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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2007, 12:42 pm 
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The Adict wrote:
that mainy projections agree the global human population would have to drop to return to safe levels.


Anyone else think it's time to start colonizing the moon?!?!?! I'd be stoked on it, get me some moon land 8)

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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2007, 4:14 pm 
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Umm I hate to shoot down sci fi dreams, but living in space for extended amount of time is physically impossible. Space is the most hostile place in the universe. Space collonies though sound cool won't work until we invent a shielding system that would prevent the thing from getting torn to pieces by asteroids and people dying from insufient radiation protection from the sun. The Earth has 60 miles of atmosphere shielding against asteroids and billoins of tons of molten iroin in the core to produce a electromagnetic shield, both of which are barely strong enough to protect us.

The only feasible way for humanity to continue at the current size or grow would be to move onto floating cities, which sounds lame at first but once you think about it it's pretty cool. Floating cities is scientifically possible and we have the technology to do it. Unfortunately the sea is a cruel mistress and things like a tsuname, underground volcano erruptions and hurricans could completely destroy the city.

In the end Humans were meant to live on terrafirma and that's the way it's going to stay for quiet awhile.

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PostPosted: June 23rd, 2007, 11:18 pm 
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I hate to hate on your hatin :D , but it isn't that far off nor is it impossible.

We currently have people that live in the International Space Station, though only for like a year, and they have to deal with the radiation from the sun and asteroids and such space debris already. They have exercise equipment to keep their muscles and bone from atrophy. Usually radiation isn't a problem, but when they have a strong solar flare they go to a special place on the station that shields them from it. Thus, we have the capability to block it. At any rate, the further you move the station away from sun the less of a problem you have with any radiation also. They already have to deal with space debris and asteroids and such other items. The space station has been hit by such debris already, and it is still standing. Large asteroids that aren't micro-sized would have to be avoided or destroyed if they are large enough, but the larger they are the easier it would be to spot it and stop it. Regardless, the current space station already deals with this.

Now you could also use centripetal force to create artificial gravity, and thus you wouldn't have the problem with atrophy since you could create the same gravity as on Earth.

A moon base would not be able to utilize centripetal force, but it does have 1/6th Earth's gravity and you could use such aforementioned exercise equipment to keep yourself from deteriorating. Also, you could build underground on the Moon to create areas to keep you safe from radiation if such action was necessary.

I'm not trying to say this would be easy by any means, but it certainly isn't impossible, nor is it that far off.

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PostPosted: June 24th, 2007, 8:10 pm 
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I'll get back to spaz and 42317's posts in a while as for Acmurphy's post. The reason the international space station isn't that effected much by radiation is because it's portected by the earth's elctromagntic field to a degree. Still astronots can't stop up there for to long they do feel the effects. Also the exercise equipment doesn't keep their muscle tone up all that well, if they're up there for a week they can't even walk. As for the depri again most of the time the staion is uninhabited but ever time a shuttle has to go up there they have to make repairs.

As for digging underground on the moon, how would you get the drilling equipment up there? Mean some of the crater run a good 2 miles into the surface, we can't dig that deep even here on earth. Also the bacteria neede to produce air can't live off the moon's dirt, further more the moon has next to no water. Also the moon has lees then a third the earth gravity meaning those who live on the moon would never be able to return to earth, ever or the gravity would literally kill them by cruching their dones. But hey where there's a will there's a way so it is possible for a moon base in the future but with our tech now it's not.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 2:43 pm 
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The Adict,

Just to quickly respond to your comments about how living on the moon would be impossible, Planned Moon Base

If people much more knowledgeable on the subject than us seem to believe they can have one up and fully staffed by 2024, we may have to go with their belief in that fact that it would seem to be completely possible.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 6:40 pm 
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it is actually possible. but then certain things have to be done first.

1.
there has to be some sort of protection from radiation, asteroids, etc, etc. basically something instead of an atmosphere.

2.
sufficient life suport as in food, water, oxygen to sustain life without needing resuplies.

3.
having a large enough area for colonists so that it doesnt get too cramped.

