http://corky.net/dotan/log/images/bernalcutaway-800.jpg

As most of you in the Star Trek generation have come to think, someday humans will be going out from Earth and colonizing other planets. And since we evolved on this planet we are used to the idea of living on planets. But when you think about it, the idea of colonizing outer space itself makes more sense. When you think about giant space colonies orbiting the Sun it’s far easier and more practical than trying to live on planets.

Living on planets have a lot of disadvantages. In our solar system the only other possibility is Mars for a planet where you might be able some day (in tens of thousands of years) be able to walk outside without a space suit on. So if your on a planet or the moon you’re going to have to build something that is as strong as a space habitat anyway. The disadvantages of living on planets or moons are.:

  1. It’s fixed size and small. We have already filled up the Earth and Mars and the Moon are smaller.
  2. Going outside requires a space suit. We will probably never be able to create an outside environment we can live in.
  3. It is what it is. Gravity, size, location, orbit aren’t going to change.
  4. It’s a gravity hole. Takes a lot of energy to take off and land if you are leaving to go somewhere else in the solar system.
  5. And you have to deal with weather and the planet’s personalty. Floods, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.
  6. Bottom line – planets suck. A planet is just a pothole in the space time continuum.

But – living in space is far more interesting. But before I describe it we are going to have to assume a far greater technology than we have today. So I’ll start there.

In the future we will have perfected mining and manufacturing in space which is done 100% by autonomous robots. The are lots of asteroids out there that contain everything we have on earth and are a lot easier to mine. On Earth all the good stuff sank to the core when the planet was molten. In asteroids there’s all the platinum group metals and asteroids are generally a lot softer stuff to dig into not having been compacted by gravity.

Robotic space craft will be able to fly off to an asteroid and stat making anything you want out of the raw materials there. The robot could replicate itself there to increase productivity or have the replica fly off to yet another asteroid to mine. Water can be turned into rocket fuel and the sun provides an unlimited amount of electricity. These robots could manufacture giant space colonies to be the home of billions of people. And there’s plenty of room to make as many as we need to.

Gravity is artificially produced by rotation so you can set the gravity to wherever you want. Full gravity on the outer ring. Reduced gravity as you move towards the center. Might be handy for old people to live in 1/3 gravity so if they fell they wouldn’t get hurt.

Anyhow – after viewing a lot of YouTube videos on asteroid mining I’m seeing the future of humanity differently and that colonizing space is far better than colonizing planets. Might need to come up with some new science fiction to start exploring the idea. This video is inspiring.

 



  1. Captain Obvious says:

    All the people who come up with crazy ideas and make them reality read science fiction.

    • bobbo, Nattering nabobs never negotiate nuanced notions not nonsensical says:

      Nice wag. Certainly lots of crazy stuff was implemented before the genre of SF was even created. After what, the mid 19th Cent, I’ll take the opposite side of the wager and say that while everyone has read some SF, “most” scientists are not “readers” of SF as you posit the term.

      No—as their name suggests—they read in the sense you mean: SCIENCE!!!!

      I have only anecdotal evidence for this and my own gut hunch. I do admire my guts though.

      …… but I dither.

  2. bobbo, Nattering nabobs never negotiate nuanced notions not nonsensical says:

    I don’t buy it. You have to identify and be pragmatic about what hoomans can imagine vs what we can realistically do given demands that life makes on us.

    About a week ago some science show reviewed how long the dinosaurs lived, what was it like 2-3-4-5-6 Hundred Million Years and we could blow ourselves up at any time? The point he made was that there is no reason to think that intelligence is a key to longevity as a species. I think intelligence is the key to colonizing other worlds or space, but not for simply getting by?

    So easy to anthropomorphize everything with a double helping of ego and stupidity or rather ego and narrow mindedness?

    Colonize space and all we can rely on is ourselves. Colonize a planet and Mother Gaia is there to help.

    IDK. Right now, I’m egotistical and narrow minded enough to think I really would not want an environment with ONLY other hoomans. Green plants, blue water, brown earth==good stuff.

    Anyone have their colors done recently?

  3. bobbo, Nattering nabobs never negotiate nuanced notions not nonsensical says:

    Once you have the technology to go to space, you have the technology to rehab the earth as well.

