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View Diary: Every Thought Is a "War on Religion" (41 comments)

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  •  well... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Dragon5616, yaque, G2geek

    Getting there is less than half the battle. Maybe that's the lip of the plateau and we've got our pinky on it.

    There are two ways to live in an inimically hostile environment: inside habitats (like the proposed Moon Base Newtopia) or just on the surface of a post-terraformed world.

    Habitats are much more vulnerable than our little blue marble, that hard vacuum on the moon is always right outside the door waiting for the slightest flaw to exploit. Other concerns include radiation shielding that might be less reliable than Earth's mag field, micro impacts which would require constant maintenance and redundancy in all systems, and the toll that low gravity takes on human infrastructure (bone-loss etc...).

    The challenges of terraforming are well beyond us at the moment - they include such daunting tasks as orbit-stabilization and gravity modification.

    Everything Right is Wrong Again - TMBG (lyrics)

    by GreenPA on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:20:33 AM PST

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    •  We'll figure it out. (4+ / 0-)

      That's what we do.  At great cost in money and lives, almost certainly, but we'll do it.  

      I just got finished watching a documentary series about Mt. Everest climbers on Netflix - Everest: Beyond The Limit - and it's pretty inspiring.  If people like that had a chance to colonize space, they totally would.  

      Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

      by Troubadour on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:31:38 AM PST

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      •  Thanks for the good conversation (3+ / 0-)

        I'm off to tackle another day now, I hope you enjoy yours.

        Everything Right is Wrong Again - TMBG (lyrics)

        by GreenPA on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:35:36 AM PST

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      •  the task gets at once easier and more difficult: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tennessee Dave

        Successfully colonizing the Moon is the easiest task in terms of transportation, and the most difficult in terms of building the colony on site.  Lunar construction will have to deal with radically attenuated gravity and hard vacuum, as well as radiation shielding and so on.

        Mars is more difficult for transportation but far easier for construction: higher gravity and outside atmospheric pressure.

        A hypothetical Earth-like planet in another star system is exponentially harder to reach but easier to terraform, if its atmosphere is favorable and there is water.  

        However any planet with a breathable atmosphere and water, will almost certainly have its own pre-existing biology: notably microorganisms that will be fatal to humans and other Earth-originated life.  So the task will be complicated by having to radically reshape the biology of Earth-originated life to exist on such a planet, or radically reshape the biology of that planet to be compatible with Earth-originated life.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:26:29 PM PST

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    •  gravity modification not needed. (0+ / 0-)

      We can successfully terraform any suitable planet, using technologies developed from the sciences we have now.

      There is no need for unified field theory, though of course it will open up new vistas of technology to make the task easier.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:19:28 PM PST

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