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Space colonization and asteroid mining


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#1 Kelario

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:26 PM

Two huge issues right now (among people who want humanity to survive longer than a billion more years) are the colonization of Mars, simply for overflow, and of the mining of asteroids to appease the environmentalists so we don't run out of earth material.

 

This thread will discuss both at once because space colonization and space mining are easily interconnected.

 

I have three life goals: 1) get married, 2) get a German Ph.D., and 3) be the main force behind spreading quickly and easily throughout the solar system and then on to Barnard's Star. Here's what I envision:

 

Spoiler

 

What are your guys' thoughts?




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#2 Best Username Ever

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:32 AM

All i know is that at first we would have to significantly thicken mars atmosphere with greenhouse gases as at this point in its life the atmosphere is barely there. The radiation levels from the suns rays are to high for anything to live there for any extended period of time but then once the atmosphere was thick enough (which in turn heats up mars enough for things like trees) then you would start worrying about the production of oxygen.



#3 LunarWave

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:48 AM

Asteroid mining by pulling it into gravity well and then crashing? 

More like atmosphere poisoning and commercialized WMD 

 

Orbital refineries would be a better bet, imo 

 

I also would not call -40 to -90 centigrade "alaskan"  temperatures. 

More like polar temperatures. 


Edited by LunarWave, 30 January 2014 - 04:49 AM.


#4 ShadowRose2k

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:31 AM

Two huge issues right now (among people who want humanity to survive longer than a billion more years) are the colonization of Mars, simply for overflow, and of the mining of asteroids to appease the environmentalists so we don't run out of earth material.

 

Hmm...    Well we got about 1-5 billion years to get our of our solar system before Our sun eats us all.  So... no rush? 

 

As for mining of asteroids.  I'm sure once we start doing that the enviormentalist will complain that we are now destroying OTHER enviorments or just adding more junk to our planet.

 

We are progressing fast but we are also atleast a couple generations away from anything really usefull.



#5 Blue

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:01 AM

According to the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, the current plans are far more modest in scope not as much due to budgetary restraints (although that is a significant factor) but caution in approaching the very real dangers of human space exploration, and taking the logistical challenges to be met one step at a time.

mars.png

Optimistic appraisals put a human surface-landing-and-return mission on Mars at some time in the mid-2030s, a mission which would take about 2.5 years from start to finish. I hate to bust your bubble, but ever since Apollo 1, basically every space program has been much less gung-ho about their mission schedules.

 

Moreover, industrializing space would be an enterprise that is probably far outside the making within our lifetimes since Space Law at current forbids private ownership of celestial bodies or territory in space, and such rights and laws would be absolutely necessary for prospecting and mining.


Edited by Blue, 30 January 2014 - 08:05 AM.


#6 Stalliongrad

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:06 AM

Crashing asteroids onto the planet surface is going to have severe negative effects. The metals alone pose strong threats to health. When meteorites crash here on Earth NASA and other Space Agencies have special plans in place to quarantine the area before they can be removed and studied. Apart from that I admit I'm not well versed in knowing what exactly asteroid mining entails but I know it is an important tenant in many science fiction works. Colonization I take more of an interest in. I think that the moon is a more practical start. We need to work out the difficulties with the Martian atmosphere before we can begin to think about colonization. I think those problems will work themselves out over time as Terraforming efforts on Mars become more and more real. We do currently posses the technology to reach Mars in manned spacecraft but that trip could be cut shorter if we had a stable lunar colony first. When the moon and Mars are in perfect alignment the trip is at its shortest. The lessons learned on the moon will set the stage for Mars which will be a herculean task.



#7 Dawn Rider

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:08 AM

Personally I think by around 2300 maybe 2500 we'll be cracking entire planets for resources....
Its entirely possible to do and results in massive amounts of resources...


Edited by Dawn Rider, 30 January 2014 - 08:10 AM.


#8 Scootalove

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:13 AM

I have a feeling that once asteroids do collide into our planet, scientists are going to study their contents and see if the asteroids contain any resources that the scientists could analyze.



#9 NomDeSpite

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:18 AM

If planets and other extraterrestrial bodies truly can be inhabited by human beings, then I'd encourage it and say that devoting your life to mankind's colonization of space is worthwhile. Perhaps we'll end up with a Cowboy Bebop-style solar system. Or Futurama, whatever.

 

I will say though, not to be discouraging, but: my prediction is that if humans attempt to make Mars habitable for human life (and other life), the plan will start out great, the atmosphere will be thickened and made breathable, the planet will warm and become similar to Earth, the Martian ice caps will melt and give us water, edible plants can be grown etc. and then when the first shuttle full of humans arrives on Mars to make the planet their new home, BAM! They all drop dead within seconds and the scientists behind the plan realize: "oh shit! We forgot about [X]". That would actually be pretty morbidly funny.

 

What can I say? The Anthropic Principle is a cruel, cruel mistress. Maybe the cruelest mistress of all. Be prepared to form contingency plans as if the future of the human race depended on it.



#10 Blue

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:59 PM

 They all drop dead within seconds and the scientists behind the plan realize: "oh shit! We forgot about [X]". That would actually be pretty morbidly funny.

 

Every space organization on Earth aims to become as competent and experienced as the two which have the most of all: NASA, and Roscosmos (the successor of the OKB). Both of them have already had such experiences, and to both of them there was not a drop of humor in the instances. NASA's first great disaster was [as I mentoned], Apollo 1. The fatal fault was the slap-dash initial design of the Apollo capsule, combined with the pure oxygen environment. In a fuelless "plugs-out" comunication test, a fire occured inside the capsule. All three astronauts burned to death in less than 20 seconds, and there was nothing anyone could do except the people at mission control, 400 miles away, listen to them screaming in agony into their microphones. Russia's were Soyuz 1 and 11, both caused by mechanical problems which killed the crews (totaling 4). While all of their deaths were fast, the death of Vladimir Komarov (Soyuz 1) would've been the only one which was painless; he fell to his death due to the capsule's parachute failing, after completion of his mission.

 

Contingencies and redundancies are counted for down to the individual movements of pens and paper for astronauts, because, as the saying goes among rocketry professionals, "There's no problem so bad that you can't make it worse".


Edited by Blue, 30 January 2014 - 02:01 PM.






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