Staredit Network > Forums > Serious Discussion > Topic: Can we expand across the Solar System?
Can we expand across the Solar System?
Nov 13 2007, 7:19 pm
By: frazz
Pages: 1 2 36 >
 

Nov 13 2007, 7:19 pm frazz Post #1



This actually arose out of another topic, but instead of going way off there, I decided it would be an interesting topic by itself.
So, is it really worth going to Mars and everywhere else? Would it benefit man kind any more than going to the moon did? That is, could the achievement be any more than just a superficial one?
I would think that with the harsh environment and lack of resources on another planet, going there would be pointless. Waddyaallzzthank?



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Nov 13 2007, 7:38 pm Cnl.Fatso Post #2



1) Overpopulation. We could make the prospect of living on a colony on another planet appealing, so that people flood away from the Earth in some sort of mass exodus, and eventually our overpopulation woes will be relieved somewhat.

2) Just by definition, another planet is going to have another planetload of resources. I don't really know what you're talking about here... Even a single asteroid could provide us with all the iron and nickel we could possibly ask for. Rarer metals are more of a difficulty, but that's just natural.

3) Ever heard of colony domes? We need not brave the harsh environment. The costs would be initially appalling, but the results would pay it off.



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Nov 14 2007, 12:04 am frazz Post #3



Quote from Cnl.Fatso
1) Overpopulation. We could make the prospect of living on a colony on another planet appealing, so that people flood away from the Earth in some sort of mass exodus, and eventually our overpopulation woes will be relieved somewhat.

2) Just by definition, another planet is going to have another planetload of resources. I don't really know what you're talking about here... Even a single asteroid could provide us with all the iron and nickel we could possibly ask for. Rarer metals are more of a difficulty, but that's just natural.

3) Ever heard of colony domes? We need not brave the harsh environment. The costs would be initially appalling, but the results would pay it off.

1) This may be a motivation, but the topic is about whether or not this would be possible or worthwhile.

2) By resources, I mean useful stuff like food, water, or useful materials. There is no "Iron shortage," I don't know where you got that from. We have plenty of dirt and junk right here on Earth.

3) Yes, the costs would be appalling. It would definitely be possible, but moving that much material to another planet is incredibly tough (and at the moment, impossible). What results do you speak of? What pay off is there? Go to Mars and find a wasteland. If there is a water shortage of some sort in the future, you could attempt to melt the Martian ice caps and move the water all the way back to Earth, but it would be more efficient to just melt our own ice caps. Food? No. Even if there was a massive gold mine, it wouldn't be profitable to get it all back. Same goes for any material you can think of, platinum, diamond etc.



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Nov 14 2007, 12:49 am Sie_Sayoka Post #4



The technology we have for space travel is way too costly, however when we manage to get a cost efficient system (such as magnetic thrust) it will be practical. I doubt that colonies on other planets would be very smart, the human body cannot stand much in low gravity environments as well as 0 atmosphere. If we did try to colonize a planet it would have to be underground, or we would have to wait to make our own atmosphere.

As for overpopulation, the baby-boomer period is coming to and end, people are having less kids, the population will eventually even out. However third world countries are not having less children, but then again mortality rates are much higher there.

Anyway space travel in the near future(200-300) would be impractical, set aside from mining and space exploration. Before defiling other planets we should look at our own, global warming will be a huge obsticle.



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Nov 14 2007, 2:42 am ClansAreForGays Post #5



Quote from Cnl.Fatso
1) Overpopulation. We could make the prospect of living on a colony on another planet appealing, so that people flood away from the Earth in some sort of mass exodus, and eventually our overpopulation woes will be relieved somewhat.
Yes, yes... We will call them 'colonies', and after years of back-breaking pioneering, their quality of life will become better than the Earth's! In jealousy, the Earth will unfairly tax the colonies. In response. The future is epic.


