Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 274

Thread: Space Colonization and Evolutionary Psychology and Physiology

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,450
    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    I am very curious to know how you , habitat enthusiasts , see the construction of any of these mega structures ?
    Speaking for myself, I see it in the far future, at least two centuries from now (unless really neat-o technology speeds things up a lot).

    Practically , with which materials ? , how to obtain , manufacture and transport the materials ? How to assemble the parts ? How to finance ? how to recover your money ? Make a profit ?
    I'll start with "Make a profit", because that's the big one. As I see it, there is no product for space colonists to sell back to Earth, other than a very limited demand for space tourism. Therefore, the only product a colony has to sell is living space. How can you make a profit? Only if it's economical for a person or family to buy a home in the space colony as well as pay for whatever extra equipment is required to support them for life (if any such equipment is required).

    This requires much more than merely the technological capability to create a habitat. It must be economical, as well as possible. This is the reason why Freedom Ship is utterly retarded. It's certainly possible to make a huge cruise ship that people could live on permanently. But it makes no economic sense.

    So, IMO, space habitats will only happen after technology has improved to provide cheap space launch capability. Whether this is laser launch or kinetic impact rocket or whatever, I don't see it within the next century.

    Now, given that we're talking about materials science and manufacturing technology at least two hundred years more advanced than our own, the rest of the problems don't look so bad. The material I favor is vapor deposited diamond--a substance which is limited to thin coatings today, but in the vast vacuum of outer space it could be economical. It's stronger and more durable than steel, but it's also transparent. The main structure can consist of concentric cylindrical floors, with pedestrians, bikes, cars, and trains seemingly "walking on air". Buildings would have opaque walls for privacy, of course, leaving the visual effect of skyscrapers with people and transports hovering in the air between them.

    The materials would come from NEOs or atmospheric scooping. Venus has a practically unlimited supply of carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere. This can be split into carbon to form the habitat shells and oxygen for breathable air.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    3,464
    A 500 centimeter asteroid can make a 500 foot gash, if the speed difference is big enough, but a homemade bomb would not damage the ten meter thick plus outer wall of the cylinder, unless the bomb maker was both skilled and lucky.
    At present we know the orbits of less than 1% of the 1 to 5 meter asteroids, but a very costly program can chart 99% of the asteroids over one meter. It may be 1000 years before we chart 99% of the comets with a nucleus over one meter.
    I suppose a 500 foot gash can be fixed in minutes with a big enough emergency repair team, but will our repair team remain alert if only one large gash occurs per century? We had 50,000 vehicles barely moving West on I10the last huricane evactuation order. Many ran out of gas, because of the very low speed. Luckily the wind did not gust more than 60 knots on the I10 parking lot, so injuries were few. Neil

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    The first large-scale permanent colonies may very well not exist this century-- although I wouldn't rule it out entirely. But the smaller steps taken to get there will definitely be taking place in this century, and some of it probably in the next few decades. Besides the technology and ecology needed to be developed for the habitats themselves, two basic things will be required; Large-scale, cheap human access to space, and a cheap and easily accessible source of building materials. Both may have to wait until next century-- depending, of course, on how this century goes. The future is not always predictable. We are in the same position today as those science fiction authors in the first years of the 20th century trying to paint a picture of what the next hundred years would be like, and a century from now our concept of the future may look as funny and dated as their ideas do to us.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2007-Oct-24 at 02:55 AM.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,202
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Obviously if you're going to park a large colony in a particular orbit, you will first check to make sure there are no 500 meter asteroids crossing it. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
    So, you're having your safety audits at work too?
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    So, you're having your safety audits at work too?
    No, I just have some friends with poor impulse control.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    375
    Economics/Paying for Itself -

    To start with, either one of two things need be true
    *A self-sustaining source of food, or near enough to it not to make any difference
    *High valued of either that can pay for any importation of food Goods(unlikely, given that raw materials for X good can always be transported to a Earth-based factory much cheaper than to even a LEO, let alone a HEO and especially the Moon or a Planet)
    Services(probably a little more likely, but that assumes that people WANT to live for a least several years in space in the first place - itself a non-proven assumption)
    Tourism - related to services (this is the most likely one, though it's a flimsy economic base unless you offer something with an impressive "Wow" factor that'd impress even Hollywood, Las Vegas, Rio-at-Carnival, or Paris [low-G can't really be replicated on earth, so that offers some home])

