mikegarrison

Colonization Discussion Thread (split from SpaceX)

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12 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Except the 6 months of darkness for growing your food. :wink: And before you say, I would argue that for the foreseeable future it is far easier to get a functioning nuclear power plant to Mars than Antarctica if you want grow lamps. 

What about wind power? Wind speeds of up to 80 km/h are pretty common in Antarctica. Check this awesome real time wind speed globe here.

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18 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

I just got a great idea how a Moon colony can be profitable. Set up a top-security prison there and send world's most dangerous criminals there.

And the best part is they won't be able to escape to the Los Angeles underground!

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20 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

I just got a great idea how a Moon colony can be profitable. Set up a top-security prison there and send world's most dangerous criminals there. Governments would pay to keep them hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from Earth, where there's literally nowhere to run.

And then one criminal dude would manage to blow up a hole in the thing, killing everyone... which, considering they're super dangerous criminals wouldn't be too much of a loss...

 

Also, I realized that if point to point works out (somewhat dubious, I give it 40/60 near term, 70/30 medium term) then half of the people would just use the system to experience space... It's a perfectly functional orbital rocket doing suborbital trips, so why not just send it to orbit and make a space hotel or something? I could see that being pretty profitable.

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1 hour ago, Canopus said:

Dinosaurs weren't exactly known for their Bunkers and central heating. Look i'm all for a Mars settlement, but saying we need one as a backup for earth is just not true. By the time Mars is Terraformed to be as survivable as Antarctica, we can most likely predict dangerous asteroids for hundreds of years in the future and divert them.

Asteroids are pretty easy to deflect, some nukes should work well enough. You also need to detect them this is mostly done and it don't look like its much danger the next hundreds years. 
Comets is another danger not sure how much compared to asteroids, however they are way harder to predict. 
Still way cheaper than an Mars colony, not that we should not do it. 

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Most existential threats from outside Earth could be mitigated by the technology required to colonize another world, anyway.

I'm fine with a "backup" of humanity, but that's really just a perk of moving people to space. The primary reason is it's just awesome to do it.

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1 hour ago, sh1pman said:

I just got a great idea how a Moon colony can be profitable. Set up a top-security prison there and send world's most dangerous criminals there. Governments would pay to keep them hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from Earth, where there's literally nowhere to run.

So... The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

Seriously, though. It would be way, way too expensive. Prison costs are already something of a problem, and you want to increase them? Nobody would agree to that, regardless of the benefits.

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9 hours ago, tater said:

Mars never becomes a trading partner with Earth, there is nothing they have that Earth needs.

I suppose if they somehow have money, then they buy stuff from Earth, and return money. However it is they get money.

They get money by selling intellectual property.  The CEO of a company employing 5000 scientists working long and hard hours in labs based on Mars might eventually have his company produce enough value in patents sold to Earth companies that he would be able to afford to purchase a few pieces of art from Earth- especially once there is plenty of infrastructure for transporting goods more cheaply between the two planets (I'm talking Propulsive Fluid Accumulators in orbit of both planets, orbital fuel depots, Microwave Beamed Power propulsion for the transfer-burns, and maybe even Mass Drivers on Earth and a Space Elevator or Mass Driver on Mars...)

It's likely the only physical goods ever transported between Earth and Mars will be extremely high-value goods like artwork, science equipment, and sophisticated machibery- whereas most of what is traded will be scientific discoveries and digital entertainment (e-books, movies, and computer games...)

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Intellectual work is certainly possible, but it assumes that Mars can employ enough people doing enough such work to make ends meet. Given any reasonable progression in computing, I'd expect humans to first leverage their intelligence with machine learning, then be exceeded by it. I think Bostrom's arguments about an intelligence explosion at some point are pretty convincing (even if I am not as alarmed by it). Anyway, at that point, such intellectual work ceases to matter, OTOH, it ceases to matter everywhere, lol.

I see no reason why they'd have any better gains in anything that Earth labs, though.

Edited by tater

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9 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Agreed. We do not currently see people settling in large numbers in Antarctica. Antarctica is a much more reachable and hospitable place than Mars, and it has far more resources.

