Across the Universe?

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AuthorTopic: Across the Universe?
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #0
NASA claims they will organize a manned spaceflight to Mars. We certainly have the necessary technology to perform such a feat, but why should we travel to Mars? Yes, we are constantly yearning to quench our endless questions about the universe, but aside from that I doubt their is any credible reason to do so.

Some hopeful individuals feel that we are capable of colonizing other solar systems, or even terraform currently uninhabitable planets. The nearest solar system to our sun is Alpha Centauri, and even that is over four light years away. Laws of physics state that faster than light travel is impossible, so getting there anytime soon is unlikely. Even so, many scientists have concluded that wormholes are entirely possible. Wormholes, however, require a massive amount of matter and energy, and humans are incapable of such a feat.

My question is; is there any valid reason to attempt the colonization of other planets?

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"On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and the tossing of the sea" Luke 21:25
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7252
Profile #1
Earth is what God gave to us..I'm happy in it..

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Humans fight to enter insanity.
You ain't evil until you hear this!
Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 961
Profile #2
The reality is that at this point, we really can't colonize other planets. And current science authorities tell us that it won't ever happen. Of course, these are probably the same authorities that told us that man would not fly. So if things change in the future and we find we might have the capability..we most definitely should try. The human race should never turn away from an opportunity to learn and evolve.

---Zelda

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Hey, where are we going? And what's with the handbasket?
Posts: 63 | Registered: Friday, April 12 2002 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #3
If there was ever a lack of argument among politicians, I would suggest colonizing a new planet. Until then, it seems superfluous.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #4
Eventually the Earth won't be here anymore. A couple billion years from now this galaxy will be tangled up with another one. The end of the universe; however, is far off from either of those events. For the survival of humanity we need to get off this rock.

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #5
Nothing would please me more than to siphon resources from other worlds and possibly replace them with the waste products from this one. However, we do not have the technology as of yet for such things to be cost effective. A trip to Mars now seems like a waste.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #6
Colonies in space seem like a good idea. Eggs in one basket and all that. Currently, however, I'd say research on the ground is more useful than things floating towards other orbiting rocks.

—Alorael, who also doesn't see why Mars makes a particularly compelling target for colonization except for being more feasible than alternatives. As a proof of concept the Moon is probably easier.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 27
Profile #7
quote:
NASA claims they will organize a manned spaceflight to Mars. We certainly have the necessary technology to perform such a feat, but why should we travel to Mars? Yes, we are constantly yearning to quench our endless questions about the universe, but aside from that I doubt their is any credible reason to do so.
Well, advancement in research and technology is a pretty good reason.

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Enraged Slith's Blades of Avernum Website

Look out, there's a three-headed monkey behind you!
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #8
Eventually it will become necessary. Earth is being eaten up, and cannot hold much more humans. Already we are seeing droughts, desertification, famines, and we're quickly going through our resources. Overpopulation on Terra will be the death of humanity, through rapid use of our materials, most notably oil. Either cut the population down severely, or get new places for resources.

Alternatively, stacking all of your eggs in one basket is dangerous. It would only take one comet to wipe out all civilization completely, to state the most obvious.

However, doing this now when we don't have the capabilities is a complete waste of time. Go back to Luna and get some infrastructure there for a "Space Harbor", before even thinking of a manned mission to Martia.

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Here will be the pet choices: Potatoe Salmon, Pet Rock, or Sabre-toothed Lime?
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #9
Eh. We could reasonably make it to Alpha Centauri someday. Getting to the nearby solar systems is not in principle out of the question. Relativistic speeds are achievable, albeit with enormous amounts of energy, and while getting to Alpha Centauri is a long trek even at relativistic speeds, it's not beyond the bounds of reason.

Still, there are a couple of major difficulties. Spaceships traveling at relativistic speeds are still impossible in practice with current technology, so getting out of the range of the Sun is not likely soon.

But other, more pressing, problem is: what the heck do we do once we get there? Even presuming that we brought along either terraforming technology (yeah, right) or a small livable environment (a dome with breathable air, say), we still rely on our local astrophysical conditions for basic daily needs. Dismissing day and night — we could simulate that via lights, I suppose — and any sort of solar energy usage, we nevertheless need the Earth for gravity. Even relatively small differences in planet mass (between, say, Earth and Mars) are noticeable in daily life and impact our bodies in strange and generally deleterious ways.

