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Space Colonization - A Poll

Posted by: FerrisValyn - Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:58 pm
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Space Colonization - A Poll 

How many years are we away from Space Colonization?
Already started 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
5 years 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
10 years 12%  12%  [ 3 ]
20 years 31%  31%  [ 8 ]
50 years 27%  27%  [ 7 ]
75 years 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
100 years 19%  19%  [ 5 ]
We are never gonna colonize space 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 26

Space Colonization - A Poll 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:35 am
I am not sure if any of us is applying a difference between a place that is permanently inhabited by people living their lifes there and a place where this could be done but isn't really.

If this difference is applied then the discussion presently seems to be merely about if the ISS is a place that could be inhabited by people living all their life there with their family and children who then continue to live there.

What's essential is that the ISS is an analogon of Malta in orbit. The essential difference of the ISS to Malta is that the ISS is artificial and that the territory the ISS is can be extended without requiring a war against another country.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:55 pm
FerrisValyn wrote:
we haven't been talking about colonization for ages - we've been talking about exploration. Nasa has always talked about exploration, and only grudgingly and occasionally, talked about exploitation and colonization.
I am not talking about only NASA. The L5 society has talked about it for decades and talk by others started long before NASA was created.
FerrisValyn wrote:
The various (Antarctic) bases and outposts taken together, yes I would
After all, McMurdo alone can get up to 3,000 people in it.
I might (or might not) agree that McMurdo is a colony. It is right on the edge of what I would be willing to consider a colony. But we don’t have anything like that kind of settlement in space now and won’t any time soon, so I still disagree that space colonization has already started or is even imminent.
FerrisValyn wrote:
And what about my question to you? Would you consider the USA to be a colony?
Not since 1776.
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What's essential is that the ISS is an analogon of Malta in orbit. The essential difference of the ISS to Malta is that the ISS is artificial and that the territory the ISS is can be extended without requiring a war against another country.
I don’t agree. Malta is not sinking all the time and it has radiation shielding, gravity, air, land and water. ISS could be moved to an Earth-Moon LaGrange point, at great effort, but gravity (like a spinning wheel station) and radiation shielding would be almost impossible to add; these really have to be designed in from the start. As to air, land and water, a station in free space is more like a barge floating in the open ocean than an island; except the barge has direct access to the water it floats on and the air around it while ISS only has access to whatever air and water has been brought to it from elsewhere.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:23 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
So in effect you are agreeing that while the ISS has the potential to become a colony in the future it is not one at the moment? I see no fundamental difference between Skylab and the ISS in how they can be compared to a colony, both are the same in that respect.


One of the differences is that Skylab wasn't designed to be added on/built in space. And that is a fundemental difference - that its being done in space. I know there were serious discussions about expanding Skylab, but it wasn't inherently designed to get larger. ISS is. So right now, its kinda like the frame of a house.
And building part of it in space is a fundmental requirement for a colony. I've never seen a serious suggestion that a space colony could be built entirely on the ground and then lifted on 1 rocket.

campbelp2002 wrote:
FerrisValyn wrote:
we haven't been talking about colonization for ages - we've been talking about exploration. Nasa has always talked about exploration, and only grudgingly and occasionally, talked about exploitation and colonization.
I am not talking about only NASA. The L5 society has talked about it for decades and talk by others started long before NASA was created.


But for a while, all L5 was (or at least a good chunk of it) was as a cheerleader for Nasa. They spent a good deal of their time in the earlly years pushing the space shuttle. And the point is people have always thought it is gonna be a Star Trek wetdream that will take us to the stars, on a craft provided by Nasa. We put all this faith into Nasa, for so long. And thats been the problem. And as far as prior to Nasa, that was prior to manned spaceflight, so, seriously, don't bother bringing that up.

The main instrument for talking to the general public about Space is/has always been Nasa. And Nasa never embraced colonization. Because of Rutan, that is changing.

campbelp2002 wrote:
I might (or might not) agree that McMurdo is a colony. It is right on the edge of what I would be willing to consider a colony. But we don’t have anything like that kind of settlement in space now and won’t any time soon, so I still disagree that space colonization has already started or is even imminent.


