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  1. It's not a niche, think big picture, there is a highly limited amount of land area on any given planet, I forget the exact numbers but I think I once calculated that all the material in Phobos and Deimos would be enough to create space colonies with more surface area than all of earth, all custom, perfect land. And selling products to earth populations would be even more difficult by far if your colony was on another planet.
  2. Well you wouldn't move the entire colony to get materials, you would have mining setups on large asteroids that would produce material that could be sent to the build site by only dozens of m/s of DV. There are two big advantages of space colonies, customization, and transportation. Customization because every factor from the gravity to the air pressure to the terrain can be controlled, on planets that are not exactly like earth, we have to change the things we can, and accept the things we can't (gravity). Secondly, once in orbit you're halfway to anywhere, so why not just live there and already be halfway to anywhere you want to go?
  3. Sure you can pressurize lava tubes and live in them, but 1. we don't know the effects of low gravity on developing children. 2. It's just as hard or harder than making and equivalent sized space colony, just now you're stuck at the bottom of a gravity well.
  4. The problem with cosmic rays is that they are not very plentiful, but they are (relatively) massive particles moving very fast. You need planet sized magnetic fields to put them there. Also this arrangement you've described would work just as well in a space colony, without having to spend extra energy to put this equipment in the bottom of a gravity well. As Bill Phil pointed out, almost all problems orbital colonies face, surface colonies face the same issue, with the addition of being stuck at the bottom of a gravity well and trickier construction.
  5. First off, solar wind is not the main radiation concern, it's cosmic rays that are the problem, on a place like Mars you would need to live at least 5-10 meters down to prevent cancer over long periods of time, which kinda ruins the fun of "I live on another planet." Secondly, the asteroid belt is not the only place space colonies could be built, they could be built in LEO (actually really nice because of free radiation shielding), around the moon, or if you really want to go to Mars, Phobos and Deimos have enough materials to make space colonies easily exceeding the livable area of earth.
  6. But those resources aren't any better than land-based ones, just harder to access. Unless that's not true in which case we build oil rigs, which are tiny floating cities of a sort.
  7. The moon is a great place, if you insist on colonizing a surface it is far better than Mars. But Because of it's low gravity and the fact that it still has a gravity well, It would not be a very good place for residential cities. This leads into one of the biggest issues that will probably prevent this argument from ever being resolved before we actually try it. How do humans, mainly children, react to living their entire lives in a low-g environment like the moon or Mars? We haven't the slightest clue. It might turn out you can raise perfectly health children at 0.1g, or that birth defects lead to dysfunctional children raised at 0.6 gs. If we do just need a little gravity to develop, then a moon colony makes a lot of sense, but if we do need a significant fraction of a g to safely raise children, then that eliminates Mars and means the moon can only be a industrial body. And as for the Ocean Colonies, there are three big differences: the first is that earth land is fertile and can be easily colonized, M-class planets are not common and there is only one in our solar system. The second reason is that it is easy to get from land to the sea on earth, not so much to go from surface to orbit. The final reason is that the solar system is full of asteroids just waiting to be mined and converted into habitats, the ocean? Not so much. But yes, the best option from where we are today would be to set up a moon base in order to mine materials for colonies or other orbital infrastructure.
  8. I think you may be misunderstanding what I am saying I'm not talking about giant forms of the ISS, I'm talking about space colonies. Giant, artificial gravity generators with square kilometers of land. Land which is completely customizable to your preference. Ok, so you do have a point here, space colonies are not cheap. But they're not that expensive either. Think about it, Industry is going to precede colonization when it comes to space, and industry is going to set up on asteroids because it's easier to export to Earth. By the time communities get up there there will be tons of building resources in orbit. Most of the mass of a space colony comes from shielding anyway, which can just be slag, the useless stuff mining operations have to get rid of. It's not going to be more expensive per m^2 to make habitable land in a space colony, It might even be cheaper. Exactly, planets work [citation: earth]. But just because they work does not mean they are the best option, and it definitely doesn't mean they are the only option. Who conquered the world? The cave-hopping cavemen, or the first humans that started making surface settlements?
  9. That's because we only exist in this gravity well, when humanity spans the solar system we'll be connected by trade and tourism. If traveling across the solar system it's way easier to start in orbit and end in a different orbit; then to launch from the bottom of a gravity well with a giant rocket every single time. Cavemen, first looking to expand could've had a similar argument. "We live in a cave; we do just fine here. Therefore we should expand by finding and colonizing more caves." But that's not what the next step was, the next step was to abandon caves and start civilization on the surface. We've been living in a cave for thousands of years and only just learned how to get out, but instead of talking about how to set up a surface city you guys are arguing about which new cave we should colonize first.
  10. Really the best option would be to just not colonize either and make space colonies. Forget landism in this Venus vs Mars argument, the real issue is planetism. Why live on a planet anyway? It's just an environment you can't control in a locked and natural(so inconvenient) location, all at the bottom of a gravity well trying to stop you from getting out if you ever want to. Orbital space colonies have none of these disadvantages, really we should be building these in the asteroid belt and non restricting ourselves to huge, inescapable chunks of rock.
  11. When I clicked on this thread I though this was just going to be another, non impressive small scale Saturn V replica. Then I saw your lander... Amazing work!
  12. The way I see it, if you spend any less than an hour playing KSP, you will not accomplish anything of importance, KSP is not a play-for-five-minutes-while-you-wait-for-the-bus sort of game, it's designed for long play sessions not that often, so maybe this is SQUAD's way of encouraging this, by making it annoying to start and stop the game, so players will have fewer, but longer, sessions. But yes it is very annoying how long it takes to quit, though my problem really is how long it takes to start.
  13. Did you consider landing legs to get a similar spring effect using smaller parts?
  14. I have an epic capital ship that looks similar to a star destroyer that I abandoned because It was going to be useless in competitive combat. But this sounds interesting as I place I can use it, I will try to refine it and get it posted sometime this week.
  15. Yeah that would be great! Just a few more things I should mention, 1 toggles the nukes, 2 toggles the ion engines, and the first salvo of I beams consistently spins out of control, not sure why, just be in very close if you use them (<100m). The later salvos are fine I've found.
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