

That way you do not have to "live indoors" all the time.

What do you think?

Something like this:
http://www.nss.org/settlement/moon/LANTR.html
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Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #84 on: 06/26/2009 03:04 AM »
Would it be possible to use the terrain to our advantage on the Moon or Mars?  For instance, could a small crater on the moon be "capped" with a dome and serve as a habitat?  Would it be possible to irradiate the lunar regolith and reduce the dust?  Would it be possible to break down the O2 in the soil enough to make a biosphere in the dome? 

That way you do not have to "live indoors" all the time.

What do you think?
I especially like Stickney crater on Phobos. The crater walls provide lots of protection. Phobos is tide locked with Mars, so Mars always hovers in the sky above Stickney's eastern wall. Since Mars is so close, it's large in the sky and also provides some protection.

Sink holes have always been my favorite.  Easier to install a dome on because the forces can be expelled into the walls, better radiation resistance than a crater.  Depth makes it easier to tunnel for expansion without worry of out gassing.   Depending on depth of hole, you might be able to keep hundreds of people based it one.  Walls can act as a heat battery so that the habs to not need as much insulation.  Sink holes are not uncommon on both Mars and the Moon.
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Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #85 on: 06/26/2009 03:05 PM »
We're so accustomed to thinking we need to stay shielded and away from fission reactors, I wonder if this has created a blind side.  Is it possible to live right on top of one?  Put enough shielding over it to keep everyone safe but put a dome settlement right on top of the reactor and use the dome floor as the heat sink, so the entire dome is heated from below ground.  Now you can grow your asparagus and Lunar Salmon.

Is cooling a fission reactor like that possible?  I remember Vanilla making a stromng case about how difficult radiator cooling on the Moon is to begin with so perhaps conductive cooling like this would be more efficient?

Offline Cinder

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #86 on: 06/26/2009 09:41 PM »
Hasn't there been evidence that particle hits on the surface of the Moon could be very common?  That would rule out transluscent domes.
« Last Edit: 06/26/2009 09:41 PM by Cinder »
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #87 on: 06/27/2009 03:21 PM »
Could there be a dome within a dome?  The outer one in vacuum for radiation and particle hits, and translucent for some light.  The inner one for atmosphere, securely anchored.
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Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #88 on: 06/27/2009 07:31 PM »
Could there be a dome within a dome?  The outer one in vacuum for radiation and particle hits, and translucent for some light.  The inner one for atmosphere, securely anchored.

Yes, anything is possible, but you are talking about a lot of construction there.  Building a dome larger than the Bird's Nest in China, on Mars, will be a little bit of a challenge. 

Simpler and smaller is more likely in our lifetime.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #89 on: 06/27/2009 11:09 PM »
I ask again, is there hydrogen in the atmosphere of Venus? It's pretty essential for humans you know, and Mars has it.

There is in the form of sulphuric acid.  Not the nicest chemical in the universe, but between that, the nitrogen, and the CO2, you have the vast majority of the material you need to build rather big colonies. 

I've always liked the point that the exterior shell of the colony isn't actually a pressure vessel (since the dP across the wall is basically zero).

But you have almost all the building blocks you need for plastics, composites, nanotubes, etc.  You still need some source of metals, but likely far less than you'd need to import to get mining, refining, and processing going on some place like Mars or elsewhere.  Think of it as a carbon-fiber composite (with sulfurcrete) city, with metal mostly being for wires, and things that have to be metal.

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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #90 on: 06/28/2009 02:46 AM »

But you have almost all the building blocks you need for plastics, composites, nanotubes, etc.  You still need some source of metals, but likely far less than you'd need to import to get mining, refining, and processing going on some place like Mars or elsewhere.  Think of it as a carbon-fiber composite (with sulfurcrete) city, with metal mostly being for wires, and things that have to be metal.

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Graphite and Carbon nanotubes can be good conductors of electricity.

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #91 on: 06/28/2009 04:55 AM »
If USG ever get serious about energy policy, we may see real investment in ultra-conducting polymers.  It's a long time now that we've known cheap garbage plastic can be made to ultra-conduct, meaning not a real superconductor but able to conduct 100,000X better than copper and weigh a tiny fraction as much.  Trouble is, we only know how to make it in sheets and the stuff is highly anisotropic.  It will take a couple tens of millions to turn it into wire but that would eliminate many of the needs for metals.

On the other hand, non-conducting glass metals might end up finding much higher use.  So in a sense, metals and plastics could easily change places.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #92 on: 06/28/2009 03:45 PM »
I was thinking that an early colony wouldn't have a dome any larger than the Bird's nest.  And I like geodesic domes becaue the different strut sizes are limited in number.  Part of the bootstrap process may be that the struts are launched from Earth, and the glass made on site.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2009 02:25 PM by JohnFornaro »
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Offline Zachstar

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #93 on: 06/28/2009 07:33 PM »
By far the best idea is self building colonies in orbit.