No, no it's not.  Antarctica is far LESS hospitable than Mars.  It's much colder, for one (the temperature on Mars is lower, but the air is so thin that you lose much less heat/minute), the sunlight is actually LESS intense there due to the constant overcast or snowy weather and low angle of the Sun on the horizon (meaning the sunlight has to pass through lots and lots of atmosphere), the wind is much more powerful in Antartica due to the much higher atmospheric pressure, and snow/ice pose a much greater obstacle to collecting solar power than dust does on Mars...

Plus, Antartica is much easier to leave for warmer climates than Mars is, and much less exciting to live on in our culture.  If Antartica were as exciting as Mars, I'm sure lots of people WOULD live there despite all the challenges.. 

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1. Mars can give an inspiration to poets, philosophers, artists, actors, so on.
So, they can make there a luxury artistic salon.
And sell the results to the Earth.

2a. Instead of sending criminals to the Mars as somebody suggests, they can just settle them there, making the Mars colony a territory free of forum rules.
Then many of petty criminals can break there forum rules for free. You know: greenhouses, chemical facilities, so on. Let them live how they want to.

2b. Also instead of crossing a border river, let them officially buy a ticket to Mars. (See 2a.)

3. adultcinema.mars domain is still free.

4. First Interplanetary Casino

As we can realize, p.1-4 do not contradict each other.
Even moar, they synergize.

So, call the Martian colony - Sin City.

P.S.
Yes, Mars is a desert. So what, Las Vegas is not in the forest.

Edited by kerbiloid

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6 minutes ago, tater said:

Intellectual work is certainly possible, but it assumes that Mars can employ enough people doing enough such work to make ends meet. Given any reasonable progression in computing, I'd expect humans to first leverage their intelligence with machine learning, then be exceeded by it. I think Bostrom's arguments about an intelligence explosion at some point are pretty convincing (even if I am not as alarmed by it). Anyway, at that point, such intellectual work ceases to matter, OTOH, it ceases to matter everywhere, lol.

I see no reason why they'd have any better gains in anything that Earth labs, though.

Humanity will eventually have to make a choice about the role of AI in society.  I firmly believe the only way mankind can have a future is if we find a way to at least retain intellectual work for ourselves.  Otherwise, robots will replace us all...

Besides, AI's and supercomputers still require respurces to maintain.  Even if humans are reduced to nothing more than mere supervisors for genetal AI's, making sure they don't all decide to kill us off, Mars will still increase the NUMBER of computers humanity can maintain, and the physical resources available for doing so.  Even with general AI's, Mars still becomes a valuable source of Intellectual Property and knowledge...

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1 hour ago, Northstar1989 said:

Even with general AI's, Mars still becomes a valuable source of Intellectual Property and knowledge...

What's does Mars IP have that Earth IP hasn't ? How are 5000 engineers on Mars pour productive than 5000 engineers in Bangalore or Guangzhou ?

The whole point of IP is that it's immaterial, so it can be outsourced to the cheapest locations, not the most expensive.

2 minutes ago, Rakaydos said:

The engins dont HAVE to throttle as deeply at the moon, because the rocket (refueled in eliptical orbit) is still going to have half it's fuel when landing on the moon, lowering it's TWR.

And you don't need to throttle to hoverslam.

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Not only is IP immaterial, the cost of IP is less on Earth than Mars. Mars for a vastly long time would require supplies from Earth at great expense.

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9 hours ago, tater said:

Most existential threats from outside Earth could be mitigated by the technology required to colonize another world, anyway.

So in other words, by pursuing the colonization of other worlds, we could be able to mitigate existential threats from outside Earth? Sounds like a good enough reason to pursue colonization to me. We might not get actual colonies out of it, but the side effects sound beneficial enough to be worth the hassle.

Or vice versa, by working on ways to mitigate existential threats from outside Earth, we would go a long way towards being able to colonize other worlds. Might as well do the threats first, then, and go the extra step on to colonization afterwards.

Either way, it seems like there would be some great value in this kind of research.

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5 hours ago, tater said:

I see no reason why they'd have any better gains in anything that Earth labs, though.

Necessity drives invention, and Mars will introduce a new crop of necessities. And it's a unique lab environment, which would require money to duplicate and maintain long-term on Earth. Of course it's costly to get labs set up on Mars, but that's not the only reason for going.