Put another way, to the best of my understanding, we need another planet that has almost exactly Earth's mass in order to be able to live on it. Atmosphere can be simulated, and we can probably mine for most of the stuff that we need (though water would be nice), and even proximity to a star is optional, but gravity is pretty much a must, and that's hard to come by.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #10
We're going to end up living in giant centrifuges. Either that or we're going to start smashing small planets together to get bigger ones.

—Alorael, who isn't so sure that full Earth gravity is essential to human life. It's probably very good, but just getting a reasonable percentage of a g is probably good enough.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #11
Gravitational conditions only need to be close if you are trying to reproduce Earth's environment. A viable colony can exist under a variety of conditions, but it would be easier for most people if they didn't have to adapt to it.

Colonization would allow for the survival of the species from the idiots that are running our current home into the ground. We aren't likely to do interstellar travel for colonization for about 50 years, but there isn't any good reason we can't move to the Moon and Mars. It would be easier than try to build space stations since raw materials would be available instead of putting everything into orbit.

Sending manned expeditions to Mars allows for having a thinking person on site that can adapt to changing conditions. Remote probes have to work when they get there and are limited to what we thought of before sending them. Having a geologist on one of the last Moon expeditions led to finding rock samples that previous expeditions overlooked due to inexperience.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #12
quote:
Originally written by Goldenking:

It would only take one comet to wipe out all civilization completely, to state the most obvious.

I remain unconvinced that this wouldn't be the best remedy for what at best could be described as a viral infection.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

We could reasonably make it to Alpha Centauri someday.
Yeah, but who's going to take first watch when the mind worms come out?

</Meier>

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #14
The most elite unit available. Commandos, if possible. Whoever's most hardened, at any rate.

—Alorael, who recommends launching an orbital bombardment of fungicide first. Transcendence is nice and all, but the nerve stapling on the way gets old.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #15
quote:
Originally written by Zer0:

We're going to end up living in giant centrifuges.
Two words for you: Coriolis Force.

quote:
—Alorael, who isn't so sure that full Earth gravity is essential to human life. It's probably very good, but just getting a reasonable percentage of a g is probably good enough.
Yes, but a "reasonable percentage" is definitely more than 50% and less than 150%, and that's hard to find. In our solar system, only Venus qualifies.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #16
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Zer0:

We're going to end up living in giant centrifuges.
Two words for you: Coriolis force.

WIth a large enough (and therefore low enough in angular velocity) rotating cylinder, you can get a good enough approximation of Earth gravity. The Coriolis effect is less than ideal, but it beats weightlessness.

quote:
quote:
—Alorael, who isn't so sure that full Earth gravity is essential to human life. It's probably very good, but just getting a reasonable percentage of a g is probably good enough.
Yes, but a "reasonable percentage" is definitely more than 50% and less than 150%, and that's hard to find. In our solar system, only Venus qualifies. Mars, for instance, has roughly 40% the gravity that the Earth does.

Cite please? Weightlessness is bad, but how much has the effect of 0.3-0.5g been studied? Again, it's probably not good, but it beats getting hit by a giant meteor. Or nukes.

—Alorael, who also recommends genetic engineering for improved weightlessness tolerance. Oh, and an extra pair of arms. That would be so cool!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #17
Someone recently pointed out to me that the argument about Earth deteriorating through pollution or overpopulation is weak: the Earth would have to deteriorate one heck of a lot before it became a worse place to live than Mars.

But I think eventually we'll do it just because we can. There'll be a bunch of excuses given at the time, but huge as the project is, it will only require a tiny effort on the scale of the entire human race, so the underlying reason why we will go there will just be that it will be cool.

And eventually — centuries from now — I think there will be a sizable human population on Mars. People won't go there to mine minerals or anything like that, though there will probably be mining on Mars. People will go there for the same reason they go to New York City: just because enough people are already there.

The big advantage Mars has over the moon is that it does have an atmosphere. It's very thin, and low in oxygen even at that, but you can pump it up to breathable pressures in a dome, without having to bring it all from Earth and worry about it running out.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #18
I think we'll put boots on Mars if for no other reason than for nationalistic purposes. You'd be amazed how many people find "We're #1!!! Woooo!!!" a compelling reason for doing things.

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 7407
Profile #19
Acording to NASA's vision for space exploration, they aim to put a person on mars by 2035. They will launch this mission from a lunar base which will be established at around 2020.