By the time we are actually ready to send more than a few astronauts out. Robotic technology will have grown astronomically. To the point where tiny robots make other tiny robots. (This is not going to become a conversation about the ethics of "grey goo" btw)

What will start as self building towns growing from beaches leeching materials from the seafloor and seawater will predate colonies in orbit converting any material delivered to it into living space and facilities.

If you have not noticed yet. This is stuff atleast 50-100 years away. There is just so many problems to address. But it to me is far more realistic then trying to build a colony on mars using traditional methods.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #94 on: 06/29/2009 02:28 PM »
Well, avoiding the idea of nano-machines building the colony, what about robots building, say, the struts and glass panels for these various geodesic domes?  Get the big, heavy, repetitive pieces done robotically.  Then the humans come and install the air conditioners and lounge chairs.
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Offline Zachstar

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #95 on: 06/29/2009 08:19 PM »
Because that simply will not be the norm. You don't pay somebody to install an air conditioner when a robot can do it perfectly every time.

And its kind of hard to ignore nano-machines when they already exist now. Yes they wont be building anything big for a few decades but its not like they are just going to go away.

I see lots of attempts to "make-believe" robots will just go away and not change the workforce. Such thoughts are BS for if we don't use them China will.

And Geodesic domes? A bit too much science fiction there no? Maybe in a fashion colony but I do not see that being the norm for the average living colony where people will spend part of the day with the hardest work maybe fixing a few robots because the normal repair systems are busy. Then going back to playing that times version of X-box for the rest of the day. Its actually hilarious that people think that any colony is going to be lush in fields or scenic views when your average joe would not give a heck about them. With population growing at an extreme rate there is going to be very little care about scenic views.

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #96 on: 06/29/2009 08:28 PM »
The trouble with nanobots is their very limited energy.  There's lots of fiction going back decades concerning nanobots building stuff.  But you need to remember, they need to get their energy from somewhere and when it comes right down to it, moving so much material requires so much energy and you can't avoid this.  Fact is machines built on the nanoscale are going to have serious power limitations.  Getting one to lift and position a grain of sand intelligently is likely NEVER going to happen.  Making things small mostly means making them stupid, and who wants a stupid construction engineer?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #97 on: 06/29/2009 08:58 PM »
{snip}Making things small mostly means making them stupid, and who wants a stupid construction engineer?

The construction engineer does not need to be the same size as the construction worker.

Queen ants are bigger than worker ants.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #98 on: 06/30/2009 03:01 AM »
About the air conditioners.  Maybe I shoulda just said, lounge chairs.  And maybe the robots install those also.  After all, the movers put the lounge chair in your house, then you arrange it where you want.   So the robots do all the work, and what again, do the people do?  This gets back to one of the big objections to colonization anyhow... What do the people do?  Which makes me wonder what is it that people do here on Earth?  Which makes me start thinking about a new thread along these lines.

But I don't think nano-machines are going away either.  Maybe in fact, they build the geodesic struts, and the robots assemble them.  And from what I've read of Freitas' work, power distribution and heat dissipation are big problems for macro scale items.  Without getting too into nano-construction, maybe a strut is "grown" on a conveyor belt, radially from the inside out.  As the diameter increases, more nano-machines can access the growing surface and apply their bits of metal and plastic.  When it's done, the conveyor takes it to the robots, who assemble the struts.

I could see nano-machines being used to fuse large landing pads, building in lights and other accessories within the regolith.  Don't know how, tho.

Part of the schtick here is the "fashion" colony.  Or at least the "hotel" part, where the ultra-rich tourists who are helping to pay for all this can visit.  It is interesting to note that tourists care about the views, and the regular joes have all the blinds dropped on every window in the house.

But Zachstar, what do you mean when you say:  "With the population growing at an extreme rate..."  The population of the colony?  Earth?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline khallow

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #99 on: 06/30/2009 11:51 PM »
Because that simply will not be the norm. You don't pay somebody to install an air conditioner when a robot can do it perfectly every time.

Sure you do, when the human is a lot cheaper than the robot.  That's probably not going to be the case anywhere where human space is extremely scarce (eg, the Moon), but it is worth remembering for the next comment I'll make.

Quote
I see lots of attempts to "make-believe" robots will just go away and not change the workforce. Such thoughts are BS for if we don't use them China will.

China has roughly a sixth of the world's supply of relatively cheap labor. They have no incentive to invent such robots. Japan is the one to watch on this front.

The trouble with nanobots is their very limited energy.  There's lots of fiction going back decades concerning nanobots building stuff.  But you need to remember, they need to get their energy from somewhere and when it comes right down to it, moving so much material requires so much energy and you can't avoid this.  Fact is machines built on the nanoscale are going to have serious power limitations.  Getting one to lift and position a grain of sand intelligently is likely NEVER going to happen.  Making things small mostly means making them stupid, and who wants a stupid construction engineer?