4.
having means to provide people there with a way to stay healthy and not suffer from degredation.

on the first one there isnt much that can be done at the moment. ofcourse we could try and create an atmosphere on the moon, but its not certain its gravitational field will be strong enough to keep these gasses from floating off. however once that is solved its pretty clear sailing.

if the atmosphere problem is solved its not that dificult to provide with water, oxygen and food. the moon and earth have pretty much a lot of the same substances in the soil, if i remember correctly the moon used to be a planet that used to share the same orbit as the earth and the two colided. the moon was the less fortunate of the two and shrunk more in mass in turn making it orbit around the earth as it makes its yearly round trip. once some sort of shielding is in place it should be easy enough to get enough oxygen there to be able to put out plants and animals.

again, with an atmosphere, area doesnt become a problem. people can wander about as far as the atmosphere allows on the planet.

now we come to a problem. the moons gravity is lower then the earth's and humans arn't naturally meant to inhabit areas where we can jump 10 meters from a standing position or have our lunch come back up at us (figurativly).

now if the gravity and the atmosphere problems can be solved everything should fall into place. unless i've missed something important.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 7:13 pm 
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I hope you guys aren't getting data from a tab on wikipedia.


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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 7:51 pm 
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Dark One,

Interesting points. It will be much more difficult to create an actual colony on another planet, as opposed to just a base as is proposed by NASA in my previous post. I believe the goal of the moon base is to learn about how things work and use it as a stepping stone to look at starting a base on Mars in the future. It is the planet that most closely resembles Earth, and would thus be the easiest to try and start colonizing. It has something like 1/2 Earth's gravity, so it is better in that respect than the moon for people to live on. Regardless, the lack of equivalent gravity means that they are going to have to have a way to keep peoples bone and muscle strength up. The longer people are going to be spending in space, the better the workout equipment will get. Especially if they make more room for larger equipment.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 10:00 pm 
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One other important factor to consider is how energy will be obtained on off-planet bases. On Earth, all energy ultimately derives from the sun, but without an existing network of living organisms on the moon (or other planets) to capture this energy, power sources on the moon will have to come from power plants. Unless remarkable breakthroughts occur in energy generation within the next few decades, I can only presume that off-planet bases will be relying on classic fossil-fuel or nuclear power plants. These power plants will need gigantic amounts of fuel and water (and not to mention oxygen), elements which are in extremely short supply away from the Earth. (As an example, a single coal-fired power plant can consume more than 1000 tons of coal EACH DAY. Can you imagine sending 30,000 tons of coal to the moon each month? :shock: )

Solar power is not an option for off-planet bases, simply because the energy needs for a base to become self-sufficient is far greater than the energy solar panels can provide. Furthermore, the further one gets away from the sun, the less and less energy will be received by solar panels.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 10:24 pm 
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Dei wrote:
I hope you guys aren't getting data from a tab on wikipedia.

Well, I don't think any of us are trying to tout ourselves as experts on the possibilities, just discussing our different knowledge and beliefs on the current ability of technology and the actual forces working against such ideas for living in space.

At any rate, I think we all realize that people actually living on other planets or moons as a colony or something along those lines wont happen for a long time. However, it does appear that we are looking at setting up a base on the moon, so it would seem that living on the moon is not impossible with current technology.

Zaxares,

From the article I posted,

"NASA plans to construct a solar-powered outpost at one the moon's poles"

This isn't really an answer for powering an actual colony, at least with current technology, but they seem to believe that they can power a moon base with solar energy. I don't think they are trying to make the base self-sufficient, at least at the start anyway, so they wouldn't need as much power (Self-sufficient in that they have the power, capabilities and size to sustain themselves without any outside interference). I think that answers what you were saying before, as long as I understood it correctly. Isn't the current space station solar powered?

Regardless, the moon base will have much more advanced solar panels than we are currently using anyway, with at least another 10 years of advancement, so they will be more powerful when the moon base gets up and running as well.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2007, 10:29 pm 
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Well it certainly can be done, but for it to be an environment suitable for everyday living it will require better technology than we currently have. Eventually I would assume that terraformation would have to be done as well.

Have any of y'all read the books Red Mars, Green Mars, or Blue Mars?