Quote
2) Just by definition, another planet is going to have another planetload of resources. I don't really know what you're talking about here... Even a single asteroid could provide us with all the iron and nickel we could possibly ask for. Rarer metals are more of a difficulty, but that's just natural.
Yes, YES! And that rare metal will be 'Gundanium', strongest metal in the known universe, ideal for giant mobile-suit armor. With this, the colonies can not be ignored!



srsly, I don't think any reachable planet is life-friendly enough to outweigh the costs. Although, I do have hope for venus. What we need to do is royally fuck it's Carbondioxide atmosphere with a genetically enhanced, super algae. It will thrive in this toxic enviornment. All the while slowly pumping out oxygen, reshaping the atmosphere and eliminating that nasty acid rain. We'd have Earth2 before you know it! or atleast till we use this one up.




Nov 14 2007, 3:15 am MillenniumArmy Post #6



Space colonization would be nice, but when I look at things realistically it's more like a dream.



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Nov 14 2007, 3:54 am frazz Post #7



Venus' climate would still be drastically different, and the lack of large amounts of water might be a problem. Venus has no oceans. <--Totally made up by me, someone confirm.



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Nov 14 2007, 4:19 am ClansAreForGays Post #8



No venus doesn't have oceans... anymore. It's the only thing stopping the algae from terraforming it. That is why we need SUPER ALGAE!!!!




Nov 14 2007, 5:03 am WoAHorde Post #9



We have two options as a race:

A. Stay on Earth, and wait for something to kill us or do the job ourselves.

or

B. Expand into space, utilizing it's resources to have Humanity expand across Sol System, and the stars.

I'd really prefer option B. Although no government or official has looked that far ahead, perhaps with the exception of Kennedy.

If Humanity wishes to survive the next century, a permanent expansion into space is required. Overpopulation, War, Shortage of Natural Resources, and other problems are becoming common issues because we have nothing else to support Earth. As I mentioned in the other thread, the largest asteroids and comets in Sol System contain more fresh water than currently on Earth. Also, Mars' total surface area is equal to the amount of Earth's dry land.

Quote from frazz
Venus' climate would still be drastically different, and the lack of large amounts of water might be a problem. Venus has no oceans. <--Totally made up by me, someone confirm.

Taking comets and other space rocks from the Kuiper belt and smashing them into Venus precisely will add water and other metals, and slightly alter the climate over time.



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Nov 14 2007, 5:29 am Rantent Post #10



Steps for the mass exodus into space.
1. Build a giant elevator that goes into space.
2. Let people ride the elevator to space.
3. Release people into space.
4. Watch and laugh as the people in space run out of air and die.



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Nov 14 2007, 5:57 am Doodan Post #11



The amount of raw resources necessary to transport people and the materials needed to sustain life on another planet would be massive. The gain simply wouldn't be worth it. The only way planet colonization would be practical is if we found another very, very earth-like planet so that people could simply live there once they arrived without needing massive amounts of fuel and pressure controlled, oxygenated buildings.



None.

Nov 14 2007, 7:19 am frazz Post #12



Quote from WoaHorde
As I mentioned in the other thread, the largest asteroids and comets in Sol System contain more fresh water than currently on Earth.
Whoa!!!! Unconfirmed made up factoid!!!! aka BS. I'll give you a million dollars if you can find a legitimate source that says that. Because you can't.

Quote
We have two options as a race:

A. Stay on Earth, and wait for something to kill us or do the job ourselves.

or

B. Expand into space, utilizing it's resources to have Humanity expand across Sol System, and the stars.

I'd really prefer option B. Although no government or official has looked that far ahead, perhaps with the exception of Kennedy.

If Humanity wishes to survive the next century, a permanent expansion into space is required. Overpopulation, War, Shortage of Natural Resources, and other problems are becoming common issues because we have nothing else to support Earth. As I mentioned in the other thread, the largest asteroids and comets in Sol System contain more fresh water than currently on Earth. Also, Mars' total surface area is equal to the amount of Earth's dry land.
Are you saying that if we get one too many people everyone will spontaneously die? Here's the thing about overpopulation: starvation can occur and that's about it. War maybe. But everybody won't just die. You seem to think that humanity is looking at a bright future in which everything gets better and more people are born and live more prosperous lives (save for overpopulation). You know, wars happen and people die. Population is low on my list of worries.

