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Thread: on Colonization of Space

  1. #1
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    on Colonization of Space

    This is a bit long and holed but it's the culmination of my thoughts on the subject of seeding Luna, so give your thoughts on however much you read, thanks.

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    The Colonization of the Cosmos

    At the moment space colonization is neglected. In the fed mind of America the cosmos simply isn't on the radar. Some say focus should be put to world hunger or disunion. Some others simply think it's immoral to go to Luna or Mars. Decades ago the needed fervor was present; Kennedy got us to the Moon when we were more unprepared than we are now. And yet people talk of how we don't have enough to stay there, and that is sickening blasphemy.
    An issue is simply getting to the launch pad. In the way stand religious zealots, procrastinators, and many other etceteras. For the zealots, they reason that the Earth is the only place for humanity, that it would be sin to go beyond what the various gods have given humanity as they see it. The only evidence (to my knowledge) they could grasp upon is that in Genesis Adam and Eve couldn't touch the forbidden fruits, the cosmos and immortality if you will. And yet the snake, Lucifer/ Satan/ the Devil/ a Gardner snake, is appraisable in this scenario. In Genesis the Snake told Eve to eat the fruit and she told Adam the same. The result is that they abandoned the double-edged ideal of bliss; they may have had to face hardships but that made them human. So at the moment the Earth could be viewed as an Eden. More importantly, an Eden that must be dropped, praise the Snake that gets us off the Earth.
    The procrastinators of the world preach we, the world, don' have the resources to go to another planet? Did Columbus, the vintage Apollonian, have enough to settle America? No. Did he? No. However after Columbus many more in Europe bit into the forbidden fruit and found it delicious. No one person can truly do a thing alone but countries and private companies could. A private or government mission could easily, colonize Luna, Mars, Quaoar and everything else. At the moment, as previously said, we are more prepared to colonize Luna than we were to land there when Kennedy said to make it happen. The resource problem is only existent with moral and money. For moral simply give a biased opinion like those against expansion do. And for money, liquefy the army send some of those funds to the marines and special op's but more importantly, the effort into the cosmos. More funding by rationing some of the funding to other departments, find private investors, don't fund other private efforts unless related, and when all else fails print more money.

    The other obstacle, the more logical one, is how to get there and what to do once we get there. Alluding back to Kennedy, they simply were resourceful and made what was needed on the way. In this day and age however, to do anything anywhere near major, the ignorant bureaucrats have to be surpassed before anything can be done. At the moment it is planned for humanity to touch Luna in several decades (Kennedy got to Luna before the close of that decade). The current plan is simply too slow although thought of as fast by many brainwashed people. Ten years just to go back.
    Procrastination aside, here's what could and should be done:
    2010
    Assuming the project begins by 2010 the world (forget the U.S. soloing this, the project should involve all nations) should start by researching better fuels, and better craft to use those fuels. Instead of having a rocket and cargo, cargo and a rocket will be the agenda. The Apollo 11 boosters are still reining champions, bettering a 60's rocket can't be too hard. For the sake of efficiency, the pilot will operate the craft from the highest life pod through a simple laptop interface
    The life pod idea is simply something already pioneered to some extent; the object is the simple pods shown on many documentaries housing people on Luna. A pre-existing design will be used, a cylindrical shape and inside a space as small as a submarine but “smart" in the sense of Bill Gate's premiere house.
    Giving a further intellectual skeleton, the space ship will abandon the frame of the shuttle and resemble the Apollo rockets. But as previously stated an emphasis will be placed on holding capacity. The fuel will be light but strong (unfound in other words), allowing a larger cargo area then previously given. The atmos clearing stage will be external as seen with the shuttle. Upon breaking the atmosphere and or empty, the external fuel tanks will fall away, and the onboard boosters will take action.
    Two to three life pods should be able to fit in, however one of the three will be carrying supplies and not personnel. There will be no emphasis towards having a communal kitchen, lavatory, or a cockpit. As stated, the lead life pod will have a pilot, controlling it as if it was but a video game, all pods will be self sufficient and unconnected, beyond maybe, simple airlocks made to connect them on Luna. In the case of emergency there will be a mechanism that will allow the shuttle to separate into enough pieces that each life pod can eject. Once the life pods are ejected they will release a suitable parachute and if possible the crew could just jump out maybe with their own parachutes. With the grandeur planned here an emergency should be expected
    During this time simple workhorse robots will be built in mass for a purpose explained in the next paragraph.
    2010-11 but in a different area
    Whilst the above is going on the shuttles will go on a fantastic voyage to end their career. The need for direct human control will be replaced with a remote operating system. As much of the shuttle as possible, will be converted into one big cargo hold. In this cargo hold robots and their purpose. The shuttles will go out in flight at the same time if possible. They'll go to a rough landing pad on Luna just big enough for them. Here the remote control robots will be deployed and will construct a landing pad as required. With that done the robots will use the other material taken up with them and build several greenhouses to be sown. Upon completing that task, a relative hibernation of maintaining the runway and making the landscape fit with the life pods.
    2011 Earth side again
    The new space ship will hopefully be done with the design phase by now so production will begin. Not production as known during shuttle times though. Each country participating in this will build at least one along with all companioning equipment and supplies. These space ships will be cheap and present in numbers unimaginable following this plan. Something near a wartime production capacity should be assumed.
    The participating countries could and should be France, England, Spain, Italy, Russia, China, the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, India and whoever else wants to be generous. If a nation can not build a space ship in their own country, maybe they just don't have the kind of equipment necessary or other things are on their mind, it would be nice for them to donate to a central fund that will be equally divided among the participating nations. The large effort is because since the beginning of the space race the Earth has been much divided until the International Space Station. Regardless of that, there are many space programs doing the same thing. And that is a waste. The U.S. may be capable of brooding four shuttles but imagine what a united world could do together...
    Also, as the space ships are being manufactured a large launch pad will be constructed in Western Texas; here there will be wide spaces with little in the way of building the launch pads. The rockets will be sent in the same fashion as the Shuttles are moved around, that will be at the expense of each country. The placement is because a disproportionate amount of spaceships will probably come from the U.S., and in the U.S. this is a large flat space in the South.
    2012
    With construction complete the space ships will be sent to Texas as previously stated in whatever fashion is convenient. If land acquisition is impossible through money it should simply be seized as few people are out there…, and after the launch the people can have their land back for free and if they want to sell their plot, a historic event occurred there so that’s some money. By October all space ships should be in the area and waiting to be set up.
    As this all goes on, there should be a local tax raise accompanied by endorsements to make the area a temporary competitor to Disney, or better yet, Disney and the like could set up their own stands. At the end of the day however, private investors who sold merchandise, food, or whatever go home fat, and a good deal of tax money goes to the government helping to pay some expenses. To further this effort commercials advertising the area should flood networks. The effect is people going to see it and a sense of pride on being born on Earth, not any particular country.
    Through October an army of internationally based workers will check the space ships for any and all faults, fixing such errors on the spot. At this time the life pods frequently alluded to will be placed into the space ships. By November the space ships will be raised by cranes into the arms of towers like the variety that have held the Shuttles for years. Once in that position engineers will inspect them again. The day before Winter Solstice the fuel tanks will be pumped with whatever miracle fuel has been found.
    2012 Winter Solstice
    With a crowd of millions, from every corner of the Earth watching the astronauts will go into their respective life pods. Just imagine this though, maybe fifty space ships standing up in salute to Uranus. Spreading over the plains of Texas half a mile (or however much is safe) apart. At a safe distance, onlookers do what they’re best at.
    In a flash of light and boom of sound a third of the spaceships go up simultaneously. They shoot through the sky, shaking the Earth in their quantified might. The exhaust begins to grow smaller as they pierce the exosphere and then the external boosters fall away. For a second just a fractioned caused pinpoint of light. And then, the Primary Boosters fire up pushing the space ship a bit faster than previously as it gravity is losing and there is less mass to push anyways.
    Five minutes after that a second countdown from thirty. Five minutes, another countdown, and the third wave follows.
    The first wave, now in space, maneuvers to go to Luna. Nearing it, retro-rockets in the nose fire up slowing the space ships. Upon being over Luna the most spectacular part if ever witnessed. The space crafts breaks up into three more pieces. The life pods fall down by way of meager gravity. Once near the surface stabilizing rockets on the life pods engage in the life pods (and supply pods) float down to their predestinated points. As a bit of a footnote, each life pod also has their own pilot that operates the individual pods.
    The other two waves follow up in the same manner.
    Through a live feed and cameras on the hull the world sees the journey through the eyes of the leading space ship in each wave, or if decided by any other ship.
    Upon landing, the inactive but present robots that had built the landing pad, use materials from their own landing and create a system of tubes that connect the life pods.
    After landing the occupants of the life pods settle into a life on Luna for at least one year (at the most life). Already growing in the greenhouse that are at center of each huddle of life pods, are plants ready to be rationed and cooked as needed. Operations will continue but the hope is, is that the base can now be self sufficient with a strong system that recycles air, water, and everything else.
    Although previously unsaid, the Moon Base will be in the facing Southern Hemisphere as this area receives sunlight three quarters of the year. Specifically the Shackleton Crater is ideal as it is sunlit 80% of the time, and may have reserves of water nearby.
    2012 on
    From this point on, the Lunar Base will receive regular resupply missions that will double in the sense of moving personal back and forth. If possible, another mass transit but such a use of resources should be rejected, as the Lunar Base detailed above is temporary. There should be a large scale tunneling system that would mirror the underground housing system known to Coober Pedy. Living underground would give protection from radiation without the need to specially design life pods for the purpose. Above ground, greenhouses of a type to filter the good rays from the bad rays of sunlight and allow crops to grow within.
    In a dream scenario the Lunar Base would evolve into what was envisioned by Ben Bova in Mars Life. In his book the Lunar Base was mentioned and detailed a few times. After a revolutionary war, Selene (as the colony is called) broke away from the Earth and gained independence. In time Selene became a successful country that made a good deal of profit from nanotechnology (that was illegal on Earth) but had to put up with refugees from an Earth being treated by Nemesis. For those unfamiliar with this book, and to reinforce this already said many times, on the surface greenhouses growing crops, whatever communications desired, and a landing pad. What will be below the surface will be something like a series of tunnels opening to a series of compact homes. Maybe even a nice skylight mall with grass
    To conclude the fold on Luna, this entire plan is something like any other human push, to be specific but not implicative; this is comparable to the Nazi Blitzkrieg. Sadly however the Poles are powerful politicians and there are no Vulcans to play Russia. Regardless with some willpower applied and a short sighted leader this is eagerly possible.

    At any the rate the string has been released, the guillotine has fallen so in another level this script will squawk from ashes and be resumed. With or without Ares, Ceres, or Penelope behind the curtain it is prudent to summarize; although any possible progress is procrastinativly spoken of, cosmic exploration is possible now. All that is needed is a little funding. To get to Luna and stay there a concerted effort won’t be required, but ignorance will be showcased if the world doesn’t work together. After Luna, humanity could go on to Mars or maybe a satellitive colony next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bris Vatne View Post
    Procrastination aside, here's what could and should be done:
    That was a whole lot of what, but not much on the why. I'm 100% behind the idea of space colonization, but from a practical perspective, "because it's there," "because we can," or "because we should" is insufficient to spent trillions of dollars of the taxpayers' money. Why should we?

    One of the more ludicrous reasons I recently read was, "so we can put servers in space." When we're already enjoying nearly ubiquitous and high-speed Internet communications worldwide, this simply fails the sanity test. Furthermore, nearly all space communications satellites were launched and are maintained autonomously - no space colonies required.

    Back to you...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bris Vatne
    And for money, liquefy the army send some of those funds to the marines and special op's but more importantly, the effort into the cosmos. More funding by rationing some of the funding to other departments, find private investors, don't fund other private efforts unless related, and when all else fails print more money.
    Your plan might break down here.

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    The shuttles probably wouldn't make it to Moon and I doubt very much they could actually land. They have wings, Moon has no air and they are not designed to land on their tails.

    And it would take 10 years of talks to get this even agreed to internationally , the time frame is unrealistic. Its a nice dream though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bris Vatne View Post
    ... And for money, liquefy the army send some of those funds to the marines and special op's but more importantly, the effort into the cosmos. More funding by rationing some of the funding to other departments, find private investors, don't fund other private efforts unless related, and when all else fails print more money. ...
    It would be nice if humans are indeed cooling like the rest of the planet. We will likely always need police for rogues but a full scale military force forever and ever?

    If only I could vote "a piece" of my contribution ... something ... anything ... sheesh!

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    Quote Originally Posted by loglo View Post
    ... And it would take 10 years of talks ...
    Given the long term of space exploration is that really a good argument?

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    I think of colonization as
    1. pack good, you are not coming back
    2. arrive frazzled, unsure. smelling foul
    3. build homes
    4. grow crops
    5. make babies
    6. repeat


    Exploration is another matter and the only argument, by far, is we are the best robots.
    1. able to learn
    2. self protecting
    3. self healing
    4. an "any-tool" user


    That's the Pro list and until we can pull off at least one of the above with robots, its a good argument for manned exploration.

    The Con list is the cosmos kills us easier than the other robots. That's a good argument as well.

    Servers? not even close to a why

    "because it's there," "because we can," or "because we should"
    My favorite is "because we will"

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    Hi, There are many and extraordinarilly formidable problems with living in space,
    and amoung them is radiation. Even if you live for an extended period "somewhere",
    you may become sterile ( highly likely) so as to preclude procreation.
    You will likely die trying to live in space.
    Clean water to live with may also be trouble...just getting there.
    Available spares is certainly a real and troubling problem.
    And there are other considerations.
    Good luck.
    Dan

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    Well, Dan, you know what they say: One man's sterility is another man's evolutionary leap!

  10. #10
    Wow! That was a long post, not sure I understood everything but I think I see where you’re going ‘I think’ The question that needs to be asked here is ‘what happens when space becomes available to the common man?’ Let’s face it no one will want to stay on this rock, I know I wouldn’t. NASA always seems to be struggling for funding because the old dogs in Washington see space as a waste of time and money. Is this they’re only reason, or are they acting out of fear?

    I made a post the other day about Virgin Galactic, asking what has happened to it. It was supposed to start taking on passengers last year but it’s still in its testing stages, even though Branson has proved that it works. I think the moment VG does start commercial space flights the interest will be massive as well as the media frenzy. Its £100,000 a flight at the moment but how long before £100,000 becomes £100 a flight? Other companies will follow suit and build their own commercial space vehicles to take paying customers into orbit, it will be a massive money spinner. And once commercial space flight does take off NASA will become almost obsolete over night, especially if there are cheaper way to launch satellites, and parts for space stations.

    Space colonization is inevitable, this planet can only support X amount of people. Even if there is one massive war or disease outbreak that wipes out three quarters of the population, it’s too late to start again. We have raped this planet of most of its natural resources, there’s nothing left to start again with.

    I think when commercial space flight does start then everyone will want a piece of it, driving the price of a ticket down. The knock on effect will be phenomenal, first there will be trips into orbit, then trips out a bit further say, half way to the moon, then to the moon, and then of course Mars and beyond. The concept of money will take second place to the ordinary man’s passion for exploring the solar system and beyond.

    It has happened on our own planet, The Romans, Vikings, Spanish all, were not content with staying in their own backyards. We will have to leave our petty squabbles on this planet, but given there are billions of stars in the galaxy alone, with planets around most of them, and billions of galaxies in our universe our petty squabbles just melt away in the vastness of the cosmos.

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    While I agree that we must forge on to other worlds, I think that your timetable is very aggressive. From an engineers standpoint, what you are suggesting will take years to plan and develop the hardware for. (You wouldn't want your million+ dollar robots sent to the moon only to face plant after three steps and become unusable). We must work toward expanding off of this planet. The earth, by some estimates, will reach the limits of it's resources to support humanity around 2050- that is only about 41 years away. We must either find more food on earth, limit population growth, or develop other worlds to support humanity (my preference). I hope that we have some visionary leaders that will see that expansion is required.

    As for naysayers-get used to them, they have always and will always exist no matter what decision is to be made or the size of the decision. A good leader listens to them but remains focused on the goal.

    Rusty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Chapman View Post
    We have raped this planet of most of its natural resources, there’s nothing left to start again with.
    Once again this myth. Given time and technology, anything and everything can be recycled. Except waste heat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Chapman View Post
    Let’s face it no one will want to stay on this rock, I know I wouldn’t.
    Ascribing one's own beliefs to others is known as "projection," and it's largely inaccurate.

    Space would be interesting to visit, perhaps live there for a short time, but I'm quite partial to the weather, seasons, people, myriads of places to see and things to do right here in Colorado Springs, not to mention elsewhere on our planet.

    If you don't agree, perhaps you might try moving to a nicer area, or just getting out more (if that's the issue - not saying it is, mind you...).

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    Ascribing one's own beliefs to others is known as "projection," and it's largely inaccurate.

    Space would be interesting to visit, perhaps live there for a short time, but I'm quite partial to the weather, seasons, people, myriads of places to see and things to do right here in Colorado Springs, not to mention elsewhere on our planet.

    If you don't agree, perhaps you might try moving to a nicer area, or just getting out more (if that's the issue - not saying it is, mind you...).
    I'm glad you put that last bit in. I've no problem living where I live, like Colorado Springs, South Wales, UK is one of the more scenic places, plenty of open spaces.
    What I'm saying is it’s all about choice, why do most people move house? because they like what they see, the grass looks greener and all that stuff. In five hundred years say, imagine you go to your local intergalactic estate agent. There's Planet X two star systems over, nice weather, seasons, friendly aliens, myriads of places to see. You're bound to get people who want to get off this rock. I could go on about the million and one reasons why I'd move planet tomorrow but that's just boring political dribble.


    Once again this myth. Given time and technology, anything and everything can be recycled. Except waste heat.
    True, but what about natural resources, are you prepared to wait a 100 million years for the empty oil feilds to refill?

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    Dear Sir: There was life before there was oil. We are smart enough to live well without oil. You have to "Want to". Living differently is not the end of life.
    What are you going to miss? That cruddy oil based carpet that is more of a fire hazard , not to mention the bugs it harbors? Or are you still hooked on that 427 cid muscle car? Trust me, you don't need that to live.
    You only need to reject the corporate programming that afflicts many and
    look to a differnt future. It's cleaner, cheaper and better. Fact.
    Best regards,
    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Chapman View Post
    True, but what about natural resources, are you prepared to wait a 100 million years for the empty oil feilds to refill?
    This is a good example. We can't manufacture petroleum yet, but we've discovered how to recycle what counts. We don't have to wait 100 years.

    Oil->CO2->Algae->Biodiesel. We can do this now. In 10, 20 years, who knows what's possible?

    Seeing as artificial processes have depleted our stock of resources, there's no reason to switch back to natural processes when determining sustainability. If we can invent the internal combustion engine, we can certainly build an artificial tree. Better than the original!

    Of course we have permanently destroyed some 'patterns'. For example, we've caused many species to go extinct. Here, there's literally not enough time for any technology to make a difference. And that sucks.

    But not everything is doom and gloom...

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Dear Sir: There was life before there was oil. We are smart enough to live well without oil. You have to "Want to". Living differently is not the end of life.
    What are you going to miss? That cruddy oil based carpet that is more of a fire hazard , not to mention the bugs it harbors? Or are you still hooked on that 427 cid muscle car? Trust me, you don't need that to live.
    You only need to reject the corporate programming that afflicts many and
    look to a differnt future. It's cleaner, cheaper and better. Fact.
    Best regards,
    Dan
    Dear Dan:

    You're absolutely right! I believe we'd be MUCH better off six ways to Sunday the sooner we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and break free from fossil fuels altogether so as to avoid running 120 mph into the 2050 mountain. As you said, "cleaner, cheaper, better."

    Back at 'ya...

    Mugs

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    Hi, There is so much we can do. Making plastics that can be totaly recycled
    again and again and using them where they are best needed will make a difference. There are ways.
    Best regards,
    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Chapman View Post
    We have raped this planet of most of its natural resources, there’s nothing left to start again with.
    What resources, exactly, do you think we "raped this planet of", yet which are available in space? Note that oil is NOT available outside Earth except on Titan, which lacks oxygen to burn it with.

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    getting off oil is not easy. it's not just plastics. it's in everything. 90% of all fertilizer used is based upon fossil hydrocarbons. that fertilizer is responsible for our ability to feed everyone on this planet. (Ignoring the political issues of distribution here) oil is also responsible for almost 100% of our transportation needs. including the transport of oil.
    Last edited by Antice; 2009-Jun-16 at 04:59 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antice View Post
    getting off oil is not easy. it's not just plastics. it's in everything. 90% of all fertilizer used is based upon fossil hydrocarbons. that fertilizer is responsible for our ability to feed everyone on this planet. (Ignoring the political issues of distribution here) oil is also responsible for almost 100% of our transportation needs. including the transport of oil.
    True, but you won't solve this problem with space colonization. Indeed, we need an abundant non-oil energy source to even think of space colonization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    Once again this myth. Given time and technology, anything and everything can be recycled. Except waste heat.
    You can't recycle 100% of everything, however. Whatever system you use is going to have losses. Right now, with a population of 6 billion people, recycling 99% of everything would be enough to prevent ecological damage, but what about when the population hits 9 billion?

    Another issue is: How much time do we have? Some experts are projecting massive ecological damage within 100 years, to the point where all our efforts are being spent on just keeping the remaining population alive, and we can't spare the resources to fix the damage we've done.

    Oil is a minor worry. There are ample methods for replacing/synthesizing it, that colonists on the Moon or Mars would have all they'd need. (After all, they're not going to be using it to run cars.)

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    Well... first priority in order to get off of oil is to get some non oil dependant form of energy going. electricity can be made quite cheaply for a long time with nuclear power on earth given a better political climate. the main obstructions for that is all the fearmongering and outright lies perpetrated by the anti nuke crowds. space advocates should try to capitalize on the current climatological issues in order to garner support for making space projects viable. but the criteria here is that the space technologies have to have some kind of environmental benefit for earth and it's citizens.
    And no. SPS is not an option. especially not made from off world resources or by orbital factories. there are just too many none developed technologies involved in that. we currently do not even know if a 0g smelter is viable at all. on earth they are all gravity dependant processes. 0g manufacturing is going to need a whole range of never before tried methods and processes that it will take multiple decades to make it work. by then the problems down here are either dealt with or we are too weakened to pull anything so ambitious off.
    So where does that leave us? what other off world projects can we attempt that has earthly benefits?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antice View Post
    we currently do not even know if a 0g smelter is viable at all.
    Not true. One of the experiments done on the shuttle by a university before Challenger blew up was a zero gravity smelter. It made a small I-beam, which was found to be stronger than one made on Earth by similar processes.
    on earth they are all gravity dependant processes.
    Wrong. Injection molding and die casting do not rely on gravity for much. There's also what's called rotational molding, which actively counteracts forces of gravity.
    0g manufacturing is going to need a whole range of never before tried methods and processes that it will take multiple decades to make it work.
    That's only true if we continue to tackle it in a haphazard fasion.
    by then the problems down here are either dealt with or we are too weakened to pull anything so ambitious off.
    Our problems will never be "dealt with," as soon as we solve one problem, a dozen more will pop up to take its place.
    So where does that leave us? what other off world projects can we attempt that has earthly benefits?
    Solar power generation may come online in just a few years.
    PG&E has been a big supporter of land-based solar projects for a while now, but yesterday they announced they're expanding their solar interest far beyond California, into outer space. The utility plans on purchasing 200 MW of electricity from Solaren Corp., a start-up trying to produce solar power in space.

    Solaren will harness the energy with orbiting solar panels that convert the energy into radio-frequency transmissions that will be beamed down to a Fresno-based receiving station. The energy would then be converted to electricity and added to the grid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    You can't recycle 100% of everything, however. Whatever system you use is going to have losses. Right now, with a population of 6 billion people, recycling 99% of everything would be enough to prevent ecological damage, but what about when the population hits 9 billion?

    Another issue is: How much time do we have? Some experts are projecting massive ecological damage within 100 years, to the point where all our efforts are being spent on just keeping the remaining population alive, and we can't spare the resources to fix the damage we've done.
    If you'll read the exchange, you'll find out that I was specifically talking about resources disappearing into the sunset. What you've steered the discussion onto is ecological damage, which is a related but broader issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    If you'll read the exchange, you'll find out that I was specifically talking about resources disappearing into the sunset. What you've steered the discussion onto is ecological damage, which is a related but broader issue.
    There are other limits to recycling, however. For example, you can't recycle a building while people are living in it, so those materials are effectively locked away, and incapable of being used.

    In other cases, there's limits on to how many times you can recycle an item. Wood, for example. Sure, you can reuse it a bunch of times, but eventually, its going to be in such bad shape, that it can't be used for anything other than compost, or converted via some method, into energy.

    For a society to recycle a significant amount of its resources, it will have to be strictly regulated in some manner, with penalties for throwing something out, rather than recycling it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    There are other limits to recycling, however. For example, you can't recycle a building while people are living in it, so those materials are effectively locked away, and incapable of being used.
    If people are happily using it, what exactly is the point of recycling it?

    In other cases, there's limits on to how many times you can recycle an item. Wood, for example. Sure, you can reuse it a bunch of times, but eventually, its going to be in such bad shape, that it can't be used for anything other than compost, or converted via some method, into energy.
    Plant a tree. And as for compost- huh? I do believe that's nature's way of recycling a tree.

    For a society to recycle a significant amount of its resources, it will have to be strictly regulated in some manner, with penalties for throwing something out, rather than recycling it.
    Yes, we have a system that does all that- prices.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    If people are happily using it, what exactly is the point of recycling it?
    The point is, materials get locked up, and cannot be made available for other purposes. Designers are now coming around (again) to the concept of designing things for long life, and the potential lifespan of some items can be quite long. So you can't simply say, "Oh, we'll just recycle everything!" because not everything is going to be available to be recycled. You'll have to have sources of new materials, unless the population is static in terms of size and needs, which is unlikely to ever happen.

    Plant a tree. And as for compost- huh? I do believe that's nature's way of recycling a tree.
    Trees take time to grow. A number of years, and if your wood has been treated with toxic chemicals (arsenic was really popular in treating wood up until a couple of years ago), then composting it isn't exactly a great idea.

    Yes, we have a system that does all that- prices.
    Which has so far failed to make recycling commonplace in the US. Imagine the reaction people will have when everything has a "recycling fee" attached to it (and it will, I'm sure). Then you also have to set up distribution channels for the material (and it'll have to capable of handling stuff that's biohazardous as well), couple that with the "walling off" of much of the environment to protect it from us going around and messing things up, and you're going to wind up with a society where if you drop a piece of paper on the ground and the wind snatches it before you can grab it, you end up getting fined for it, because some automated system out there has managed to track you down and ding you for it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    The point is, materials get locked up, and cannot be made available for other purposes. Designers are now coming around (again) to the concept of designing things for long life, and the potential lifespan of some items can be quite long. So you can't simply say, "Oh, we'll just recycle everything!" because not everything is going to be available to be recycled. You'll have to have sources of new materials, unless the population is static in terms of size and needs, which is unlikely to ever happen.
    Even if all 9 billion of us owned one 9 billionth of the planet, there would not be a problem. You can still trade. Stock markets work on this principle. Trading is a part of recycling. And trade will always exist.

    Yes, new materials and new sources are great. This is substitution. This is also my side of the argument, not yours.
    Trees take time to grow. A number of years, and if your wood has been treated with toxic chemicals (arsenic was really popular in treating wood up until a couple of years ago), then composting it isn't exactly a great idea.
    I believe I covered the aspect of time in the very first quote which you quoted. Also, composting was your idea, not mine. And again, the topic of arsenic is more ecological damage, not resources dying out.
    Which has so far failed to make recycling commonplace in the US.
    You haven't run out of anything in the US.
    Recycling is not as common as you wish because you're not even close to running out of things.
    couple that with the "walling off" of much of the environment to protect it from us going around and messing things up, and you're going to wind up with a society where if you drop a piece of paper on the ground and the wind snatches it before you can grab it, you end up getting fined for it, because some automated system out there has managed to track you down and ding you for it.
    Again, ecological damage and not recycling. Still, I'll write something because this is a good point. This is where the pricing system fails, and why we have a global warming problem, an over fishing problem, a deforestation problem, etc. Prices don't cover these- no-one owns these resources. I can't charge Exxon and GM for fouling up my part of the atmosphere. I wish I could, but I can't.
    -----> Externalities. Tragedy of the commons.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    Even if all 9 billion of us owned one 9 billionth of the planet, there would not be a problem. You can still trade. Stock markets work on this principle. Trading is a part of recycling. And trade will always exist.

    Yes, new materials and new sources are great. This is substitution. This is also my side of the argument, not yours.
    Trading only works when you have something someone else wants, or is willing to offer you something in return which you feel is of equal or greater value than what you presently have. That's not always going to be the case.
    I believe I covered the aspect of time in the very first quote which you quoted. Also, composting was your idea, not mine. And again, the topic of arsenic is more ecological damage, not resources dying out.
    If a resource is so contaminated that there's no practical way of decontaminating it, then, its pretty much gone, is it not?
    Huh? You haven't run out of anything in the US.
    Recycling is not as common as you wish because you're not even close to running out of things.
    But it would be much better for us as society now, if we had a high rate of recycling. It would avoid a lot of coming environmental damage (to some extent, the way electronics are recycled is pretty horrendous), which is going to be hugely expensive to clean up, if we had an effective system of recycling at the moment.
    Again, ecological damage and not recycling. Still, I'll write something because this is a good point. This is where the pricing system fails, and why we have a global warming problem, an over fishing problem, a deforestation problem, etc. Prices don't cover these- no-one owns these resources. I can't charge Exxon and GM for fouling up my part of the atmosphere. I wish I could, but I can't.
    -----> Externalities. Tragedy of the commons.
    It is going to be the primary issue facing all of us in just a few years, IMHO, and I doubt that our technology will be to the point where its a relatively painless process any time soon.

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