    “Space…. the final frontier.” /// Or just poetic nonsense. Time, distance, energy, complexity, interconnectedness, scale.

    $$$$

    Alternatives.

    Lots of reasons to reach for the stars, but keep our feet firmly planted in reality.

    Yea, verily!!

  4. Paper Moon says:

    So, those UFOs may not be earthly spy drones.

    They’re just orbiting neighbors coming home from a Saturday night intergalactic kegger.

    (That explains why they move so erratic and have green faces.)

    • Tim says:

      Those are military “non terrestrial officers” and they are green because they are translating around in microgravity without the benifit of cannabis and are, in fact, quite sickly because they had to piss to get up there in the first place.

  5. bobbo says:

    You know….. I hate being stuck in my rut: “the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist”. I’d really like to imagine life/industry/$$ in and from space….. but its all BS. In fact: EXAGGERATED BS.

    I stopped listening around 20 min at the segue into how much cheaper it is to collect water from space rather than haul it up from earth. ………. You see ………. THAT is the WHOLE PROBLEM.

    At 15:06 he asks “Where is the value in going to space..”

    ….. and at 15:55 he magically assumes the answer: “…if you think forward to an established industry in space….”

    WHAT THE FUCK? That is the whole issue. Let me recontextualize? It is very easy to flush a toilet on the 110th Floor of a skyscraper. Very easy: just start by assuming the skyscraper has been built and the toilet paper dispenser is full. Easy as peasy can be. Just ASSUME the skyscraper is in place.

    The challenge to raping near satelites in space as we have done here on Earth is in “establishing (any) industry in space.”

    Silly hoomans. (…..♫…. Hucksters selling spaaaaaaace…… the final frontier for man, the first frontier for fraudsters.)

    Same as it always was.

  6. ECA says:

    UNTIL you can dig up MEGA tons of materials and it not cost MEGA bucks… this wont happen.

    Its like building a space ship, in space..getting the materials up there take money..building LARGE ships takes materials from earth..

    sO, WE HAVE TO GO TO THE MOON ANYWAY..

  7. Captain Obvious says:

    io9’s essential science fiction and fantasy books coming in 2014.

  8. dusanmal says:

    There is no “either-or” clause here. Humanity can and should aim ASAP both to space habitation and to terraforming other planets/moons as well as adapting ourselves to live and use resources there. That is in our genes. Our evolution ary path and forces that drive it are clear: spread, learn how to use resources there, out-compete competitive species there, multiply, advance. No “conservative” principles in our nature, contrary to constant Left push for those (with nice oxymoron, Leftist for conservative usage of resources…).
    Wrong science-fiction, though. What we are by design and what Natural laws support are Independence Day Aliens. Either we will follow rules of Nature and our evolutionary path and competitively spread, using all resources available and fighting for those resources or we will encounter species that does so and lives by the laws of Nature. Unlike pro-human resolution in Independence Day movie, any scientific examination of present-day-ideology humans colliding with behaving-like-Nature-dictates alien species can yield only one outcome, survival of the fittest, of the most hungry and ready for the resources. Of the more vicious one.

    • Tim says:

      So. They are going to eat my brains. I hope the verichip doesn’t break their teeth like a granola bar does mom’s.

    • What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

      Reading you is like reading a propagandist on coke and heroin.

      There is nothing we can reach by traveling through 4-dementional space, and there is no point in trying.

      Send what we know into the cosmos, like a message in a bottle, and our experience will last in the minds of others.

      Perhaps we will receive a message in a bottle too, and recognize it for what it is.

  9. dusanmal says:

    And, no those potential Aliens will not call it “Mother Earth” but something like resource 64A-9B. Either we use it or it will be used with us alongside.
    Immediate ideological and conceptual change in that direction: Aiming for Mars habitation in a decade, Jupiter and Saturn moons in 50 years. Immediate move to primitively terraform Mars by regular, weekly launching of Earthen microorganisms, algae, lichen,… anything that may stick toward Mars. Immediate ten fold increase in Earth resources extraction with aim to establish asteroid mining space colonies within 20-40 years. Employment for billions. Profits for billions. Evolutionary spread of humanity.
    Instead we limit CO2 at expense of polluting with likes of mercury (lightbulbs) or Nature-unknown chemicals (WV “clean coal” spill), we waste time and resources by sterilizing spacecraft and do not drill for resources our species needs to allow things like evolutionary competitors for the same area, caribou to claim the habitat. Absolutely counter-evolutionary. Absolutely perverted.