GI Thruster, you're made out of stupid nanobots. The key is collective behavior. A single nanobot, for example, a single human cell, simply won't be very effective for the above reasons. A few trillion nanobots (the human body happens to contain somewhere around 10 trillion cells) operating in concert can be far more effective at obtaining enough energy, doing things, and even engaging in various forms of thinking and reasoning. That's the difference between a human cell and an effective, durable human body.
Karl Hallowell

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #100 on: 07/01/2009 01:23 AM »
I get what you're saying, Karl; but the issue is this delusion that intelligently designed nano-robots will be able to cause cities to lift out of the dust, with no recourse to energy needs.  These nano-bots for example need to be able to individually lift grains of sand to fantastic heights, which they cannot do unless they are working in concert.  If they're working in concert, then they might be able to rival the stupid cells in my body, but that doesn't automatically convert to cities grown from nothing.  If these nano-bots are to lift grains of sand (and they're not--they're not built on the scale of insects, they're built on the scale of cells) then they need an energy and power density unheard of.  They require energy technology far beyond what we see on the horizon and far beyond anything hoped for today.

We miss these technical difficulties when we indulge too much or too often in the suspension of disbelief that goes with enjoying fiction.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #101 on: 07/01/2009 02:43 AM »
I think the thing about nano-manufacturing is to keep it simple. You bring in your damaged boron glass triangular piece of geodesic panel, and dip it into nano-goo, that is optimized for this work, and this work only.  The nano-robots swarm over the broken glass, and weld new boron seamleslly into the crack.  When they are done, you can't tell the difference.  Wipe off the goo and reinstall the glass.  Same perhaps with the geodesic struts.  Robots assemble the struts and glass into a dome, not nano-machines.

Frietas or one of these nano-guys has an interesting video showing itty bitty nano-machines working.  The view goes up, up, up in scale, and you find out that there is a black box out of which comes laptop computers.  I think this is in error. 

I think a group of nano-machines makes the VLSI chipset for the computer, on the PCB.  Another group makes the LCD screen. Another the box, and keyboard. Maybe the power supply is made the old fashioned way, as are the CD and hard drives.  Then, ordinary people assemble the components into a laptop.

The mistake these people make is to claim that their machines do everything.  In the future, that may be true, but for the moment, they should be used for specialized tasks.  The nano-machines would spend too much energy just moving the hard drive into position on the PCB board, for example.  Just use a human for the "simple" work.  They can be trained and work for peanuts. Use a robot for the heavy lifting.  They are fed with solar panels, and can be task specific.
« Last Edit: 07/04/2009 01:04 AM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline khallow

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #102 on: 07/01/2009 05:02 AM »
I get what you're saying, Karl; but the issue is this delusion that intelligently designed nano-robots will be able to cause cities to lift out of the dust, with no recourse to energy needs.

I don't see much point to the argument. Outside of Earth biology, we don't have working examples of anything aside from some toy models. We don't really know how hard it'll be to power and cool nanobots at work. I imagine early designs may actually use these restrictions as strengths for self-reproducing nanobots. If you can cut the power instantly to your entire nanobot population, that's a useful control feature.

But an energy or cooling restriction really just means it takes longer, not that it is impossible. I don't see anything inherently impossible about say, throwing a vial on the ground in a suitable location and having a ready to inhabit city block there a few years later.
Karl Hallowell

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #103 on: 07/01/2009 12:58 PM »
The nano-guys propose to use "vitamins" to keep the nano-robots from becoming gray goo.  Kinda makes me wonder why the human body is dependent on Vitamin C, which it can't manufacture for itself.

But I digress.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #104 on: 07/04/2009 12:19 AM »
I get what you're saying, Karl; but the issue is this delusion that intelligently designed nano-robots will be able to cause cities to lift out of the dust, with no recourse to energy needs.  These nano-bots for example need to be able to individually lift grains of sand to fantastic heights, which they cannot do unless they are working in concert.  If they're working in concert, then they might be able to rival the stupid cells in my body, but that doesn't automatically convert to cities grown from nothing.  If these nano-bots are to lift grains of sand (and they're not--they're not built on the scale of insects, they're built on the scale of cells) then they need an energy and power density unheard of.  They require energy technology far beyond what we see on the horizon and far beyond anything hoped for today.

We miss these technical difficulties when we indulge too much or too often in the suspension of disbelief that goes with enjoying fiction.

Actually, this is not quite so. The main problem is cooling. There is so much organic material mixed in with plain old dirt that nanobots can refine the rocky material into building materials and construct structures with them while burning the organic material that turns rock dust into soil.

Now, if you dont like that solution and want to keep the organic material around, then there is the Casimir Torque Generator. Theres some folks at UCLA working on this concept atm. Uses casimir forces to generate torque to power a nanogenerator.

> http://www.wingedcat.com/ct/casimirtorque.txt
> http://www.wingedcat.com/ct/casimirtorque.gif

http://crnano.org/interview.tymes.htm
« Last Edit: 07/04/2009 12:20 AM by mlorrey »
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Other than earth where is the best place to live?
« Reply #105 on: 07/05/2009 07:50 AM »
Im not sure I want to wait around on earth to discover exactly how successful nanomachines are going to be.. sounds suspiciously like waiting around on the beach to see exactly how high that tsunami will be :)

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