Can't wait for them to start bending metal on it, lighting it off even more so!

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40 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Necessity drives invention, and Mars will introduce a new crop of necessities. And it's a unique lab environment, which would require money to duplicate and maintain long-term on Earth. Of course it's costly to get labs set up on Mars, but that's not the only reason for going.

Can't wait for them to start bending metal on it, lighting it off even more so!

That makes zero sense.

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7 hours ago, Northstar1989 said:

Plus, Antartica is much easier to leave for warmer climates than Mars is, and much less exciting to live on in our culture.  If Antartica were as exciting as Mars, I'm sure lots of people WOULD live there despite all the challenges.. 

Why? what makes Mars more exciting than Antartica as a place to live? if you're not there to research Mars itself. I wonder about this for much the same reasons I wonder if the first children born on Mars won't flip out & murder everyone when they realise what their parents condemned them to, when they learn about Earth. I mean, you're a pioneer - sure. That means most of your time is dedicated to the process of survival, but if you're a colonist & not a Mars scientist what is there that keeps you motivated to keep doing all this, for decades? no popping outside for a stroll on a nice breezy day to feel the wind & sun on your face ( even in Antartica you can do that somewhat ), no going wandering round your local population centre, not even any meeting new people - you are literally going to live in a bubble for your entire existence. You'd have a better life in prison.

Edited by Van Disaster

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25 minutes ago, Van Disaster said:

Why? what makes Mars more exciting than Antartica as a place to live? if you're not there to research Mars itself. I wonder about this for much the same reasons I wonder if the first children born on Mars won't flip out & murder everyone when they realise what their parents condemned them to, when they learn about Earth.

People wants to visit exciting places, each one of them once in their life time. But nobody wants to build house in exciting places... can you imagine how exciting are vulcanoes, mountains, rain forests or Antarctica?

Many people wants to go to those places, but who would want to make their home under vulcano or on top of the mountain?
For cities and homes people are searching peaceful and safe places, both Mars or Moon are not safe. Nobody would want to have children in pressurised, small space, just like nobody wants to build house on middle of desert or on south pole and rise his children there.

Concept of city on Mars is fail. Exploration mission to study Mars may work.

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23 minutes ago, Cassel said:

People wants to visit exciting places, each one of them once in their life time. But nobody wants to build house in exciting places... can you imagine how exciting are vulcanoes, mountains, rain forests or Antarctica?

Many people wants to go to those places, but who would want to make their home under vulcano or on top of the mountain?
For cities and homes people are searching peaceful and safe places, both Mars or Moon are not safe. Nobody would want to have children in pressurised, small space, just like nobody wants to build house on middle of desert or on south pole and rise his children there.

Concept of city on Mars is fail. Exploration mission to study Mars may work.

A science outpost would certainly work in the same way the ISS works - plenty of people want to go there & that's even more of bubble. What might also work for colonisation - somewhat - would be if you had rotating infrastructure creation teams who built up quite significant infrastructure first, before any permanent residents arrived - that way they're not living in a shanty town in a desert for years. That doesn't change anything about them being stuck in a - probably mostly underground - bubble for their entire life.

Personally I'm not attached enough to the idea of a place being special enough that it warrants just going there to say I've been there - I can get most of the experience just looking at images & one day I've no doubt there'll be some live VR experience. If the trip took a couple of days then why not, but 6 months each way to stand on a red ball of rock while I'm stuck in a suit I will pass up on. Find me somewhere with a biosphere & I'll wear whatever suit you want me to, to see all of that.

Edited by Van Disaster

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After the 1st few colonists and cargo ships arrive, I can see them digging out a huge underground cavern (40 meters tall, to make it feel open, and a few square kilometers big to have room. it'd also be at least 5 meters under for radiation, micrometeorites, etc) perhaps with glass or something coating most of it to mimic the day and night cycle (That might be much further down the road when they have more colonists, and better power though).

But they could grow plants everywhere, and build a small city with short buildings, storefronts, lots of walkways, etc. Make it feel cozy, not cramped.

 

Edit: it would need a lot of support beams though. Maybe it could be covered in plants to hide it more.