    • Tim says:

      ^^ Exactly that.

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        So much “Devo” going on.

        One basic understanding of evolution: it is non goal oriented. course that is “natural” selection.

        Human Guided Evolution the type retarded Douchanus votes for is not natural at all. It is by name MAN directed. We can direct ourselves at a fantasy in space ((which will never happen because we can’t afford it)) or we can direct ourselves to creating a paradise on Earth ((which will never happen until it becomes quasi religious)).

        Silly Hoomans.

      • Tim says:

        And starting out slow first by living in CAVES again.

  10. Marshall Eubanks says:

    There may be more than just rare earth elements and platinum in the asteroids : http://www.vixra.org/pdf/1312.0190v1.pdf

    In that case, all bets are off, and we are likely in for an interesting few decades.

  11. XBox Loggoff says:

    Did someone just recently see Elysium?

  12. RR1 says:

    She’s got a ticket to Rama
    She’s got a ticket to Rama
    She’s got a ticket to Rama
    But she don’t care

    My baby don’t care, my baby don’t care

    • Glick says:

      My foster mom went to Rama and all I got back was this crazy-ass octo-spider.

  13. One says:

    NOTICE:
    ——–

    Please pay no attention to the entities calling themselves Bobbo or Dallas.

    These digital curiosities contribute nothing to the conversations and unfortunately just take up room (please scroll up if you need proof). Thanks to some Communist party propaganda that they feel some twisted need to propagate, these long winded short sighted individuals now make it necessary to post this reminder: So please don’t feed these animals with any more comments and try to ignore their trolling nonsense.

    Otherwise, please move about the site at your pleasure with more elevated conversation.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

    • Any Who says:

      +1

      I was going to say that all any BOOB is good for is SUCKING! But, instead I think I will offer an apology.

      Sorry you’re such a lonely bitter looser there Bobbo. Sux 2 B U with nothing but a blogging device that gives you any meaning in your world.

      It’s now clear to me that your only reason for living is to blog on someone Else’s web site where you try to piss off as many people as you can. I have no doubt that you have no real life and that you’ve probably had your ass kicked once too often that all you have left is shit for brains. So, sorry about that.

      L8R Looser. See ya on the next thread…

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        Nothing specific? ie–how is what I posted “wrong.”

        Yeap.

  14. IM75 says:

    “So if you’re on a planet” not “So if your on a planet”. I’m sure you spent a lot of time on this, so just thought you’d like to know that.

  15. Bob Freeman says:

    We need a cheaper way to get materials off this rock. Hydrogen balloon for lift, add oxygen from cylinders to power a small rocket engine, then the empty shell as a solar sail.
    More at http://h2liftship.com

  16. observer says:

    “The High Frontier” by Gerard K. O’Neil

    “2312” by Kim Stanley Robinson

  17. NewFormatSux says:

    Send Matt Damon there.

  18. ReadyKilowatt says:

    No way. We are far to inefficient at energy use to live in space. Much better to adapt ourselves to consume photons and nuclear force directly (or use electricity as an intermediary). Just the amount of energy wasted in keeping liquid water so we can stay wet is far more than can be practically carried to the closest stars, even if you mine it from something with less gravity.

    Imagine an AI that can shut down parts of itself until they’re necessary. Not only would it help conserve energy, it could basically maintain a simple bootloader-like program while in route to keep itself from being bored. Once it reaches a destination it powers up the high level functions and begins the mission.

    We won’t be the interstellar travelers we dream of, but we’ll evolve into them as we combine tech and biology.

  19. Jon Fitch says:

    The concept is spot-on. I’ve been thinking about the problem with scifi and how it treats local gravity for a while. After leaving the Earth, any gravity well that you land on will become your gravity well. If it is “lighter” than Earth like Mars or the moon, you can’t return to Earth after a generation or two without major readjustment and perhaps death. If it’s “heavier” than Earth, then your body adjusts to that gravity as well with unknown consequences because we haven’t experienced “heavy” gravity yet.

