Author Topic: Can We Ever Colonize Space?  (Read 13380 times)

Re: Can We Ever Colonize Space?
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2013, 05:43:46 PM »
Quote from: "VaasMontenegro"
You'd be mistaken to think that we wont colonize space. The human race has adapted to every situation that has arisen and it will continue to do so.

We're only 80,000 years old, it's pretty difficult to extrapolate from such a short time. The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for over 160 million years, and during that time it could be said that they had adapted to every situation that had arisen - until they didn't.

Quote
It is also imperative that we colonize space if we are to thrive as a species in the long term.
Not really. We'll probably colonize the Solar System, but even that's not imperative.

It all depends on what you call the "long term."



If the "long term" is a mere tens of millions of years, we don't really need to go anywhere. There's a huge nuclear fusion reactor up in the sky that is scheduled to continue providing power for another 4 billion years before it destroys our planet, so we have a while to figure out how to survive that catastrophe. Of course, in another 1 googol years (10[sup:yd0epakm]100[/sup:yd0epakm] years), we may be faced with the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login, which is slightly more difficult to overcome than the mere destruction of the Earth. So, in the loooooooong long term, it won't really matter what we do.  :-D

Offline _Xenu_

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« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2013, 05:57:51 PM »
You seem to discount the idea of humans destroying this planet. I seriously doubt that will take four billion years. In regards to the heat death of the universe, we may know how to colonize other universes before that happens. Worry about one step at a time, that one's way too far to worry about yet.
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Offline PopeyesPappy

Re: Can We Ever Colonize Space?
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2013, 05:58:58 PM »
Quote from: "Davka"
If the "long term" is a mere tens of millions of years, we don't really need to go anywhere. There's a huge nuclear fusion reactor up in the sky that is scheduled to continue providing power for another 4 billion years before it destroys our planet, so we have a while to figure out how to survive that catastrophe. Of course, in another 1 googol years (10[sup:2j9eugfh]100[/sup:2j9eugfh] years), we may be faced with the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login, which is slightly more difficult to overcome than the mere destruction of the Earth. So, in the loooooooong long term, it won't really matter what we do.  :-D

The sun is going to be an issue long before it reaches its red giant phase. Estimates are that sometime within the next billion years or so the sun's luminosity will have increased by 10%. At that point all surface water will probably evaporate and anything other than microscopic life will probably die out. Another half a billion years beyond that even that will be gone.
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Offline moog

Re: Can We Ever Colonize Space?
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2013, 06:10:09 PM »
Quote from: "PopeyesPappy"
...

The sun is going to be an issue long before it reaches its red giant phase. Estimates are that sometime within the next billion years or so the sun's luminosity will have increased by 10%. At that point all surface water will probably evaporate and anything other than microscopic life will probably die out. Another half a billion years beyond that even that will be gone.

I suggest we move the Earth to a larger orbit... shouldn't be hard.

Offline Plu

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« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2013, 06:12:12 PM »
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Offline stromboli

Re: Can We Ever Colonize Space?
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2013, 09:22:30 PM »
Quote from: "moog"
Quote from: "PopeyesPappy"
...

The sun is going to be an issue long before it reaches its red giant phase. Estimates are that sometime within the next billion years or so the sun's luminosity will have increased by 10%. At that point all surface water will probably evaporate and anything other than microscopic life will probably die out. Another half a billion years beyond that even that will be gone.

I suggest we move the Earth to a larger orbit... shouldn't be hard.

How about Ringworld? Seriously, one concept that has been used for a few sci fi novels is the creation of a tethered space elevator at the equator that allows physical movement up and down on something like a carbon filament cable. Based on the advances in linked carbon molecules, that capability may arrive fairly soon.

