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View Full Version : Multiple habitable planets in one solar system?



Paul Wally
2012-Dec-16, 03:47 PM
I'm wondering what presents the greater advantage to a civilization. Suppose that there exists solar systems with multiple habitable planets, how much of an advantage does it present to a civilization located in such a system, as opposed to an "island" civilization like us? Say if Mars was habitable for us, we probably would have been there already with our current level of technology. But on the other hand, doesn't the lack of other habitable planets in our solar systems challenge us to develop more advanced space technology, i.e. wouldn't our technology be more advanced because of such a challenge?

Hlafordlaes
2012-Dec-16, 04:10 PM
Hmmm. Let's say Mars were easily habitable. I think that would lead to a quite rapid expansion, akin to the discovery of America, that would be in historical terms short-lived. Once fully inhabited, we would be back to a lack of new local niches for life, but have a lot more everyday expertise in local space travel. So, guessing like mad, I'd think that situation would lead perhaps to a better tech infrastructure for space exploration. As things stand now, we have one egg in one basket and only weirdos like posters here (me) worry about having a backup plan.

iquestor
2012-Dec-16, 04:47 PM
I Agree with Hlafordlaes. An in system habitable planet would have likely fueled the desire to go there as quickly as possible, and then perhaps a lull as the two plaents were habitated fully. In system space travel would advanced quickly akin to our own terrestrial plane technology. these advances would ultimately push our technology to enable exploring even further out.

Paul Wally
2012-Dec-16, 11:24 PM
Hmmm. Let's say Mars were easily habitable. I think that would lead to a quite rapid expansion, akin to the discovery of America, that would be in historical terms short-lived. Once fully inhabited, we would be back to a lack of new local niches for life, but have a lot more everyday expertise in local space travel. So, guessing like mad, I'd think that situation would lead perhaps to a better tech infrastructure for space exploration. As things stand now, we have one egg in one basket and only weirdos like posters here (me) worry about having a backup plan.

It would probably be as you say, with the rapid expansion and all that. I suppose space travel would be part of the mainstream economy. I don't know about inter-planetary trade though. Would it be feasible to transport resources between planets?


I Agree with Hlafordlaes. An in system habitable planet would have likely fueled the desire to go there as quickly as possible, and then perhaps a lull as the two plaents were habitated fully. In system space travel would advanced quickly akin to our own terrestrial plane technology. these advances would ultimately push our technology to enable exploring even further out.

So you think that it would push technology? I suppose it would push technology in a certain direction, as is required by the economy. But what about technology like space colonies, terraforming, asteroid mining, alternative to fossil fuels? I'm guessing they might not consider it feasible to invest in such technologies. I suppose they would be advanced in some areas but quite retro in other respects, depending on economic forces.

Hlafordlaes
2012-Dec-17, 12:31 AM
It would probably be as you say, with the rapid expansion and all that. I suppose space travel would be part of the mainstream economy. I don't know about inter-planetary trade though. Would it be feasible to transport resources between planets?

Knowledge doesn't weigh anything! That would certainly be one main tradable item. We'd need to know a lot of imponderables, such as easier access to some resource, or better environs for specialty manufacturing, then weights and economic values. I'm guessing something would end up as exportable from Mars.

Githyanki
2012-Dec-17, 02:13 AM
You mean a civilization like our civilization; an alien-civilization could find inhabiting another world is a waste of resources when you haven't used up all the resources on your own world or one that is good at managing it's own resources and they don't have any desires to go to another world.

MaDeR
2012-Dec-17, 03:24 PM
Knowledge doesn't weigh anything! That would certainly be one main tradable item.
Knowledge? I never been able to understand this argument. What other knowledge is to generate on Mars except knowledge about Mars itself? Assuming Mars as really is (unhabitable cold deset) it could possibly pay off for small manned scientific outpost, if spaceflight cost is low enough. But I cannot fathom anything resembling "colony" relying on knowledge export about Mars.
If Mars would be habitable enough, colony would live off anything that is on Mars and trade it. I already can see it, riches buying stuffed Martian animals, spices and drugs for ridiculous prices.

filrabat
2012-Dec-20, 12:10 AM
Were Mars habitable for humans, then either Mars or Earth would likely be the other world's real-world version of the Americas and Australia. A more technologically advanced species overwhelming the native dominant ones, one world's invasive species wrecking the other's ecosystem. For all we know, in such a situation in which Earth was more advanced, we'd be importing Martian microbes that causes horrid diseases among US. I'm not saying that we shouldn't from the start refuse to explore gaian worlds, but if we do so, it is likely best if we send robots to the surface first - or at least wear space suits to keep cross-contamination from occuring.

galacsi
2012-Dec-20, 01:20 AM
Were Mars habitable for humans, then either Mars or Earth would likely be the other world's real-world version of the Americas and Australia. A more technologically advanced species overwhelming the native dominant ones, one world's invasive species wrecking the other's ecosystem. For all we know, in such a situation in which Earth was more advanced, we'd be importing Martian microbes that causes horrid diseases among US. I'm not saying that we shouldn't from the start refuse to explore gaian worlds, but if we do so, it is likely best if we send robots to the surface first - or at least wear space suits to keep cross-contamination from occuring.

Thanks for stating the obvious ! Habitability may very well means that this other planet is inhabited. And one of these two life could very well wipe out the other ! In the case of Mars , if there is life there it is important to do some serious compatibility testing in quarantined labs . . . on Mars or in deep space , but not on Earth ! In tried in the past to explain that to an astronomer but he looked at me as if I were crazy. There is no litlle green man on Mars or any other life. Any serious people knows that ! For him Mars is only pupulated by equations ! And the project of his life is to bring back some piece of Martian rock on Earth to analyse and prove he is right about his theories.

Paul Wally
2012-Dec-21, 11:47 PM
Knowledge doesn't weigh anything! That would certainly be one main tradable item. We'd need to know a lot of imponderables, such as easier access to some resource, or better environs for specialty manufacturing, then weights and economic values. I'm guessing something would end up as exportable from Mars.

Knowledge transfer also doesn't need inter-planetary space travel. It only needs something like radio communications. I'm beginning to think that technology would be geared more towards transporting people rather than goods. If technology can be produced cheaper on the colony than importing it from the primary planet, then why, for example, invest in large inter-planetary freighters?


You mean a civilization like our civilization; an alien-civilization could find inhabiting another world is a waste of resources when you haven't used up all the resources on your own world or one that is good at managing it's own resources and they don't have any desires to go to another world.

Another habitable world would just be like an extension of the home world. If there is a terra nova then why wouldn't any civilization expand itself there.

Of course, the question is how likely it is for two worlds in one solar system to be habitable to one civilization. I'm thinking that perhaps it's not that
unlikely in the case of habitable moons orbiting a large gas giant. Panspermia could even result in the life-forms on such moons having a common genetic heritage.