Quote from WoaHorde
Taking comets and other space rocks from the Kuiper belt and smashing them into Venus precisely will add water and other metals, and slightly alter the climate over time.
Whoa! Did you just suggest moving large comets and asteroids all the way from the Kupier belt to Earth? Do you have any concept of how much energy that would take?
Energy to move the stuff to move the belt off of Earth: loads.
Energy to move that stuff all the way to the edge of the solar system: at least as much.
Energy to move that massive amount of material that massive distance: WAY more.
Factoring that much back into fuel that would have to be lifted off of Earth, it just gets ridiculous.

Just for your information, according to NASA, using current techniques just to go to Mars would require that 90% of the vehicle to be fuel. That's from Low Earth Orbit, not even taking into account getting that off the Earth.



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Nov 14 2007, 7:20 am MillenniumArmy Post #13



Quote from Rantent
Steps for the mass exodus into space.
1. Build a giant elevator that goes into space.
2. Let people ride the elevator to space.
3. Release people into space.
4. Watch and laugh as the people in space run out of air and die.
totally



None.

Nov 14 2007, 7:51 am Sie_Sayoka Post #14



You guys do know that venus is the 2nd planet from the sun, and as a result it is 460 degrees Celsius. Combined with the volcanic activity and carbon/sulfur in its atmosphere I believe that it is safe to say that it will not harbor any life anytime soon(or at all)

Moving on :) If we do plan on 'terraforming' any planet our best would be humble Mars. It has its own thin atmosphere and also water. But of course, we have everything we need here on Earth.



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Nov 14 2007, 8:21 am WoAHorde Post #15



Quote
Whoa!!!! Unconfirmed made up factoid!!!! aka BS. I'll give you a million dollars if you can find a legitimate source that says that. Because you can't.

It is not a "unconfirmed made up factoid", you're just ignorant of knowing the facts. Charon, Pluto, and Europa are planet sized examples, each containing more water and water-ice in fresh water form than Earth. Ceres sits in the asteroid belt, also with more fresh water than Earth. I want my million now.

Quote
Are you saying that if we get one too many people everyone will spontaneously die? Here's the thing about overpopulation: starvation can occur and that's about it. War maybe. But everybody won't just die. You seem to think that humanity is looking at a bright future in which everything gets better and more people are born and live more prosperous lives (save for overpopulation). You know, wars happen and people die. Population is low on my list of worries.

Overpopulation causes more strain on the environment, requires even more goods and food to be produced which can't be with current capabilities, among other things. I'm not looking at a bright future for humanity. I see America fucking itself over within 20 years, along with half of the world, IMO.

Quote
Whoa! Did you just suggest moving large comets and asteroids all the way from the Kupier belt to Earth? Do you have any concept of how much energy that would take?
Energy to move the stuff to move the belt off of Earth: loads.
Energy to move that stuff all the way to the edge of the solar system: at least as much.
Energy to move that massive amount of material that massive distance: WAY more.
Factoring that much back into fuel that would have to be lifted off of Earth, it just gets ridiculous.

Just for your information, according to NASA, using current techniques just to go to Mars would require that 90% of the vehicle to be fuel. That's from Low Earth Orbit, not even taking into account getting that off the Earth.

Using more economical and efficient drives, such as Ion and Nuclear, we can propel more mass, faster and farther. Taking objects from the Kuiper belt and launching them back using mathematically calculated routes, we can brake using few rockets and the planets gravity wells, the same goes for getting us there. Getting it down is another story, although if an economical and possible space elevator was created, we could easily ship goods between Earth and LEO.



None.

Nov 14 2007, 9:41 am Sie_Sayoka Post #16



Quote from Sie_Sayoka
As for overpopulation, the baby-boomer period is coming to and end, people are having less kids, the population will eventually even out. However third world countries are not having less children, but then again mortality rates are much higher there.

Quote from WoAHorde
Overpopulation causes more strain on the environment, requires even more goods and food to be produced which can't be with current capabilities, among other things. I'm not looking at a bright future for humanity. I see America fucking itself over within 20 years, along with half of the world, IMO.

Overpopulation will not happen anytime soon, for developed countries at least. As I said before third world countries population will continue to increase but overpopulation will not spur space colonization.



