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  1. #21
    Member Fife's Avatar
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    That method makes sense
    Lol to zombie aliens!
    My mate has a shirt which says "Zombies... Urban Ninjas"

    Off topic, but I was reading an Issac Asimov short story the other day where there were little metal tubes with silicon inside: basically, they acted to spaceships like viruses do in the body, finding space age races before they could replicate. Interesting concept.

    There may be a problem with tidal patterns if we brought something large too close? It would depend on size of course, and maybe a spaceship couldn't get a chunk that large... Crashing rocks into the moon as we mine it (like ptgatsby mentioned) does make the most sense in gravitational terms.

  2. #22
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fife View Post
    There may be a problem with tidal patterns if we brought something large too close? It would depend on size of course, and maybe a spaceship couldn't get a chunk that large... Crashing rocks into the moon as we mine it (like ptgatsby mentioned) does make the most sense in gravitational terms.
    My theory is that we will eventually pick large sources of raw materials (ie: dense ones, like asteroids) and build refineries on it (around it), then build rotating stations around the foundry itself (think babylon 5 ish). In this way, we can use the resources internally until they are consumed, leaving a functional station behind, built out of the materials it had. We can tow the whole thing (mass wouldn't change) throughout as it is being built, it would be semi-habital once it reached a certain point and has, for all intents and purposes, unlimited reaction mass (ie: refueling). So it's an all in one - production, service, research, colony, outpost... Individually, not terribly impressive, but would be very significant in the larger picture.

    If generation ships would be required to expand, I suspect it would work almost exactly like this - multiple versions of them creating gigantic vessels in space, designed to essentially crash onto other planets. (Thousands of years from now, I mean - probes first, etc.)

    But this is a very long ways away. We have more than enough material on earth right now. The next 5 decades will be spent building scientific items to learn about our solar system - stations around the sun, far reaches of the system, mapping the sky (we've done so little that it's ridiculous) and mapping other planets. The infrastructure is centuries away. Best case, to me, is 20 years to self replicating machines and quasi-AI, 20 years to implement and 60 years of exponential growth after the first few are up and running.

    /me has spent a long time thinking about this stuff, actually

  3. #23
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Who cares about asteroid mining... when are we going to start terraforming?
    You can only terraform a planet that has gravity not significantly less than Earth, or the atmosphere drifts away. Too much more gravity, and you have a planet on which you're too heavy to live for extended periods.

    There aren't really any viable candidates in our solar system, I'm afraid. Then again, we're going to have to start by inventing the technology to invent the technology to invent terraforming, so perhaps by the time we've done that these other problems will be solved as well. I give it five hundred years.

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