    Once we leave the planet for a significant period of time, we’re not coming back. Embrace the black void and adjust to it. As for building a ship, we will take an asteroid and make it our own by hollowing it out and adding another one or two to it for storage/reaction mass.

    We must leave the planet and it’s gravity well if we are to survive over eons. Why drop into another gravity well and have to do it all over again? The future is between the stars.

  20. Uncle Patso says:

    If we’re going to talk about BIG engineering projects, here’s a couple of ideas:

    Mars is too small and too far from the sun for comfort; Venus is too close to the sun for comfort — engineer some interaction between the two to equalize their orbits. Create three planets, Earth Mars and Venus in a big equilateral, sharing the same orbit. The climate on Venus might cool down over a few millennia to make it a useful planet.

    Or drop a few billion tons of asteroids and comets on Mars to give it more mass and a useful amount of volatiles for atmosphere and surface water and maybe bring its orbit closer to the sun in the process.

    A practical skyhook/elevator-to-orbit would be a major help to all these ideas, not to mention where we are now.

    • bobbo, Onomatopoeia often occurs occluding obstreperous opinions: ow, Ow, OW, OW!!!!! says:

      “The climate on Venus might cool down over a few millennia to make it a useful planet.” /// Say Unc==what percentage of “might” is IMPOSSIBLE? You do know the future of Venus is to be swallowed by the Sun as it cools/throws off more heat/ and expands?

      The plot to 2312 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2312_%28novel%29) more reasonably (but still fantasy based==not even Sci Fi as the distantly possible) was to have our city on Venus “on wheels” so it could match the rotation of Venus and always be on the dark side of things. ((I should check–has Venus not been captured by Suns Gravity and stopped rotating?—Oh, who cares. If 2312 has a city on wheels, it must rotate or it wouldn’t be credible!)

      Raise your hand: are we going to the stars while 30% of people on Earth still live in poverty and disease or would those “challenges to Man’s Science” be taken care of first?….. Then….. if those problems are taken care of, why would anyone great % of people want to leave???

      Ha, ha. Fun to see those who might reject Flat Earth Religion go on to believe in the same level of fantasy because “Science” is in the title.

      Yea, verily!

      • danBran says:

        That’s Mercury in 2312 not Venus

        • bobbo, Onomatopoeia often occurs occluding obstreperous opinions: ow, Ow, OW, OW!!!!! says:

          My error was not intentional. Just bad memory for side issues. Hmmmm….. not being a physicist, or even a scientist,…… MERCURY????? Really???

          Seems way too hot and way too small (gravity). Venus is a much better choice even for something practically speaking: impossible. Maybe I should write my own book???? What would happen? Word for word the same book except for describing Venus instead of Mercury. Ha, ha.

          “The implication” is you agree with everything else I posted??????

      • Tim says:

        bobbo, it’s been 5 years. It’s time. You have cleaned public lavatories and read the science on the studio halls and bathroom stalls so that you have finally earned this brush. Now.. You go boy, and, as you enjoy your heart-felt-given gift, ignore those loud, continuous sounds which are breaking the windows…. I never expected you to do windows… don’t start now. Peaceful Armaggeddon, Tim

        http://youtube.com/watch?v=LUUmTMTCy48
        http://youtube.com/watch?v=SsDEfu8s1Lw&feature=player_detailpage#t=66

        {oh, hush,TB… convince them to give us to go back and edit and i’ll ficks it. }

    • Tim says:

      “”Venus is too close to the sun for comfort

      Not really. Not if we float in the atmosphere there. The atmosphere is so dense that a ship with lifting gas of *Earth air* at it’s natural constituency with the %78 nitrogen and everything is boyant at an elevation where the temperature is in the low 70s yet still plenty of atmosphere above to protect from cosmic rays. Perfect.

  21. sargasso_c says:

    A greed fuelled mass extinction on Earth is pretty much underway. I question the morality of people who contributed most to it then wanting to build a Club Med in space.

    • bobbo, Onomatopoeia often occurs occluding obstreperous opinions: ow, Ow, OW, OW!!!!! says:

      Yep…as in an auction to Hunt on of the 5000 Namidia Black Rhino “to help it” survive.

