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StarLab
2005-Jul-28, 05:04 PM
OK everyone, let us for once try discussing realism. We all, as UT enthusiasts, want to go Ad Astra, but we all know that it's very a very unrealistic accomplishment for the short-term. So, let us reflect the reality, and how much time it would take us to do whatever, assuming no catastrophes as discussed on Exit Mundi. Here is my outlook:

2010s: shuttles end
2020s: new moonbase
2040s: Martian colony construction
2100s: first geostationary colony, mining of asteroids
2200s: dispersion throughout solar system
2300s: conquest of solar system
>4000s: arrival at nearest stellar neighbors

That is as realistic as I can get.


What is your Time Range?

antoniseb
2005-Jul-28, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by StarLab@Jul 28 2005, 05:04 PM
2010s: shuttles end
2020s: new moonbase
2040s: Martian colony construction
2100s: first geostationary colony, mining of asteroids
2200s: dispersion throughout solar system
2300s: conquest of solar system
>4000s: arrival at nearest stellar neighbors
I'm ok with the first three, if you count no-human robotic construction of the Martian colony.

As to Geostationary "colony", I think we will see the construction of the space elevators by 2100 and from there you may see some man-made equitorial partial rings get built, and populated. This would require getting a lot of material out there (presumably from asteroids or the moon) as shielding, since that would be outside most of Earth's magnetic protection.

I also think that by the early to mid 2100s you will see robotic construction of bases/factories on many asteroids and moons throughout the Solar System. Does this count as conquest? If you are talking about having large populations of people living off the Earth, that may take longer than you are predicting.

I suspect that we will get an unmanned probe to orbit a nearby star before 2000 years from now, but that depends on a lot of things happening that can't really be predicted.

GOURDHEAD
2005-Jul-29, 01:18 PM
2040s: Martian colony construction
2100s: first geostationary colony, mining of asteroids
2200s: dispersion throughout solar system
2300s: conquest of solar system
>4000s: arrival at nearest stellar neighbors
In other threads I have described as well as linked to a description of the type of robust system needed to seriously and "safely" explore/colonize the solar system and traverse nominal 5 light year distances within 40 years trip duration and have indicated my lack of faith in the ultimate strength of materials to support an Earth based space elevator. Since I believe that collimated photon and particle beams and the associated sail effects from them provide the most likely most safe method of significant travel within the solar system as well as between stellar systems, I believe we won't do significant colonization of the solar system prior to 2300. When we have a robust system for solar system colonization we will also have one for interstellar travel.

I dismiss fusion, matter/anti-matter, and fission as practical power sources for interstellar travel and believe we should concentrate on system designs that support both intra-solar system and interstellar system transportation. Cosmic wormholes and zero point energy harnessing, if at all possible, are likely to remain beyond our technical capabilities for thousands of years.

Each star in the K class or above radiates large amounts of energy that we should learn to harness for exploration within the system as well as between systems. Systems capable of harnessing this energy will take, initially, about 200 years to complete after a serious effort has begun. I don't see enough of the rest of you sufficiently convinced of the practicality of this line of reasoning that you would support the initiation of a serious effort within 50 years...hence 2300 is about the best we can do for serious solar system and interstellar transportation.

I hope we exercise sufficient forethought about emplacing bases and/or colonies within the solar system prior to adjusting the masses and atmospheres where such adjustments require the violent introduction of substances onto the surfaces of the bodies to be colonized or on which bases are to be established. Again note that a robust system is required to move stuff where we want it.