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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Author Topic: Colonising planets  (Read 15734 times)

Hyph_K31

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 12:47:11 AM »

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).

I'm pretty sure he was alluding to asteroid mining. If he wasn't... For shame!

Anyway, plasma engines! I remember hearing about those a long while ago (maybe... Four or three years?), so I assume they've been in development for quite some time. Currently, the propulsion system seems viable, but powering the thing?! I think they're either going to have to build some sort of reactor that can safely be used in space, or figure out how to cheaply produce high capacity nano batteries. OR improve the efficiency of our current solar power technology, which, AFAIK is only about 10% to 30% efficient

I think we're straying from the topic just a little bit!

Ignoring the current issues of actually getting the nessisary stuff to Mars, I'm going to place by bet that for the most part, they get their food and power and air from algae. If their're lucky, maybe some air grown veggies. It's the morning! I can't spell that word at the moment. Hydroponic..? That's it!

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hadesian

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 08:02:41 AM »

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).
I'm pretty sure he was alluding to asteroid mining. If he wasn't... For shame!
Yes, both asteroid mining but I find it a bit strange you say that resources mined on Mars will only be of use on Mars. Ridiculous proposition? We're talking about extending the human race across TWO seperate planets - bringing hundreds of tons of iron or such between each is one of the most un-ridiculous things I can think of, and it would be done.
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TJJ

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 08:39:16 AM »

bringing hundreds of tons of iron or such between each is one of the most un-ridiculous things I can think of, and it would be done.

Why would it be done?
We've got plenty of Iron on this planet already.
More generally, there's very little on Mars that we don't already have in plentiful supply on Earth.

If you go down to the basic mechanics:

- Energy costs money.
- Elevating mass out of a gravity well takes a lot of energy.

The natural result is that elevating all but the rarest of resources will always be cost prohibitive.
There's one exception to this; fuel.
It's always cost effective (though ludicrously inefficient) to elevate fuel from a gravity well.

I believe using Mars as a fuel refinery has long been considered the prerequisite to any viable Mars colonization effort, as it drastically cuts the outward journey costs if you don't have to carry your return fuel with you.

I think Mars will be one of the latter planets/moons to be colonized by Humans, as it has few benefits, and many drawbacks, to living on Earth.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 12:21:00 PM by TJJ »
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sdmike1

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 11:30:00 AM »

Agreed, titan and other moons of gas giants offer much more appealing targets for colonising.  Smaller gravity wells, (depending on the planet) simpler because of the lack of abrasive dust and dust storms.  The only thing good about mars is that it is closer to earth.

TJJ

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 12:16:52 PM »

Agreed, titan and other moons of gas giants offer much more appealing targets for colonising.  Smaller gravity wells, (depending on the planet) simpler because of the lack of abrasive dust and dust storms.  The only thing good about mars is that it is closer to earth.

Radiation too; Mars' lack of a significant magnetosphere is a serious obstacle for anything wanting to live on the surface.
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TheHappyFace

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 11:19:31 PM »

nah we dont really need more metal on this planet (except gold... everybody loves gold  ;) ).
there is more than enough aluminium in earth for us to mine.
if we are really eager for more than we should research deep sea mining which will also give us an amount equal or even more metal than we what we can allready reach.
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sdmike1

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2013, 01:26:25 PM »

nah we dont really need more metal on this planet (except gold... everybody loves gold  ;) ).
there is more than enough aluminium in earth for us to mine.
if we are really eager for more than we should research deep sea mining which will also give us an amount equal or even more metal than we what we can allready reach.
But... but... but... it is SPACE!!! you can't argue with space!

Thaago

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2013, 08:42:35 PM »

I'm a big fan of colonizing Europa - there might be a liquid water ocean underneath the ice, heated by tidal forces from Jupiter. Only problem with Europa is that it also has some nasty levels of radiation... burying structures in the ice (or floating on the underside of the ice shelf) would block it pretty well.