Then is Rutan and company blowing smoke out their ass when they say they wanna get up to 5,000 people into space in the first year? (I believe that was the number he said) I know he is only talking sub-orbital right now, but his isn't the only game in town, and we all know that SS3 will be orbital.

campbelp2002 wrote:
FerrisValyn wrote:
And what about my question to you? Would you consider the USA to be a colony?
Not since 1776.


So, the political entity of nationhood (and mind you, it is merely a political entity) always trumphs being colony? Even if that country isn't self-sufficent?

campbelp2002 wrote:
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What's essential is that the ISS is an analogon of Malta in orbit. The essential difference of the ISS to Malta is that the ISS is artificial and that the territory the ISS is can be extended without requiring a war against another country.
I don’t agree. Malta is not sinking all the time and it has radiation shielding, gravity, air, land and water. ISS could be moved to an Earth-Moon LaGrange point, at great effort, but gravity (like a spinning wheel station) and radiation shielding would be almost impossible to add; these really have to be designed in from the start. As to air, land and water, a station in free space is more like a barge floating in the open ocean than an island; except the barge has direct access to the water it floats on and the air around it while ISS only has access to whatever air and water has been brought to it from elsewhere.
But you don't have grafvity to survive in space, although there isn't any reason you couldn't add on large sections that rotate. As for radiation shielding, that depends - are we talking about solar radiation, or cosmic rays? Because solar radiation buffers could be added. Cosmic ray buffers have the underlying problem of it being that that technology is still being developed, but the dangers of cosmic rays is still being debated. And having access to land isn't enough to get you food (Malta again) and the water has to be usable (something salt water is not)

And I've dealt with adding modules for air, water, and food.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:55 pm
FerrisValyn wrote:
Andy Hill wrote:
So in effect you are agreeing that while the ISS has the potential to become a colony in the future it is not one at the moment? I see no fundamental difference between Skylab and the ISS in how they can be compared to a colony, both are the same in that respect.


One of the differences is that Skylab wasn't designed to be added on/built in space. And that is a fundemental difference - that its being done in space. I know there were serious discussions about expanding Skylab, but it wasn't inherently designed to get larger. ISS is. So right now, its kinda like the frame of a house.
And building part of it in space is a fundmental requirement for a colony. I've never seen a serious suggestion that a space colony could be built entirely on the ground and then lifted on 1 rocket.


I did say with respect to being a colony, sure they are built from different technology but neither was "designed" to become a colony.

By coincidence SPACE.com ran an article on colonisation today.

http://space.com/adastra/adastra_dondavis_060320.html

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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:13 am
FerrisValyn wrote:
the point is people have always thought it is gonna be a Star Trek wetdream that will take us to the stars, on a craft provided by Nasa.
No, the point is exactly what I said, that people have been talking about it for a long time.

FerrisValyn wrote:
5,000 people into space in the first year? (I believe that was the number he said) I know he is only talking sub-orbital right now
Good for a suborbital colony.

FerrisValyn wrote:
and we all know that SS3 will be orbital.
You may assume that but we don't all know that.

FerrisValyn wrote:
So, the political entity of nationhood (and mind you, it is merely a political entity) always trumphs being colony?
Yes...... I am surprised you would even question that.

FerrisValyn wrote:
But you don't have grafvity to survive in space
Yes you do, if you plan to stay there a long time. The degenerative effects of zeroG are well known.

FerrisValyn wrote:
isn't any reason you couldn't add on large sections that rotate.
That is the statement of someone who doesn't have to design and build it himself. That would never work. And don't say I have to prove it. You have to prove it could be done. Anyway, who would want to? For a colony everything would be much better off in the rotating part, just cast that useless non-rotating part adrift!

FerrisValyn wrote:
As for radiation shielding, that depends - are we talking about solar radiation, or cosmic rays?
I am talking about the radiation that is deflected by the Earth's magnetic field as long as the ISS is in LEO.