Edited by Spaceception

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3 minutes ago, Van Disaster said:

A science outpost would certainly work in the same way the ISS works - plenty of people want to go there & that's even more of bubble. What might also work for colonisation - somewhat - would be if you had rotating infrastructure creation teams who built up quite significant infrastructure first, before any permanent residents arrived - that way they're not living in a shanty town in a desert for years. That doesn't change anything about them being stuck in a - probably mostly underground - bubble for their entire life.

Personally I'm not attached enough to the idea of a place being special enough that it warrants just going there to say I've been there - I can get most of the experience just looking at images & one day I've no doubt there'll be some live VR experience. If the trip took a couple of days then why not, but 6 months each way to stand on a red ball of rock I will pass up on.

Agree, that's why I said about exploration as scientific mission.

I can't imagine schools on Mars, while teacher may go crazy like this one guy in Nat Geo series, he opened airlock and killed few people. If there would be any visits or tourists on Mars then airlocks are going to be guarded by armed men just like we guard borders. To make sure nobody is going to do crazy things, like they do on Earth.

It is impossible to control large society in so dangerous environment without cameras 24/7, drugs to reduce aggression or some psychological checks every week. It wouldn't be fun place to live.

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11 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

After the 1st few colonists and cargo ships arrive, I can see them digging out a huge underground cavern (40 meters tall, to make it feel open, and a few square kilometers big to have room. it'd also be at least 5 meters under for radiation, micrometeorites, etc) perhaps with glass or something coating most of it to mimic the day and night cycle (That might be much further down the road when they have more colonists, and better power though).

But they could grow plants everywhere, and build a small city with short buildings, storefronts, lots of walkways, etc. Make it feel cozy, not cramped.

It's still all enclosed though; and especially when exposed to Earth media showing things we just take for granted ( like going outside ) I don't think it'll be enough for a large colony unless there's really no alternative. It's not about the infrastructure to survive, it's about the very insular society not imploding. We could and probably should trial this sort of thing underwater on Earth first, which we might even need if we manage to destroy the surface.

9 minutes ago, Cassel said:

I can't imagine schools on Mars, while teacher may go crazy like this one guy in Nat Geo series, he opened airlock and killed few people. If there would be any visits or tourists on Mars then airlocks are going to be guarded by armed men just like we guard borders. To make sure nobody is going to do crazy things, like they do on Earth.

It is impossible to control large society in so dangerous environment without cameras 24/7, drugs to reduce aggression or some psychological checks every week. It wouldn't be fun place to live.

You can screen people you hire & send out there to catch at least some of the potential psychological issues, but unless you're going to run a *very* disturbing society out there you can't screen anyone's offspring. What are you going to do with anyone who fails any screening anyway? your supply of willingly emigrating colonists would probably dry up rapidly if that sort of control is imposed.

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9 minutes ago, Van Disaster said:

It's still all enclosed though; and especially when exposed to Earth media showing things we just take for granted ( like going outside ) I don't think it'll be enough for a large colony unless there's really no alternative. It's not about the infrastructure to survive, it's about the very insular society not imploding. We could and probably should trial this sort of thing underwater on Earth first, which we might even need if we manage to destroy the surface.

Maybe.

But it'll be something people who were born on Earth would miss. The kids wouldn't know anything else, and would probably be fine.

We could have domes instead, but the glass would need to be thick and strong to block radiation and micrometemeteorites. 

Maybe small ones above ground, like really big enclosed parks and stuff, and then everything else would be underground. The parks could be accessible by stairs instead of elevators for instance so it doesn't feel too mechanical. (There would be an airlock though).

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1 hour ago, Van Disaster said:

no popping outside for a stroll on a nice breezy day to feel the wind & sun on your face ( even in Antartica you can do that somewhat ), no going wandering round your local population centre, not even any meeting new people - you are literally going to live in a bubble for your entire existence.

If they deliver pizza to the door, what you describe - it's a hikki paradise.

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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Being trapped inside my entire life would not make me feel excited, just trapped.

Read (or listen, I know I heard a podcast about people who live at the research base in Antartica--radiolab or TAL, maybe) about people in Antartica. They get a little kooky.

I think that people living on a suitable large torus habitat would have far better lives. They'd have an outside to walk around in shirtsleeves, they'd still be able to do "space" stuff, best of both worlds. Mars would be interesting to visit, but not to live.

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