    Personally, I think tourism combined with self-sustaining food production is likely the best bet. Otherwise, the only other thing I can think of is an "everything goes" kind of libertine and/or nonjudgmental cultural environment -- kind of like Amsterdam in orbit. Regardless, I don't see how orbitals can be sustainable in the long run unless you can produce at least slight food and water and O2 surpluses on demand.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    R.I. USA
    Posts
    10,014
    Hi, I think that is the accurate assesment of the situation. And frankly,
    I don't see and bottom line in black ink for a space station. There is no potential
    product or service that can provide even a small income that can pay a
    very small percentage of the cost to construct, boost , man , and maintain
    a space station . It, like a boat, will be a hole into which nations shall pour money in large quantities . No question .
    Best regards, Dan

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    375
    Dan,

    IMO, that depends ultimately on self sufficiency in food, water, nutrients, and oxygen. Self sufficiency in those elements, combined with rigorous population controls, can really take a bite from the long term costs (the initial outlay may be out of the wazoo, but given a high valued service or creative endeavor with a basic low-material requirement, it might succeed).

    I know several here will disagree with my layout, but this is how I see it.

    I don't know if hydrophonics alone can generate enough food to sustain a small population (around 10) indefinitely, but if not, then gradually importing soil from earth into at least part of a habitat is a bare-bones basic start. I prefer to use "natural" approaches as much as possible because they require less complex machinery to operate - particularly regarding oxygen generation.

    Basically, import high O2 generating grasses along with the soil, plus some microorganisms known to decompose grass. Put these in a sealed chamber, and you have a great O2 source. Then add some more (how ever gradually) until you have enough to support at least a few people indefinitely. I'll admit you'll have to do at least fairly intensive hydroponics at first to supply food, but this system at least can have some degree of self-sustainability.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by filrabat View Post
    I'll admit you'll have to do at least fairly intensive hydroponics at first to supply food, but this system at least can have some degree of self-sustainability.
    But in a small, closed system, soil may not be self-sustainable.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But in a small, closed system, soil may not be self-sustainable.
    Aeroponics systems tend to be more efficient and don't require soil of any form.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Soil is full of random organisms that may make a mess of a planned ecology. Not to mention that at least some of that soil will eventually wind up in the mechanisms that are needed to sustain all the other functions of the habitat.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    375
    I guess there's little, if any, way around the techno-intensive solution to biological self-sustaination in the short term. When starting out, aeroponics (or hydroponics, if possible) would be the way to go. (My mind keeps jumping between early and "maturing" stages of habitat construction)

    As for soil winding up in the mechanisms needed to sustain functions: Assuming a "1G or close to" pseudo-gravity, couldn't we just isolate the plants in a separate cell, to keep the soil from messing with the machinery? (I'm picturing essentially a well sealed greenhouse, with an air pipe at the "top" of the house...with only a few small fans to circulate the air throughout the habitat). In short, a plant (read: O2 generating) area, and a human-machine area.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by filrabat View Post
    I guess there's little, if any, way around the techno-intensive solution to biological self-sustaination in the short term. When starting out, aeroponics (or hydroponics, if possible) would be the way to go. (My mind keeps jumping between early and "maturing" stages of habitat construction)

    As for soil winding up in the mechanisms needed to sustain functions: Assuming a "1G or close to" pseudo-gravity, couldn't we just isolate the plants in a separate cell, to keep the soil from messing with the machinery? (I'm picturing essentially a well sealed greenhouse, with an air pipe at the "top" of the house...with only a few small fans to circulate the air throughout the habitat). In short, a plant (read: O2 generating) area, and a human-machine area.
    Unless you posit a separate maintainance crew living in the farming section, human access will be necessary. It would not be possible given any near-term technology to prevent some soil particles from migrating.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    R.I. USA
    Posts
    10,014
    We do it every day. Iy's called clean room conditions. You pass through a port
    when entering and leaving an area. This is not invention, but standard procedure. Yes the system demands respect. That's why we employ brainy people in space.
    And speaking of great people, How about those Red Sox!!!!
    Best regards, Dan

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    We do it every day. Iy's called clean room conditions. You pass through a port
    when entering and leaving an area. This is not invention, but standard procedure.
    Yes, but they aren't full of dirt. Hence the term "clean".

    ADDED: Cleanrooms also normally do not provide all the air and food for a small enclosed space where all materials must be recirculated, or contain working greenhouses.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2007-Oct-29 at 06:15 AM.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,450
    Aeroponics and hydroponics are more or less the same thing, just with a different amount of water used. I favor hydroponics because currently it seems to be more efficient and more mature, and I figure any reasonable habitat will have a decent amount of water.

