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Author Topic: Colonising planets  (Read 16182 times)

mostmodest

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Colonising planets
« on: May 14, 2013, 01:33:35 AM »

To start, read these:
http://www.popsci.com.au/technology/space/how-does-spacex-plan-to-move-thousands-of-humans-to-mars
http://io9.com/5963349/spacex-founder-unveils-plan-to-send-80000-people-to-mars
http://www.space.com/18596-mars-colony-spacex-elon-musk.html
http://www.popsci.com.au/science/apply-now-for-a-one-way-trip-to-mars

Now to discuss.
What do you think of the current plans? How do you think they would ensure the colonists survive (i.e, power, oxygen, water, etc.)? Would you like to go? Why/why not?

I think the plans seem viable, as long as they can land on Mars.
I reckon something like a solar-power generator to create electricity would provide power, which could be used to electrolyse water to creat oxygen; and the water could be melted from the ice.
I would love to go. The idea of leaving Earth kinda seems a bit depressing, but hey, I'd love to go somewhere new, explore a new land and be apart of something great.

So, discuss SpaceX's plans, other colonisation plans, etc. and anything colonisation related.

PLEASE, NO TROLLS OR SPAM
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TJJ

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 02:06:11 AM »

Extremely optimistic.

I doubt we'll see colonisation of Mars within even the most optimistic projections of my life span. (100 years)
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mostmodest

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 02:26:25 AM »

I disagree.
They already have several prototype crafts in design, and have ideas on how to improve them (that was Nov. last year). They have the ideas of the basic technology they'll need and the funding (they need 36 billion USD, they get 40 billion USD from the tickets).
The technology is there, it's just a matter of putting it together in the next few years.
I think it is very likely within our lifetime.
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FloW

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 04:07:24 AM »

Fascinating.

None of the articles mention how long it will take to fly from Earth to Mars. If you check one of the articles you will see that they talk about a 40 minute communication delay. It takes light 40 minutes to travel from Earth to Mars (although I'm not sure if that's the average, best-case or worst-case). After checking around a bit, it turns out that it took Curiosity 8 months to go from Earth to Mars.
Also: Fuel consumption. The more you send up to space, the more fuel you need. More fuel however means more weight, so you need even more fuel.
Now, if I remember right, they said something about "sending 4 people to Mars to set everything up, so that after 1 year the next few people can show up and help further". There will be 4 people, traveling together for over 1 and a half years.

Overall: It is possible, but is it feasible? Hell no. It would be a case of "We do it because we have the money, don't care about resources and simply do it because we can." There are far too many things that can go wrong. From simple technical problems all the way up to social problems.

And if you want to be part of something great, you can always start studying and try to research some stuff about AIs and so on. I heard that we are not too far away from self-learning AIs and processors powerful enough to simulate humans (which are far more awesome imo, mostly due to ethics).
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mostmodest

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 04:23:03 AM »

Now, if I remember right, they said something about "sending 4 people to Mars to set everything up, so that after 1 year the next few people can show up and help further". There will be 4 people, traveling together for over 1 and a half years.

Are you thinking of the reality show they're planning on doing?
Different company, same ships, different plan.

Fuel-wise, a setup such as a fuel cell which is powered by the combination of hydrogen gas and oxygen to form water could power the ship, with a solar panel being used to power an electrolysis reaction to revert the water to the gases.
Obviously, food and supplies for construction would need to be brought along, although the food could come with the colonists, and the supplies could be dropped in beforehand.
The proposed plan is sending in the man behind the organisation along with 10 people to kick of the building, and then people would be ferried across. It would be a one-way trip, with "cyclers" being a few decades away. Also, SpaceX is only handling transport, other companies would develop/design the colonies to be sent.
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Thule

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 04:35:47 AM »

And if you want to be part of something great, you can always start studying and try to research some stuff about AIs and so on. I heard that we are not too far away from self-learning AIs and processors powerful enough to simulate humans (which are far more awesome imo, mostly due to ethics).