the problem I see is that before we ever become sufficiently motivated to do off-planet colonization, something dramatic needs to happen- like a comet smacking Mars, for example. Space stations in the asteroid belt for mining purposes has certainly been explored in literature. And there are companies actively looking into it now.
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Re: Can We Ever Colonize Space?
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2013, 11:10:22 PM »
Quote from: "PopeyesPappy"
Quote from: "Davka"
If the "long term" is a mere tens of millions of years, we don't really need to go anywhere. There's a huge nuclear fusion reactor up in the sky that is scheduled to continue providing power for another 4 billion years before it destroys our planet, so we have a while to figure out how to survive that catastrophe. Of course, in another 1 googol years (10[sup:20fm3bdu]100[/sup:20fm3bdu] years), we may be faced with the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login, which is slightly more difficult to overcome than the mere destruction of the Earth. So, in the loooooooong long term, it won't really matter what we do.  :-D

The sun is going to be an issue long before it reaches its red giant phase. Estimates are that sometime within the next billion years or so the sun's luminosity will have increased by 10%. At that point all surface water will probably evaporate and anything other than microscopic life will probably die out. Another half a billion years beyond that even that will be gone.
Well, fuck - we'd better hurry up then!

Offline SilentFutility

(No subject)
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2013, 04:31:17 AM »
As for the food problem, there have recently been groundbreaking advances in 3D printing technology that allows people to print meat using stem cells. This technology is in its infancy, so I have no doubt that synthetic food will become a viable food source in the future.

If stem cells can be isolated and used to grow human and animal tissue, who is to say that in the future synthetic plants won't be possible?

As for the OP's issues with biological rhythms etc. It might not be beneficial to health, but also not lethal. If someone's sleep cycle is severely disrupted, they don't die, likewise people in the space station don't die due to being displaced in the earth's magnetic field etc.

(No subject)
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2013, 04:44:54 AM »
What about technology to control or even reverse the aging process of a star? People talk about Terraforming other planets, why not go as far as controlling a star?

There's a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called Half a Life which deals with something like this.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke

Re:
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 09:46:22 AM »
Quote from: "NitzWalsh"
What about technology to control or even reverse the aging process of a star? People talk about Terraforming other planets, why not go as far as controlling a star?

There's a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called Half a Life which deals with something like this.
If this is even possible, it's millenia away. Even terraforming is well beyond our current abilities, and may not be possible.

Exploring the Solar System, and eventually the Galaxy, is a good idea. But we'd better work hard at solving the problems we have right here on Earth, or we won't be around long enough to go anywhere.

Offline FrankDK

Re: Can We Ever Colonize Space?
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2013, 10:28:38 AM »
> Who says they can or want to colonize all of it? The place is vast beyond belief, there's no reason to think that they'd be trying to control all of it.

Then they're not colonizing the galaxy, just a small part of it.  It may be possible and practical to move to one or two other planets as suns age, but the distances involved and the energy required actually colonize the galaxy would be prohibitive.

> We're just an insignificant speck of dust floating about amongst trillions of other planets. There's no reason why any race of galactic beings would be coming specifically to this little corner of the galaxy.

We are in the process of discovering other earth-like worlds.  A race a million years ahead of us in technology (the blink of an eye in galaxy age) would certainly be able to do this.  The earth is very well suited for life as we know it.  Alien races would certainly discover the earth, and it would most likely be on the itinerary of any travelers from the galactic neighbor hood.

Silicon-based life might prefer Mercury; sulfur-based might like Venus.  Hard to tell with no examples.  But earth is definitely the place for carbon-based life.  So I suspect that we'd be visited if someone were looking to move.

Frank

Offline _Xenu_

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« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2013, 10:50:23 AM »
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Could this make teleportation of some kind a possibility? Maybe a sort of alternative to warp engines?
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Offline Plu

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« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2013, 10:58:10 AM »
Fascinating. Trillions of meters per second... and that's the lower bound.
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Offline FrankDK

Re:
« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2013, 11:00:04 AM »
Quote from: "_Xenu_"
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Could this make teleportation of some kind a possibility? Maybe a sort of alternative to warp engines?

It wouldn't seem to.  There is no communication possible using the property of spooky action at a distance.  You can tell what a specific particle is doing far away, but that doesn't move objects or information.  It could be used to generate a code for encryption, but that is the only application currently realistic.

Frank

Offline Plu

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« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2013, 11:20:06 AM »
I'm pretty sure a particle moving somewhere far away is information. You just need to use that motion to represent something meaningful.
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