FerrisValyn wrote:
And having access to land isn't enough to get you food (Malta again)
My only point with that statement is that a space station is more like a barge than an island because it does not have access to physical matter like a surface colony would.

FerrisValyn wrote:
the water has to be usable (something salt water is not)
And as far as we know, all the water on Mars and other places in space is salty.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:56 am
here's a good article about space colonization from Space.com.

And another "The Meaning of Space Settlement" by the Space Settlement Institute, and organization endorsed by NASA.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:16 am
campbelp2002 wrote:
No, the point is exactly what I said, that people have been talking about it for a long time.


But people have also been talking about time travel, and I see no laws on the books dealing with that. What I am talking about is concreate substantive discussions, that will bring people to think about space as more than just pretty pictures. And those have NOT been going on. So your claim of long-term discussions on space colonization are NOT true.

campbelp2002 wrote:
You may assume that but we don't all know that.


Well, yes, I admit I don't have a direct line to Rutan/Branson/Allen's minds, but they've said as much in the press http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles/2005/08/23/Navigation/200/201097/SpaceShipThree+poised+to+follow+if+SS2+succeeds.html


campbelp2002 wrote:
FerrisValyn wrote:
So, the political entity of nationhood (and mind you, it is merely a political entity) always trumphs being colony?
Yes...... I am surprised you would even question that.


But, you've contradicted yourself. If Nationhood truimphs being a colony, and one of the pre-requesists for being a colony is self-sufficency, then, by inherentance, a nation must have self-sufficency. However, as has been pointed out, there are countries that are not, and do not maintain self-sufficency with reaguards to food production and the like. But I bet you they'd take offense to the idea they aren't nations.


campbelp2002 wrote:
FerrisValyn wrote:
But you don't have grafvity to survive in space
Yes you do, if you plan to stay there a long time. The degenerative effects of zeroG are well known.


But being without gravity will not kill you - it does mean you are limited in your options of returning to earth. But that doesn't mean it will kill you. And there has been some discussion about whether or not you would have even that problem, if you maintain a high exercise regiment.

campbelp2002 wrote:
FerrisValyn wrote:
isn't any reason you couldn't add on large sections that rotate.
That is the statement of someone who doesn't have to design and build it himself. That would never work. And don't say I have to prove it. You have to prove it could be done. Anyway, who would want to? For a colony everything would be much better off in the rotating part, just cast that useless non-rotating part adrift!


Getting rid of micro-gravity enviroment would be short sighted - if for no other reason than scientific research, although I suspect that manufacturing capabilties for a microgravity enviroment would also want to be utilized. So you wouldn't want everything to be rotating. There are many stations that are designed to have rotating and non-rotating sections, joined together.

And as far as designing it, I'd be happy to. I admit, it would probably be better to wait until after I finish college, but I would be happy to. AS far as building it myself, well, the station itself isn't being built by one person. In fact, most thing with reguard to manned spaceflight aren't built by a single person. Of course, I would love to help build it (after all, I'd get to go into space!).

campbelp2002 wrote:
FerrisValyn wrote:
And having access to land isn't enough to get you food (Malta again)
My only point with that statement is that a space station is more like a barge than an island because it does not have access to physical matter like a surface colony would.
FerrisValyn wrote:
the water has to be usable (something salt water is not)
And as far as we know, all the water on Mars and other places in space is salty.


Except that, you've implied that a person on a desert island could survive without some high technology, but a person on Mars or other places can't survive without some high technology. Now, I've never denied that a person can't survive on mars without advance technology, but neither can a person on a desert island with no fresh water, who only has stone age technology. And that is what you were implying. A person on something like an oil platform will have access to high technology. A person on Malta has advance technology. And a person on Mars, or on ISS will have access to high technology

Andy Hill wrote:
I did say with respect to being a colony, sure they are built from different technology but neither was "designed" to become a colony.
However, I'd argue you don't design a colony - you manage a colony's growth, like a city. Nobody really designs a city. You design pieces of a city, and then manage its growth. To be a colony, or a city, you must have emergance (I believe that is the term, basically, it has to do with recognizable patterns and planning), and ISS has emergance built in.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:12 am
Peter,

Rutan, Branson, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic explicitly have said that they will develop and build an orbital SS3 if SS2 is a success - they said that explicitly and in the Financial Barriers section I quoted the article reporting that - simply look for it there.