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Nov 14 2007, 9:59 am DT_Battlekruser Post #17



The simple limitations of Einsteinian mechanics makes it impractical to ever travel beyond out solar system. Even at the speed of light, it would take 4.22 years (Earth-relative) to reach the nearest star, and many more still to reach the nearest planet. Not to mention that we are not yet capable of traveling anywhere near such a speed. From even this cosmic stone's throw from Earth, it would take 8.4 years to send a message to our own solar system and receive a reply.

Any intersolar colonies would be utterly cut off from eachother, such that any cooperation or real communication between them would be virtually impossible.

As for intrasolar expansion, if humans ever come to rely on such, we are just going to keep making more humans until we tax whatever planets/moons we colonize.




None.

Nov 14 2007, 1:42 pm BeDazed Post #18



Although, thats only Einsteinian mechanics, our limited knowledge of physics. We could go with the popular sci-fi methods of interstellar travel if we ever try and develope an interstellar travel technology, such as the alcubierre drive (i.e. warp drive)

Communication might be possible through tiny lorentzian wormhole (enough to send signals), connecting 2 devices to each other in a relativistically close distance compared to the real distance input.

Quote
As for intrasolar expansion, if humans ever come to rely on such, we are just going to keep making more humans until we tax whatever planets/moons we colonize.
We will have to rely on this method to survive for longer periods.

Quote
Overpopulation will not happen anytime soon, for developed countries at least. As I said before third world countries population will continue to increase but overpopulation will not spur space colonization.
Overpopulation is only just the small reasons of why we need to go to space. Another reason why most countries are competing for space is that space is full of rich resources, new opportunities, and as a mean of survival.



None.

Nov 14 2007, 5:30 pm frazz Post #19



Quote from WoaHorde
It is not a "unconfirmed made up factoid", you're just ignorant of knowing the facts. Charon, Pluto, and Europa are planet sized examples, each containing more water and water-ice in fresh water form than Earth. Ceres sits in the asteroid belt, also with more fresh water than Earth. I want my million now.
You seem to think Ceres is a comet. I believe it's classified as a Dwarf. Also, I said a million dollars for a SOURCE. It seems you are unable to locate one.

Quote from WoaHorde
Using more economical and efficient drives, such as Ion and Nuclear, we can propel more mass, faster and farther. Taking objects from the Kuiper belt and launching them back using mathematically calculated routes, we can brake using few rockets and the planets gravity wells, the same goes for getting us there. Getting it down is another story, although if an economical and possible space elevator was created, we could easily ship goods between Earth and LEO.
Force = mass * acceleration
For any sort of reasonable time (say hundreds of years) we would need to go several kilometers per second from the kupier belt. If the asteroid were all ice, that'd be about .9 g/cm^3. Even a tiny one, say a sphere 5 km in diameter (just for simplicity) is massive.
According to my calculations, that's 4.71 E15 kg. The approximate Force required to accelerate that to even 50km/s is about 2.36*10^20 Joules. That is a massive amount of Force. Maybe you don't get how big that is. Factor in moving all that fuel across the solar system and you might realize what a bad idea this would be. Even with something like a plasma engine that would be near impossible, and definitely not worth the payload. All that water would evaporate, and you'd need to do it several hundred times to get any sort of noticeable difference.



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Nov 14 2007, 7:11 pm Cnl.Fatso Post #20



Quote
You guys do know that venus is the 2nd planet from the sun, and as a result it is 460 degrees Celsius. Combined with the volcanic activity and carbon/sulfur in its atmosphere I believe that it is safe to say that it will not harbor any life anytime soon(or at all)

It's only 460 degrees Celsius because of the atmosphere. IF we found a way to clear that up (whether or not we could do it with our present state of technology) it could become something more reasonable (though still well above human tolerance). After that... well... there's always the "big f*cking air conditioner" standby. But practically speaking, Venus is out of the question.

Mars is less so, but it's too damned small. It can't hold an atmosphere. Terraforming is practically not a reality for Mars. We'd have to live in pressurized domes.

Quote
Yes, YES! And that rare metal will be 'Gundanium', strongest metal in the known universe, ideal for giant mobile-suit armor. With this, the colonies can not be ignored!

That response just made my day.



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