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We come from the dark side, where there is to be no return.
Sonn the invasion will begin!
Join us now!
http://www.ferion.com/?p=245800
Posts: 22 | Registered: Monday, August 21 2006 07:00
Canned
Member # 8014
Profile #20
Hmm...
-Sol will eventually turn into a red giant and eat Terra
-The supervolcano in Yellow Stone Park might erupt
-HOSTILE ALIENS!!!
-Global Warming
-Black Hole...
-Distant sun might explode
-The presence of Emperor Tullegolar :P

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I can transform into almost anything, but not sanity -Iffy
Muffins n' Hell|Muffins n' Hell: The Muffins Are Back Again
I have an addiction to Spiderweb games.
I like this image
Not in your shed -We are still under developement, but help would be nice. By the way, most of the conversation goes in the Moderator forum, in case your confused.
Iffy= Infernal Flamming Muffin. The y is added to make a word.
lol teh stupd text spek is lik ubar dum lol
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #21
quote:
Originally written by The Iffy Muffin who...does stuff...:

Hmm...
-Sol will eventually turn into a red giant and eat Terra
-The supervolcano in Yellow Stone Park might erupt
-HOSTILE ALIENS!!!
-Global Warming
-Black Hole...
-Distant sun might explode
-The presence of Emperor Tullegolar :P

-That wouln't happen for a serious amount of time. By that point we'll either have sufficiently expanded or be extinct.
-The Yellowstone Volcano would kill spell death for a lot of North Americans, but the rest of the world would cope.
-Hostile Aliens coming to destroy us is extremely unlikely.
-Global Warming, though chaotic, wouldn't necessarily kill everyone. America and Europe would be screwed however.
-What about Black Holes?
-Distant suns explode all the time. What's your point?
-ET is actually very helpful compared to some people.

The most likely candidate to cuase human extinction is an internal threat: Us. We have the capabilities of destroying the species, and it only takes one Kim Jong Mentally Ill to send the world into Nuclear Hell. Thankfully we dropped the nukes in Japan, or we wouldn't be able to fully understand the danger that hangs over us.

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Here will be the pet choices: Potatoe Salmon, Pet Rock, or Sabre-toothed Lime?
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #22
quote:
[B]Yeah, but who's going to take first watch when the mind worms come out?[B/]
Mind worms are easily captured with a high Planet score, even easier when you choose the Gaian faction.

I thought demon muffins were immune to black holes!
quote:
[B] Black Hole... [B/]
Black holes rarely occur anywhere outside the center of a galaxy.

Supposedly, there are five points in our solar system where a centrifugal station can exist without orbiting a planet.

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"On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and the tossing of the sea" Luke 21:25
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 9887
Profile #23
Also they are wondering about how they will colonize the moon due to cosmic rays, lack of oxygen, and the fact that the moon is covered in a layer of extremely corrosive dust that literally gets everywhere.

[ Thursday, November 08, 2007 17:17: Message edited by: The Ratt ]

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The best way to spell Geneforge: "Genefroge"

I make guacamole at work
Posts: 454 | Registered: Monday, August 20 2007 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #24
quote:
Originally written by Zer0:

WIth a large enough (and therefore low enough in angular velocity) rotating cylinder, you can get a good enough approximation of Earth gravity. The Coriolis effect is less than ideal, but it beats weightlessness.
Yes, the co-rotating frame has a centrifugal force that can mimic gravity. But you'd need a whopping big centrifuge not to notice the Coriolis force that you also get in a co-rotating frame.

Apparently the calculation has been done, and the necessary size scale is apparently hundreds of meters to make the Coriolis force not disastrous, which is actually not unthinkably large, just large. As an engineering and practical problem, it's not quite as bad as that of the relativistic spaceship. But it's still pretty bad.

quote:
Cite please? Weightlessness is bad, but how much has the effect of 0.3-0.5g been studied?
Eh, not much, to the best of my knowledge. It would be pretty weird to live in, though. And we're talking about the very long-term, if we're talking about colonies. The colonists might have trouble having children: fetal development in low-g is probably completely screwed up, at the very least.

quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Black holes rarely occur anywhere outside the center of a galaxy.
Not true. They are actually more common as the remains of high-mass stars. Still, I wouldn't worry about a black hole coming along and eating us any time soon. I'd worry more about dark matter. That sneaky, sneaky dark matter. It's right behind you, you know.

[ Thursday, November 08, 2007 17:59: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00

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