So Ferrisvalyn is right and correct that SS3 will be orbital if they will develop and build it.

Rgearding the ISS being a colony or not you are constantly arguing by technology and physics - this is not the correct criterion to answer the question if something is a colony or if it is not. Correct criterions only are questions like "Can something be inhabited?", "Can something be inhabited for a longer period?", "Can something be inhabited permanently?", "Can something be inhabited by several humans?" and the like. It has to do with living, culture and the like.

The ISS obviously can be inhabited by several people and for a longer period - since at least two humans are doing that again and again.

That the ISS is sinking is no argument - firm land on the earthian surface can do that also. There is former german town that sunk into the Eastern Sea by a flood - the name of that town is Runghold. And there are a lot place going to be drunk because the sea level seems to be going to be increased. The german island Sylt is diminished by waves of the North Sea more and more. And during the Ice Age most of Europe, Asia and America were covered by a huge ice shield the today cities etc. would be buried under.

For such reasons physical and technological/technical arguments are invalid.

FerrisValyn is looking at it under the correct criterions, aspects and perspectives.

Another point, Peter, - you seem to be stuck with isolated aspect and arguments instead of integrated ones, the Whole seems to be out of sight to you. Most of what you say regardless of that done in this thread or another remind to a large degree to the Ceteris-Paribus-Clause as it is sometimes applied in Economics. The Ceteris-Paribus-Clause say that only one parameter is considered to be variable while all others are kept fixed. This clause is applied as a substitute of labs since in Economics no labs are available, applicable or the like - they simply wouldn't work. But looking into the reality the Ceteris-Paribus-Clause is givven up completely and all parameters are considered to be variable.

Talking to natural scientists they told me that this is done and valid in physics and engineering as well - Physics is an exact science in the lab but it is not when going outside in the reality and investigating it since in the labs the environment is under control to a large degree and the values of the parameters are known to a very large degree but in the reality outside the labs the environment is not under control and the values of the parameters are nearly not known.

So again FerrisValyn is right and correct.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:45 am
Ferris wrote:
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Getting rid of micro-gravity enviroment would be short sighted - if for no other reason than scientific research, although I suspect that manufacturing capabilties for a microgravity enviroment would also want to be utilized. So you wouldn't want everything to be rotating.


A technical point, straying from the core topic. Are you saying that having the entire station rotating would create a consistent acceleration all throughout the vessel? Because that's actually incorrect. Centripetal acceleration increases linearly with distance from the center, actually.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:51 am
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Talking to natural scientists they told me that this is done and valid in physics and engineering as well - Physics is an exact science in the lab but it is not when going outside in the reality and investigating it since in the labs the environment is under control to a large degree and the values of the parameters are known to a very large degree but in the reality outside the labs the environment is not under control and the values of the parameters are nearly not known.


That is not quite correct Ekkehard, Physics is an exact science and its laws do not change. Working in a lab under controlled conditions allows some of those laws to be excluded. For instance a temperature controlled environment means that you do not have to allow for changes caused by temperature. This makes the item being studied or tested easier to understand but it still obeys the same laws.

In the real world you have to allow for outside influences such as temperature, humidity and pressure but all this can be compensated for and does not make the measurements less exact just more complicated to perform. Quite often results are given a bigger tolerance outside because of these influences but that is due to a very high level of accurracy not being required so rather than do extra work in compensating (which would cost money) the measurement uncertainty is increased.

But at no point do the physical laws change for anything.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:24 am
The scientists I talked to - and sometimes still talk to - don't say that the laws change or something like that.

They simply say that outside the labs in the relaity the results regarding numbers, evolutions and the like can't be forecasted that precisely and exactly. They don't say that Physics isn't excat - they say that exact and precise application isn't possible and this application is what's valid here.