    In particular, I think any reasonable habitat is going to at least have a large store of emergency water, along with a decent amount of emergency dried food. The latter needs water, of course.

  17. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    In particular, I think any reasonable habitat is going to at least have a large store of emergency water, along with a decent amount of emergency dried food. The latter needs water, of course.
    And water can also help provide additional radiation shielding.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  18. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    R.I. USA
    Posts
    10,014
    Hi,
    I think the fly in the ointment is going to be mold. Dealing with this problem is going to be extraordinary. And you can't hose the place down with bleach and just open the windows for a fresh change of air. This is a tough one.
    Best regards, Dan

  19. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Dealing with this problem is going to be extraordinary.
    No more so than any other aspect of a small closed ecosystem.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  20. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    375
    Economic Sustainability (again)

    This post treats realistic degrees of food/O2/H2O sustainability, plus rapid capacity increase capability as a "black box" and just assumes that somehow, some way, we solved the problem.

    What kinds of service industries are high-valued enough to create economically sustainable habitats (Assume a 1G rotation or close to it)?

    What is there in a habitat that could make people want to live there? I came up with unique experiences, a more libertine social environment (potentially), possibly bragging rights to "living with a cool view of the earth". Possibly it could be a place for people with hampered mobility (physically challenged, aged people with weak bones).

    A lot, of course, depends on what the G is in the first place (for obvious reasons, low G applies most to the last groups mentioned). Perhaps slightly higher G environments would appeal to people who are young, full of physical vigor, and like to stay in shape (1.1 to 1.25 G environments seem a great way to burn off extra calories and give a good continuous workout to the muscles as long as you don't spend too much time in the higher G's -- potential back problems, you know).

    Seems to me like techies, etc would disproportionately be represented in that group, for the novelty sake, if nothing else. Then, there'd be the maintainence crews, representatives of financial companies, etc. to serve the techies and other science types in orbit (seeing an opportunity for "space duty pay").
    Last edited by filrabat; 2007-Oct-29 at 07:37 PM. Reason: Change "this posts" to "this post"

  21. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    10,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    The Galilean satellites are radioactive hells. On the other hand, Almathea and Thebes might be nice places. . . .

    The view would be spectacular at any rate.
    Only Io and Europa are untenably radioactive.

  22. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    375
    One good thing about a literal designer ecosystem....the ecosystem literally CAN revolve around us (well, much closeER, at least).

    Still, no matter what happens, there's still the danger of different strains of the same microbe species evolving to become less or more deadly in the habitat than on earth. That's going to be a challenge as well. For kids born up there especially, immunology's going to be quite challenging (not just microbe resistance, but asthma, pollen, etc). Seems like frequent immunization's going to be fairly routine for a few centuries (or whenever we develop habitats with populations of small nations WITH frequent travel between earth/other habitats and that habitat - sort of like Iceland, or island tourist destinations)

  23. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by filrabat View Post
    What kinds of service industries are high-valued enough to create economically sustainable habitats (Assume a 1G rotation or close to it).
    What is the definition of economically sustainable for a self-sufficient habitat?

    I'd say, with essentially unlimited energy, near-term recycling and manufacturing technologies and a closed-loop ecosystem, a finished habitat that is not taking in any more population will only need new materials to replace what is lost to airlock use and leaks, barring emergency. How much that would be will depend on the efficiency of their design and ecology.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  24. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,501
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Aeroponics and hydroponics are more or less the same thing, just with a different amount of water used. I favor hydroponics because currently it seems to be more efficient and more mature, and I figure any reasonable habitat will have a decent amount of water..
    Not at all, aeroponics is fully mature and much more efficient, additionally the plants produce better in aeroponic systems. And water requirements are a serious and major concern, especially for initial small habitats.

    http://www.biocontrols.com/aero122.htm


    http://www.techbriefs.com/content/view/1294/118/


    http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/successes/ss/10-026text.html

  25. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    At first, enforced population controls will be needed. As our space-based capacity for manufacturing habitats and transporting people increases, these restrictions may slowly be lessened and eventually lifted entirely, as excess peopulation* can simply be given their own homes.