Sounds like you could know Charles Stross and his novel "Accelerando".
IMHO he is the Jules Verne of 21st Century.
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Decer304

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 04:57:30 AM »

Hmmm. Its quite interesting, we have already developed self sustaining biospheres and i think we are able to turn unbreathable air into breathable air. Its just a matter of transportation. Currently fuel is the main issue. Because of Earths gravity, it requires so much power to get off the ground and into sub-space. To transport just one piece of satellite equipment already needs a full sized rocket with a ridiculous amount of fuel. So it'll be a while before we get fuel efficient transportation into space. I guess if we could split atoms, it'll generate heaps of energy, well, look at a hydrogen bomb, it works by splitting atoms which is the cause of its devastating power, if we could miniturise and control it, imagine what we could do with all that?
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FloW

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 06:00:33 AM »

Now, if I remember right, they said something about "sending 4 people to Mars to set everything up, so that after 1 year the next few people can show up and help further". There will be 4 people, traveling together for over 1 and a half years.

Are you thinking of the reality show they're planning on doing?
Different company, same ships, different plan.

Fair enough. Although iirc they also said that they will only show the finale of the selection process, not the traveling. What I wanted to say was, that after seeing the same 4 people for over 1 year you might be a bit annoyed at them. Disregard that, just remembered the Mars500 project.

Fuel-wise, a setup such as a fuel cell which is powered by the combination of hydrogen gas and oxygen to form water could power the ship, with a solar panel being used to power an electrolysis reaction to revert the water to the gases.

Just take a look at the ISS and do it similar. The biggest problem I see there would be the fact that the energy from the sun gets less to the power of 2 (1/r^2), I think? A quick search comes up with a average distance of around 1.5 AU for Mars, so you would need about twice the area for solar cells. (Disclaimer: I'm no astrophysicist and do not know too much about the inner workings of solar cells, just the basics)

Sounds like you could know Charles Stross and his novel "Accelerando".
IMHO he is the Jules Verne of 21st Century.

Ummm, no. Just some general interest in the development of processors and looking at Moore's Law and such.

I guess if we could split atoms, it'll generate heaps of energy, well, look at a hydrogen bomb, it works by splitting atoms which is the cause of its devastating power, if we could miniturise and control it, imagine what we could do with all that?

Has been done already (apparently in the 60s). A quick read shows though, that it is better to use the energy to create electricity which is used to create an ion stream. Though this would require a "start from orbit", as these engines are unable to produce enough power/lift to get the rocket off the ground.
(kinda old, but it states the problem and solution clearly: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/05/russia_nasa_nuclear_spacecraft/ )
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 06:10:37 AM by FloW »
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TheHappyFace

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 06:26:38 AM »

i think the big question is not, can we do it? ,but, do we want to spend all that money on it? while at the moment there is simply no need for it.
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Decer304

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 06:51:30 AM »

i think the big question is not, can we do it? ,but, do we want to spend all that money on it? while at the moment there is simply no need for it.
I think currently with our level of efficency and tech, it would be possible. I think it'll be a waste of money currently especially in the bad financial position of almost every country now, there a better things to sped money on. Until we can develop more efficient technologies at a smaller scale, then up size it for space use, its not going to happen.
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Hyph_K31

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 07:07:49 AM »

I think this is maybe a bit off topic, but hey!

Currently, AFAIK, the main thing we're looking at when is comes to space is asteroids. Why? Not just because they're really rather dangerous, but they're also packed full of various valuable and useful resources.

So, I would imagine the day we have effective engines for economic space travel would be the day we starting asteroid mining. And I suppose setting our sights on Mars may well help speed things up in that area. (That last part was a bit of a poke in the dark, but what better incentive is there to develop technology than monetary greed? Other than war.)
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hadesian

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 08:05:26 AM »

i think the big question is not, can we do it? ,but, do we want to spend all that money on it? while at the moment there is simply no need for it.
The money spawned from such a project far outweighs almost any other human development aside from the entire combined Industrial Revolution. Untold trillions would be injected from what we could mine and research. And, depending on how exploitative we are, it could be quadrillions.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 10:06:48 AM by Xareh »
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sdmike1

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 09:45:57 AM »

Seriously although the upfront capital is quite significant the payoff would be huge!

TJJ

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2013, 05:54:07 PM »

The money spawned from such a project far outweighs almost any other human development aside from the entire combined Industrial Revolution. Untold trillions would be injected from what we could mine and research. And, depending on how exploitative we are, it could be quadrillions.

Resources mined on Mars will only be of use on Mars; elevating resources out of a planetary gravity to transfer them to another planet is a ridiculous proposition.

In more general economic terms, doing anything on an inhospitable planet (such as Mars) will always be drastically more expensive than doing it on a hospitable planet (such as Earth).
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NITROtbomb

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2013, 07:05:16 PM »

research plasma engines or watch this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWXR0lVtliw
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