Economics is as exact as Physics is - regarding its subjects - but it is that exact regarding the theories only but not when being applied to the reality. It is aware of that and doesn't try to be exact when investigating the reality - since most of the values of the parameters aren't known and non-operational parameters are involved.

The point I am talking of is that in a lab isolated aspects and arguments lead to valid results since a sufficiently isolated environment can be created etc. but in the reality outside the labs this isolation isn't valid. This has to do with Peter's argument that the ISS would be sinking while Malta doesn't. This is an isolated view and aspect because islands in the seas and oceans in fact can sink - examples Runghold, Sylt and I could add Helgoland and others - and the reasons have to do with physics. The reasons simply are different to the reason(s) why the ISS is sinking.

But regarding the question if an island in the seas and oceans or the ISS as an artificial island in orbit is safe against sinking the reason of sinking is invalid - but Peter is looking only to the reasons why the ISS is sinking and thus isn't aware of the fact that even earthian islands in the seas and oceans can sink also.

This means that Peter's application of Physics is not precise and not exact or - more correctly - it is incomplete and the result doesn't fit into reality because of the sunk and drunk towns and islands.

That the ISS sinks doesn't mean that it can't be made a colony - each year there is work on Sylt to rescue it from vanishing in the sea and there is a tendency to think that it will have to be given up one day. I can't see a difference between giving up the ISS or an orbital colony and giving up the life in an island like Sylt. Application of Physics like Peter is doing leads to inadequate or even worng results since his application, aspects and view are isoltaed to the ISS and the reasons of the sinking.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:25 am
Marshall wrote:
Ferris wrote:
Quote:
Getting rid of micro-gravity enviroment would be short sighted - if for no other reason than scientific research, although I suspect that manufacturing capabilties for a microgravity enviroment would also want to be utilized. So you wouldn't want everything to be rotating.


A technical point, straying from the core topic. Are you saying that having the entire station rotating would create a consistent acceleration all throughout the vessel? Because that's actually incorrect. Centripetal acceleration increases linearly with distance from the center, actually.


Your right about that - it just most colony designs are based on the wheel/Von Braun stations, in which case, all your habitatable volume is at a specified distance from the axis of rotation (well, most of the habitalble volume)

Does that make sense?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:35 am
Ferris wrote:
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Your right about that - it just most colony designs are based on the wheel/Von Braun stations, in which case, all your habitatable volume is at a specified distance from the axis of rotation (well, most of the habitalble volume)

Does that make sense?


Yeah, OK, but it seems like you could still get to the microgravity parts if you wanted to. Better yet, you would have a nice even gradient so you could do experiments at whatever accelerations you wanted to.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:46 am
Marshall wrote:
Yeah, OK, but it seems like you could still get to the microgravity parts if you wanted to. Better yet, you would have a nice even gradient so you could do experiments at whatever accelerations you wanted to.


It also would depend on the overal size of the colony, and how much usable stuff you can do at the various accelerations. For example, on design I saw was kinda small, and as such had to limit its g's to something lke 1/6 earth gravity. that didn't give a lot of room for the microgravity part. So what they did was have a central hub, which exented out past the ring, of which had modules mounted on for microgravity enviroment, and then the ring itself rotated around the central hub. But the central hub did not rotate.

And, as I said, it would also depend on how much usuable stuff you can do at the various partial gravity enviroments. Most general thinking is you'd find most of the potential would be in full-fledge micro-gravity. But that mostly is supposition, since we haven't had rotationg stations and colonies yet


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:00 pm
The article "Space Settlement: The Call of the High Frontier" ( www.space.com/adastra/adastra_dondavis_060320.html ) may contribute some isights, perpectives, aspects and so on.

It would be an error to consider human colonies in orbit, on the Moon or on Mars to ne totally indendent of Earth. Such a total independenc< never has been valid for no colony yet. Even the ecologic system would be extended to those extraterrestrial colonies and if there is a martian ecology then this would be extended to Earth also because of the contacts to be expected.



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