      As I recall, some other Black Rhino becaume extinct last year? I wonder if thru another Hunt to help it survive?

      http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/01/09/black-rhino-hunt-auction-wont-help-conservation/

      Not the same greed you are talking about, but the same kind of self destruction that gives our species the desire to leave “earth” which is really a desire to separate from our fellow hoomans.

      Yea, verily.

      • Tim says:

        “”I love animals. It’s why I like to kill them. If we didn’t kill animals, they would die anyways. I’m an environmentalist…

      • Tim says:

        “”which is really a desire to separate from our fellow hoomans.

        Fuck you guys. As soon as my overpressured water heater is charged, I’m outta here!

  22. Hmeyers says:

    Spaceships in the ocean would be an even better idea!

    Saves all the messiness of launching stuff.

    If you are going to be in the middle of nowhere anyway — which is what space is — why not be in the middle of nowhere with water.

  23. bobbo, Onomatopoeia often occurs occluding obstreperous opinions: ow, Ow, OW, OW!!!!! says:

    From Above, as who needs to “look” for what is new?????

    danBran says:
    1/13/2014 at 11:19 pm

    That’s Mercury in 2312 not Venus
    Reply

    bobbo, Onomatopoeia often occurs occluding obstreperous opinions: ow, Ow, OW, OW!!!!! says:
    1/14/2014 at 3:30 am

    My error was not intentional. Just bad memory for side issues. Hmmmm….. not being a physicist, or even a scientist,…… MERCURY????? Really???

    Seems way too hot and way too small (gravity). Venus is a much better choice even for something practically speaking: impossible. Maybe I should write my own book???? What would happen? Word for word the same book except for describing Venus instead of Mercury. Ha, ha.

    “The implication” is you agree with everything else I posted??????

    //////////////////////// Just getting to Venus much less MERCURY reminds me of the joke about Polish Astronauts going to the Sun…… they planned to go at night to avoid the extreme temperatures. I suppose space ships can be shielded against the Sun’s heat at that minimal distance. Rotation speed of Mercury is doable…only a few miles per hour to have our colony constantly moving with any short failure to result in a hot or cold death.

    Would it be Possible… or Impossible or practically so? Like: Possible but with 4-5 accidents along the way making it just way too expensive. You know: when people won’t fund FOOD FOR POOR KIDDIES….how long will the masses starve inorder to have space ships blow up on the way to Mercury for Christs Sake?

    Read a nice article about Game App construction: all the same plot elements, physics, goals, mechanics etc. Just change the characters/landscape from bugs to space angels with swords. One game will be popular, the other VERY POPULAR because certain “notions” appeal to us. Angels: yes…. bugs: not so much.

    Same with Science Fiction. Make it entirely fantasy, and people recognize it. Put a shit load of science on it…..and the game becomes a winner even though its the same fantasy.

    Hoomans. What you gonna do?

  24. Glenn E. says:

    Just a few insurmountable problems. Like it would be impossible to allow the population to grow, beyond a certain point. Certain frequencies of radiation will get thru, unimpeded by a thick atmosphere. And every now and then a stray meteorite comes crashing thru your glass dome. But if you advocates want to risk it, fine. I just hope the cost to build such a folly, doesn’t further bankrupt the economy of Earth’s developed nations.

  25. deowll says:

    Gravity wells keep the atmosphere in. The atmosphere protects us from space debris which can kill use. A speck of old paint and orbital speeds can do a number on you and will damage the ship. Then you are going to need to get all the needed material together to make this habitat. This is not going to happen in your life time.

    • Little Timmy says:

      I sneaked out at apogee and threw Reeses Peicies off the aft staging pad, this one time at bandwidth camp.

  26. Quivering Quislings quake quantifying querulous questions says:

    Well Timmy–the first two tangential links did not engage me, so I didn’t review the rest. That is the challenge of tangents, like poetry, our own muse, our own quest: not of much interest/meaning to anyone else.

    Ain’t that a Bitch?

  27. Traaxx says:

    We won’t be doing either, they’ve already decided to reduce our current population by 99.8%, if you’re lucky – like Lottery Winner Lucky or Being Struck by Lightning Twice Lucky – you might be one of the 500 million (or 250 depending upon whose literature you read) they allow to remain breathing………..Welcome to the New World Order

    Whatever………………………………………………………………………………..
    Traaxx

  28. Pete says:

    You’re*

  29. Pete says:

    *you’re


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