    *How about that, I invented a new word. Either people or population would work there, pick one and imagine that's what I really typed.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2007-Oct-30 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Doy!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  26. #56
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,450
    Quote Originally Posted by Trakar View Post
    Not at all, aeroponics is fully mature and much more efficient, additionally the plants produce better in aeroponic systems. And water requirements are a serious and major concern, especially for initial small habitats.
    Hydroponics is still more mature than aeroponics, and I'm not convinced by company PR. If aeroponics were so much better than hydroponics, why has it only acheived limited commercial success in comparison?

    Hmm...now that I think about it, I'm not sure it's even possible to use aeroponics to grow algae. In any case, my hope for hydroponic algae is to minimize logistic support man-hours by simply putting the algae in zero maintenance transparent tubes directly exposed to sunlight. Pumps would keep the fluid circulating to centralized equipment to exchange air and occasionally harvest algae.

    The aeroponics systems seem rather labor intensive, with clipping of seedlings and manual placement of plants into fixed holders. In contrast, a vat of pond scum algae requires very little maintenance effort.

  27. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    18,352
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    What is the definition of economically sustainable for a self-sufficient habitat?

    I'd say, with essentially unlimited energy, near-term recycling and manufacturing technologies and a closed-loop ecosystem, a finished habitat that is not taking in any more population will only need new materials to replace what is lost to airlock use and leaks, barring emergency. How much that would be will depend on the efficiency of their design and ecology.
    (Emphasis added). Closure is a big problem. It starts to be an significant issue above around 80%, and begins to get seriously tricky at about 90%. The last few percent are the hardest, and starts requiring a lot of mass in the system (in hardware, size of the biological components, etc.) and more maintenance. We need to do a lot more research on this stuff.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  28. #58
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    (Emphasis added). Closure is a big problem. It starts to be an significant issue above around 80%, and begins to get seriously tricky at about 90%. The last few percent are the hardest, and starts requiring a lot of mass in the system (in hardware, size of the biological components, etc.) and more maintenance. We need to do a lot more research on this stuff.
    Yes, we definitely do.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  29. #59
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,098
    Getting back to the OP about human psychology in space, colonists will probably need to have a strong sense of responsibility; when your every breath, and that of your family and friends, rely on complex life support systems, no one can afford to be lazy or sloppy. Likely in small habitats a villiage mentality will develop-- strangers will be rare, at least for face-to-face meetings.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  30. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,501
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Hydroponics is still more mature than aeroponics, and I'm not convinced by company PR. If aeroponics were so much better than hydroponics, why has it only acheived limited commercial success in comparison?.
    Aeroponics was first investigated in 1942 (Carter, W.A. 1942. "A method of growing plants in water vapor to facilitate examination of roots." Phytopathology 732: 623-625). There are multihectacre aeroponic plantations in singapore and malaysia, and small scale home production units across the face of the globe, with hundreds of companies supplying everything from do-it-yourself kits to full-up commercial production systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Hmm...now that I think about it, I'm not sure it's even possible to use aeroponics to grow algae. In any case, my hope for hydroponic algae is to minimize logistic support man-hours by simply putting the algae in zero maintenance transparent tubes directly exposed to sunlight. Pumps would keep the fluid circulating to centralized equipment to exchange air and occasionally harvest algae..
    Might be good as atmospheric/water regeneration systems, and would provide a base-stock product that could possibly be used as animal feed supplement, but in order to produce anything out of it that would be palatable and appetizing human food it would require extensive processing and preparation.

    With aeroponics I get the same atmosphere benefits, and have a large natural variety of fruits and vegetables that I can pluck and eat. They produce faster and in larger volume than hydroponic systems and require a small fraction of water.

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    The aeroponics systems seem rather labor intensive, with clipping of seedlings and manual placement of plants into fixed holders. In contrast, a vat of pond scum algae requires very little maintenance effort.
    Certainly less labor than would be required to turn a vat of pond scum into something I would enjoy eating on a regular basis.

Similar Threads

  1. Motives for colonization of space
    By Noclevername in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 270
    Last Post: 2012-Jan-20, 03:44 AM
  2. on Colonization of Space
    By Bris Vatne in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 78
    Last Post: 2009-Jul-31, 12:18 AM
  3. Embryo Space Colonization - What if?
    By Anthrage in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 2008-Feb-26, 11:01 PM
  4. Space Exploration & Colonization -Will It Happen?
    By Rajiv in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 2004-Nov-21, 02:09 PM
  5. colonization and space hotels
    By g99 in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 2002-Nov-03, 10:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •