Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Where Could Humans Survive in our Solar System?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    28,024

    Where Could Humans Survive in our Solar System?

    If humans were forced to vacate Earth, where is the next best place in our solar system for us to live? A study by the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo has provided a quantitative evaluation of habitability to identify the potential habitats in our solar system. Professor Abel Mendez, who produced the [...]

    More...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    41
    that sucks i know that since earht is in the temptrate zone (which we are lucky for) but it sucks we can't go to venus because its too hot and acidic and mars is too cold with no oxygen to breathe i wonder if a tree could grown on mars?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Airesgirl View Post
    that sucks i know that since earht is in the temptrate zone (which we are lucky for) but it sucks we can't go to venus because its too hot and acidic and mars is too cold with no oxygen to breathe i wonder if a tree could grown on mars?
    It isn't just a lack of Oxygen, its lack of atmosphere (better vacuum on Mars passing for an atmosphere than many school vacuum pumps can create - 6 to 10 millibars) and gravity and magnetic field, and all the wonderful things those elements contribute to an environment, along with all the negatives of a deep gravity well for transits to and from the surface. There is no other Earth within the solar system, not even anything close enough to make do with, IMO.

    So we build our own.
    We won't save all of humanity, but we could save humanity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,679
    Best bet: Hollow out an asteroid.

    Ages ago Isaac Asimov had an essay where he talked about putting humans out there and he figured that you could put 50ft high decks 50ft apart on some of the larger asteroids and get nearly the land area of North America.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    2,608
    Quote Originally Posted by JustAFriend View Post
    Best bet: Hollow out an asteroid.

    Ages ago Isaac Asimov had an essay where he talked about putting humans out there and he figured that you could put 50ft high decks 50ft apart on some of the larger asteroids and get nearly the land area of North America.
    Its an interesting idea, and ol' Isaac was no dummy, but I wonder how humans would react to being inside a rock for all eternity? There's growing evidence that we need open and "natural" spaces for our wellbeing. (Ironically enough, this was the thinking behind the creation of NYC's Central Park in the 1800s, they figured the park would lower crime.) There's been studies which have shown that patients in hospital rooms which have "windows" that simulate a view outside do better than patients in windowless rooms. I don't know if the patients with the simulated view do as well as patients with a real window. It might be that no matter how nicely designed the interior of an asteroid is, its not enough to keep an above average number of people from going "squirrelly." Of course, simply going up to the surface of the asteroid and wandering around could be enough to counteract this. One way to find out, I suppose!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,129
    Quote Originally Posted by JustAFriend View Post
    Best bet: Hollow out an asteroid.

    Ages ago Isaac Asimov had an essay where he talked about putting humans out there and he figured that you could put 50ft high decks 50ft apart on some of the larger asteroids and get nearly the land area of North America.
    that is a LOT of building materials!

    I'd say this is at least a partial solution - have asteroids in a suitable orbit and build colonies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    41
    we could build our own but it would be a long diffcult task

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,486
    It's strange bu true: the answer is Titan. It's the only body in the solar system where a person could walk round on the surface with just an oxygen mask and warm clothing.

    OK, VERY warm clothing. And I guess it stinks like an organic chemistry lab from hell. But no worries about cosmic radiation, and you don't need a pressure suit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,450
    I would be more worried about the cyanide than the smell.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,188
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    Its an interesting idea, and ol' Isaac was no dummy, but I wonder how humans would react to being inside a rock for all eternity?
    The lack of gravity would probably have more immediate health detriments than the lack of windows.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,129
    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    It's strange bu true: the answer is Titan. It's the only body in the solar system where a person could walk round on the surface with just an oxygen mask and warm clothing.
    OK, VERY warm clothing. And I guess it stinks like an organic chemistry lab from hell. But no worries about cosmic radiation, and you don't need a pressure suit.
    I didnt know that, the part about not having to have a pressure suit. That's pretty cool.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    2,608
    Quote Originally Posted by timb View Post
    The lack of gravity would probably have more immediate health detriments than the lack of windows.
    One could spin it to simulate gravity, which has been shown in some studies to be effective at eliminating things like muscle atrophy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,486
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    I would be more worried about the cyanide than the smell.
    Both hydrogen cyanide and cyanogen are solids at temperatures way above the surface temperature of Titan. As far as I can make out, they are only present in the aerosols at high altitude. Perhaps they come down with the methane rain, but you'd probably have to keep a cryogenically capable umbrella handy anyway.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,080
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    Its an interesting idea, and ol' Isaac was no dummy, but I wonder how humans would react to being inside a rock for all eternity?
    Put that way, it doesn't sound very tempting

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
    There's been studies which have shown that patients in hospital rooms which have "windows" that simulate a view outside do better than patients in windowless rooms. I don't know if the patients with the simulated view do as well as patients with a real window.
    IMHO, that's exactly the way to go.

    By the time we seriously start to colonize asteroids,
    our virtual reality simulators should have advanced to a point where one can quite realistically simulate a natural landscape
    (or any other location - how about an evening stroll through Paris or Rome?)

    That might make the experience much more bearable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,450
    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    Both hydrogen cyanide and cyanogen are solids at temperatures way above the surface temperature of Titan. As far as I can make out, they are only present in the aerosols at high altitude. Perhaps they come down with the methane rain, but you'd probably have to keep a cryogenically capable umbrella handy anyway.
    I don't know, but assuming what you're saying is true then you at least need to go out in a (very well insulated) hazmat suit. They may be solids in the sludge/dust, but they'll melt/evaporate once warmed up--either inside your suit if it's not airtight or when you track the crud into your station.

    Consider the moon missions--lunar dust got everywhere! The same will be true on other planetary bodies.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    41
    lack of gravity means you weigh less so i belive that would be my choice lol

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,080
    Quote Originally Posted by Airesgirl View Post
    lack of gravity means you weigh less so i belive that would be my choice lol
    For athletes it might be interesting to prepare in slightly higher gravity (higher than on Earth).
    Something similar to high-altitude training...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,743
    Lack of gravity isn't a problem if you don't plan to return to Earth anytime soon. If you need to go back to earth-like gravity, I would think that you could retrain your body to be able to withstand it over time, in little leaps. But the mental exercise explicitly states that Earth is no longer a viable option.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,486
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    I don't know, but assuming what you're saying is true then you at least need to go out in a (very well insulated) hazmat suit. They may be solids in the sludge/dust, but they'll melt/evaporate once warmed up--either inside your suit if it's not airtight or when you track the crud into your station.

    Consider the moon missions--lunar dust got everywhere! The same will be true on other planetary bodies.
    I've thought of the solids evaporating on your clothing problem. I think it'd be possible to have an activated charcoal layer or similar. I also think there are chemicals that sorb cyanides, so you could have cyanide-sorbing thermal underwear on.

    Elsewhere, I've seen hints there could be relatively warm locations, presumably around volcanoes, where liquid water could be possible. I don't know if this is good or bad, it's good from a temperature point of view, but the downside I guess is that more nasties will be volatilised.

    I still think it is fascinating that survival on Titan, of all places, could be so "low-tech". It's kind of unexpected.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,450
    Oh, I'm sure we clever humans could figure out solutions to the problem, I'm just saying the solution will be more complex than just thermal insulation and an oxygen mask.

    I think that a simple airtight balloon shaped like a human is more of a "low tech" solution than a superinsulated hazmat Titan suit. That is, a space suit suitable for surviving in a vacuum environment seems less "hi-tech" than one suitable for surviving on Titan. Simple vacuum doesn't go out of its way to kill you the way extreme cold or hazardous materials do.

    In any case, walking around on Titan's surface would be a miserable experience, only done when absolutely necessary. Besides the extreme cold and generally icky environment, it's also very dark. There's no view to enjoy; it would be even more claustrophobic than the most cramped surface station (where you wouldn't be stuffed inside a thick enviro-suit).

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,501
    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    Lack of gravity isn't a problem if you don't plan to return to Earth anytime soon. If you need to go back to earth-like gravity, I would think that you could retrain your body to be able to withstand it over time, in little leaps. But the mental exercise explicitly states that Earth is no longer a viable option.
    Actually a complete lack of gravity will drastically and dramatically shorten your life (cardiac degeneration, immune suppression, loss of skeletal integrity) as well as limiting your ability to us transportation designed for people more acclimatized to 1 or 1+ g environments. broken limbs and injuries from minor orbital adjustments will further foreshorten a life already drastically reduced by zero-g degenerations and enhanced radiation exposure.

    1+ g is actually more healthy and relatively easy to obtain even in minimal size vehicles through the use of tether systems.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,097
    There's no one ideal place, so build a lot of lifeboats (Dyson-style nuke-pulse Orions?) and send a few to each promising location-- NEOs, Mars, Jupiter's and Saturn's moons, Ceres, etc. Increases the odds of one group surviving if it turns out we were optimistic about any one place.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

Similar Threads

  1. Can humans survive on other worlds?
    By JayAaroBe in forum Life in Space
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 2010-Oct-21, 10:15 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2008-Sep-25, 04:40 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2008-Apr-09, 06:30 PM
  4. stellar system, planetary system, solar system
    By parallaxicality in forum Astronomy
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 2006-Feb-02, 07:59 PM
  5. Chances Our Solar System Would Survive?
    By Tinaa in forum Astronomy
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2004-Jun-20, 11:54 AM

Posting Permissions

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