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About Piscator

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  1. Well, why make a star when there are already literally billions of them? Travelling a couple of light years to find a suitable one seems not all that complicated compared to building one from scratch.
  2. I don't know about strong, direct sunlight but (uncorroded) pyrite is pretty golden under regular lighting conditions too, not just by torchlight. Also as a quick side note, the traditional value of gold doesn't originate from its interesting coloration alone but also from its mechanical and chemical properties, that is, its workability and high resistance to corrosion, as well as its relative rarity. (After all copper looks as interesting as gold color-wise but is less highly regarded because it's a more common element and has a tendency to patinize.)
  3. The answer to this question seems to mainly depend on the available technology. If you have closed-loop life support systems at your disposal (which seems like a reasonal thing to have if you're shipping people around between stars) the capacity of a planet is only limited by your capability to build autonomous habitats. This wouldn't leave the planet exactly national park worthy though. By the way, is there a reason why you're race can't use birth control, that is, only get enough children to replace accidential deaths? Managing population growth this way is always easier than sending p
  4. Are you sure? The other flap could be bent in the opposite direction to not offset the center of mass.
  5. Wait, so the colonizers are not humans but another alien race? Why bring cattle and horses then? Or am I interpreting these terms to narrowly and you're talking about the respective equivalents in their home biosphere?
  6. Well, even without self-replicating machines, you can still produce them. You just have to bring the right infrastructure along. As for why there are few large-bodied venomous species on earth, there's probably more to it than sheer luck. Maintaining venom glands is not without cost, so species will only have them if they absolutely need them. Since large species have other means of offense or defense due to their size, it's smaller species who most profit from venoms. On the other hand, since the fairly large Komodo dragon is likely to be venomous too, it's not exactly a hard rule (
  7. Seems a bit of a stretch to postulate an alien biosphere biochemically similar enough for their venoms to work on earth creatures, but working under this assumption, I don't really see the need to introduce our fauna at all. On the one hand - as has already been pointed out - you could try to work with what is already there and adapted to the ecosystem, on the other hand, why would you even need cattle and horses at all? If your technology is advanced enough to make an interstellar trip, it should be safe to assume you have more advanced modes of transportation or nutrition at your disposal.
  8. Would it in fact be greener, though? According to the numbers I could find, the fuel efficiency per passenger seems to be roughly the same as that of a Boeing 747 (12l per 100km for 6 passengers vs. 12l per 1km for ~ 600 passengers).
  9. I wonder if the recent study took into account the role phosphonium compounds might play in the Venusian phosphine cycle. Phosphine is a weaker base than ammonia, but it should react quite readily with concentrated sulphuric acid nevertheless. This could mean that phosphine is regularly captured in the clouds and transported with the acid rain into the lower layers of the atmosphere where it would be less susceptible to photochemical reactions. On the other hand, I don't know if phosphine below the cloud layer would have even been detected by the methods employed in the study in the first
  10. Existing in the sense of being a by-product of food sterilization or other applications of cold plasma?
  11. [snip] It's literally impossible to make any kind of alcohol from AN unless you involve some kind of nuclear reaction to create the carbon.
  12. Sounds like they might be working on a dedicated mission to Uranus . . .
  13. Could you perhaps give (or link to) a short summary on how an orbital airship would work (especially how you would get it to orbital velocities) and why it would be more cost-effective than conventional alternatives? I get the impression we're not all on the same page here.
  14. Actually, you probably wouldn't get an airship to work on Mars at all. As you mentioned, the Martian air is really thin. Since the lift depends on the mass of the displaced air, your lift/volume ratio would be a hundred times lower than on Earth. (I also don't think that the lower gravity would actually help, since the lift more accurately depends on the weight of the displaced air, rather than its mass.)
  15. Not quite sure it has been explicitly mentioned yet, but using the two-burn strategy of going into solar orbit first, then choosing your intercept orbit is also always less effective than burning for intercept orbit directly because you don't make the best use of the Oberth effect of your origin's gravity well. Since this can amount to quite a noticeable saving in delta-V, it makes sense to wait until your planet of origin is in the optimal position and only then make a single transfer burn.
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