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PostPosted: June 26th, 2007, 7:21 am 
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Acmurphy wrote:
Zaxares,

From the article I posted,

"NASA plans to construct a solar-powered outpost at one the moon's poles"

This isn't really an answer for powering an actual colony, at least with current technology, but they seem to believe that they can power a moon base with solar energy. I don't think they are trying to make the base self-sufficient, at least at the start anyway, so they wouldn't need as much power (Self-sufficient in that they have the power, capabilities and size to sustain themselves without any outside interference). I think that answers what you were saying before, as long as I understood it correctly. Isn't the current space station solar powered?

Regardless, the moon base will have much more advanced solar panels than we are currently using anyway, with at least another 10 years of advancement, so they will be more powerful when the moon base gets up and running as well.


The current space station does indeed rely on solar panels to generate the electricity necessary for running the equipment etc., but supplies of food, water, and waste management must still be brought in and sent back to Earth. When I speak of a moon base being completely self-sufficient, I mean that it must be able to survive without any sort of outside assistance from Earth at all, meaning that it must be able to grow its own food, recycle its own water and air supplies, and be able to provide any essential industry it needs for repairs and expansion. All that will require an enormous amount of power, judging by the energy needs we have back on Earth.

Self-sufficiency will be crucial for any long-term habitation away from Earth, because if something goes wrong, there's no guarantee that help from Earth will arrive in time to save you and the rest of the colony.

But as you say, 10 years is a long time as far as the rate of technological advancement is concerned. If solar technology can be improved to the point where near total capture of the sun's energy can be achieved, then yes, it could be possible for a base to be run entirely on solar energy. (Again, provided that the base isn't too far away from the sun or another source of solar energy.)

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PostPosted: June 26th, 2007, 9:03 am 
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Acmurphy wrote:
Dei wrote:
I hope you guys aren't getting data from a tab on wikipedia.

Well, I don't think any of us are trying to tout ourselves as experts on the possibilities, just discussing our different knowledge and beliefs on the current ability of technology and the actual forces working against such ideas for living in space.


No offense meant Acmurphy. This is exercise for the mind, in the very least. And I'm not insinuating that amateurs are insignificant - in any field; but rather, hoping that nobody tries to say this is that when they know nothing about it.

Anyway, I think that energy won't be the biggest problem. Technology is getting more efficient, doing more with less power. I don't know if the moon has enough geological activity to support geothermal energy. I'm betting that nuclear power will be used on long-term habitation on the moon, if not also on Earth. Effort is being given towards the development of Gen IV nuclear reactors, which are supposedly much more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly, and safe. Furthermore, Gen IV reactors are planned to be utilized in the generation of Hydrogen, for hydrogen fuels cells. Ergo, kill two birds with one stone.


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PostPosted: June 26th, 2007, 9:19 am 
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Guys, two words as to why Mars and the Moon have such crappy atmosphere's, yes the moon does have an atmosphere just a very thin one, Solar Winds, without a suffient elctromagnetic shield they just strip most of the atmohpere away.

As for which planet we could actually colonize first, that would be the number two planet in the solar system from the sun, Venus. Why? Because Venus has about the same size, gravity and magnetic field strength as Earth. It also has an atmoshpere, one so thick that we can't see the surface. Terraforming this planet depending on what the unknown surface is like is actuall quiet possible as it's atmosphere is pretty much all carbon dixoside, spelled wrong, send some molds up that can live with limited solar light and give it a few centuries and presto chango you have a habitable planet.

Also just for you guys to now the diffence that placing a solar generator on one side of the planet or the other would be enough of a difference to make a differance. Light is the fastest thing in existance, it passes by the planet in little more then two seconds! 42,000 miles isn't much when you can travel more 19,000 miles per second!

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PostPosted: June 26th, 2007, 9:31 am 
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I don't like nuclear power, nuclear waste has no safe way to dispose of. Its not needed especially when we have things like solar and wind generators that are no where near as dangerous, yes far less powerful but then nuclear but safer. In any case I think you guys are missing a optional power sourse, the solar wind itself? Not to mention solar generators in space are far more powerful.

Also it's not a matter of programing that's holding us back from colonizing the solar system, or the power and effiency of our microchips. It's chemestry, which advances far slower then most other fields. For instance why our cell phones batteries though rechargable only last a 12 hours when active or the PSP only last for three hours, because chemestist don't know how to make better batteries.

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