If we want a fuel station, the moon is a better target than mars. Smaller gravity field makes for better for boosting fuel to interplanetary space and its close enough to earth that we can do something when stuff goes wrong. :P
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TJJ

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2013, 05:48:50 PM »

If we want a fuel station, the moon is a better target than mars. Smaller gravity field makes for better for boosting fuel to interplanetary space and its close enough to earth that we can do something when stuff goes wrong. :P

No atmosphere, and limited water. It's hard to manufacture fuel without the necessary raw materials :)

Mars has a CO2 rich atmosphere, and supposedly significant subsurface water.
Throw in an energy source and you have everything needed for manufacturing almost limitless fuel (CH4) & oxidiser (O2).
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sdmike1

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2013, 09:35:50 AM »

Not trying to attack your post as wrong just saying easier to breakdown the counterpoints and it is easier this way
No atmosphere, and limited water. It's hard to manufacture fuel without the necessary raw materials :)
Spectroscopic analyses shows that the moon has significantly larger reserves of Helium-3 and other useful elements locked in its regolith than the earth does.  Helium-3 is highly sought after for fusion fusion plants could be used to power massive lasers used to drive solar sails or be transferred up to a ship for use in a fusion drive.
Quote
Mars has a CO2 rich atmosphere, and supposedly significant subsurface water.
Throw in an energy source and you have everything needed for manufacturing almost limitless fuel (CH4) & oxidiser (O2).
Just curious, what energy source do you plan to use? lol
Again not trying to hate on your ideas :P

hadesian

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2013, 10:30:06 AM »

Not trying to attack your post as wrong just saying easier to breakdown the counterpoints and it is easier this way
No atmosphere, and limited water. It's hard to manufacture fuel without the necessary raw materials :)
Spectroscopic analyses shows that the moon has significantly larger reserves of Helium-3 and other useful elements locked in its regolith than the earth does.  Helium-3 is highly sought after for fusion fusion plants could be used to power massive lasers used to drive solar sails or be transferred up to a ship for use in a fusion drive.
Quote
Mars has a CO2 rich atmosphere, and supposedly significant subsurface water.
Throw in an energy source and you have everything needed for manufacturing almost limitless fuel (CH4) & oxidiser (O2).
Just curious, what energy source do you plan to use? lol
Again not trying to hate on your ideas :P
Probably nuclear energy.
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mostmodest

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2013, 02:44:17 AM »

Not trying to attack your post as wrong just saying easier to breakdown the counterpoints and it is easier this way
No atmosphere, and limited water. It's hard to manufacture fuel without the necessary raw materials :)
Spectroscopic analyses shows that the moon has significantly larger reserves of Helium-3 and other useful elements locked in its regolith than the earth does.  Helium-3 is highly sought after for fusion fusion plants could be used to power massive lasers used to drive solar sails or be transferred up to a ship for use in a fusion drive.
Quote
Mars has a CO2 rich atmosphere, and supposedly significant subsurface water.
Throw in an energy source and you have everything needed for manufacturing almost limitless fuel (CH4) & oxidiser (O2).
Just curious, what energy source do you plan to use? lol
Again not trying to hate on your ideas :P
Probably nuclear energy.

But how would you safely transport the materials without them giving up most of their energy in the 6-12 month journey?

Solar panels could work if you gathered enough. Also, one idea that's going through the development process is solar microwave satellites. Basically, 2 geostationary satellites with solar panels which convert the sunlight to microwave radiation which is beamed to a receiver which converts it to electrical energy.
The radiation produced is a little less than the radiation from mobile phones.

How would you guys fix food/oxygen problems?
My idea is some sort of farm-shelter building which pumps in the atmosphere from outside, and has a pump which screens out the oxygen and stores it to be used on base. The farm provides food as well.
Another method would be recycling the air and using a minor amount of excess water for hydrolysis.
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dogboy123

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2013, 06:02:48 AM »

I just wanna see how space combat is gonna turn out in RL ;D. It could be really boring though, with ships just shooting kinetic missiles hundreds of miles away from each other.
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Hyph_K31

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2013, 02:19:28 PM »

Most likely, we'd end up using particle cannons and weapons of that ilk.

That said... If we do end up fighting in spess, (haha, spess) we probably shouldn't be there yet. Or, we'd have been there for a bloody long time.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 02:23:46 PM by Hyph_K31 »
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hadesian

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2013, 02:23:03 PM »

*snip*
The problem is indeed that carrying uranium into orbit is pretty dangerous, but I'm fairly sure any attempt at getting to mars will have technology to safely handle the uranium into orbit. There could even be uranium on mars, or we could get it from asteroids. Maybe.
As for oxygen, if mars does indeed have X amount of subsurface water, you can probably drill down into a reservoir and setup a large electrolysis foundry to oxygenate facilities.
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