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Colonization of Ceres

Posted by: SteveXE - Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:12 pm
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Colonization of Ceres 
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Post Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:12 pm
I thought i'd start a discussion here about Colonizing Ceres, or other places in our solar system besides the Moon and Mars.


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:15 pm
don't you think it's a little ambitious to start with a destination further out than mars? there are NEOs that have a high probability of containing water ice, why not go there first? while the fact that ceres is a dwarf planet is certainly a big benefit as there's enough gravity to keep you from flying off, it's WAY too far for chemical rockets to make the trip reasonable. VASIMR, sure that's another case, but I still think starting closer makes a lot more sense. also, the asteroid belt is a little too far away for solar power to be that feasible. you would have to use nuclear.

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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:41 am
I mean traveling Ceres in the future, maybe 30-40 years.

I picture a chain, asking like stepping stones towards the outer plants.
Earth - Moon ------ Mars ---- Ceres and other bodies in asteroid belt ----->


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:03 pm
Better skip Vesta though, so as to avoid the interstellar war :-).

I agree with TerraMrs, this thing we're in is called the habitable zone for a reason. Going to the asteroid belt or even farther out makes things a lot harder. Of course, the resources in the asteroid belt may eventually be worth it, but I'd go for the moon first, a near Earth asteroid second.

A hollowed out (or rather tunnelled-through) near Earth asteroid, spun up to provide artificial gravity, might be easier to achieve than an outpost on Ceres...

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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:14 pm
I'd go with Luna and NEOs first, to build up a decent infrastructure involving (at least) fuel depots and food production. A Shipyard and Lunar refinery is a plus. Then launch Cyclers towards Mars, adding it to the infrastructure loop, while doing the same with Venus. From Mars, Vesta and Ceres, and from Venus, Mercury. A cycler linking Terra and Mercury, and Terra and Ceres might be a good idea as well.

Payloads can be launched from Ceres without requiring rockets be using a space elevator and the planets own rotation, although I might want to put a moon somewhere. The required height is only about 700km for CCO (Ceres-synchronous Ceres orbit), and after the initial landing payloads can be caught using the system.

Ceres is to Mars what Io is to Mercury.


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:14 pm
It's kind of funny that I was reading about this on wikipedia, then decided to come check in here.

anyway, TerraMrs, according to wiki: (Colonization of Ceres)
Quote:
The solar flux of 150 W/m2 (in aphelion), which is nine times smaller than that on Earth, is still high enough for solar power facilities. The upcoming Juno mission to Jupiter, for example, will be relying on solar power in a location further out from the sun than Ceres.


so to me it sounds like solar is in fact feasible.

also from that article (and of note here):
Quote:
Ceres has much more frequent launch windows to/from Cislunar space than to/from Mars, and (perhaps counterintuitively) the travel time is slightly lower. It is more energy-efficient to transport resources from the Moon or Mars to Ceres, than from Earth. In fact, transportation from Mars or the Moon to Ceres is more energy-efficient than even transportation from Earth to the Moon.


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:05 pm
vecima wrote:
It's kind of funny that I was reading about this on wikipedia, then decided to come check in here.

anyway, TerraMrs, according to wiki: (Colonization of Ceres)
Quote:
The solar flux of 150 W/m2 (in aphelion), which is nine times smaller than that on Earth, is still high enough for solar power facilities. The upcoming Juno mission to Jupiter, for example, will be relying on solar power in a location further out from the sun than Ceres.


so to me it sounds like solar is in fact feasible.

also from that article (and of note here):
Quote:
Ceres has much more frequent launch windows to/from Cislunar space than to/from Mars, and (perhaps counterintuitively) the travel time is slightly lower. It is more energy-efficient to transport resources from the Moon or Mars to Ceres, than from Earth. In fact, transportation from Mars or the Moon to Ceres is more energy-efficient than even transportation from Earth to the Moon.


wikipedia is a fantastic resource for getting a quick understanding of a subject. I read it nearly every day and I have contributed to several articles. But it is not an authoritative source to re-quote somewhere else to prove a point. The reference for the information about the delta-v and transit times comes from a webpage about theoretical atomic rockets. In 2 out of 6 hypothetical flight profiles Ceres has a lower delta-v than Mars. The wikipedia article uses this as a reference to state that Ceres is easier to get to than Mars.

I also read the reference mentioned for the claim that transport from the Moon to Ceres is easier than from Earth to the Moon. It is a 17 page document by Robert Zubrin, with many tables and charts and examples of delta-v for tranportation between different inner soar system bodies. However I could not find any details which support the claim mentioned above. Either the reader is supposed to do the math themselves or the author is inventing facts.

Finally, about the solar panel feasability. Solar panels could be made to work more than 1 lightyear from a star if it was deemed worthwhile to do so. I estimate that the best solar panels available today could produce about 35W per sqm at Ceres. Operations on the ISS require about 20kW of power for each occupant, so lots of panels will be required to keep a Ceres colony going.

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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:19 pm
I thought the reason it was more "energy-efficient" to take a payload from the moon or mars to Ceres than from Earth to the Moon was due to Earth's high escape velocity, though I admit I didn't read any of the sources for the wiki article... I guess they just didn't sound like such outlandish claims to me :)

Also I didn't put together that even though the article is talking about colonizing Ceres, It compares solar power need with those of the un-manned Juno mission. Again according to wiki, Juno's solar panels will be capable of generating 400W with 650 sq feet out at Jupiter (though that part of the article is not sourced), maybe higher than your estimate (you didn't specify size, so I don't know) but still a good deal short of the requirements of the ISS.

Would you think the ISS per-occupant requirement for energy would be greater than, less than, or about equal to the needs of people at Ceres?


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:36 pm
At the age of 10, I fully expected to at least have a self-sufficient colony on Mars, and domed cities on the moon by the year 2000. Because of the extreme government leash on NASA, we're way behind. To change how, when, and where colonization takes place will require a substantial financial incentive for corporate involvement, both in the development and construction of the necessary space vehicles, and in the development of technologies and equipment for supporting colonial infrastructure. And, BOTTOM LINE, what's in it for THEM? The investment-to-return question is loaded against consideration of said investment because of the extreme initial cost, and especially the difficulty in "selling" the length of the initial investment term.


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:27 am
vecima wrote:
Would you think the ISS per-occupant requirement for energy would be greater than, less than, or about equal to the needs of people at Ceres?


Sorry that it took me 2 months to reply. I lost track of this thread. I think the energy requirements for a colony on Ceres would be equal or greater than the ISS. I can't imagine how it could survive on less energy. Remember that the reason for colonising Ceres is to set up some kind of industrial operation. That will require a lot of energy.

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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:59 pm
I'm going with greater than, also. Because, as already mentioned, the occupants would be doing more---the whole purpose of having a larger habitat.


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:37 pm
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Remember that the reason for colonising Ceres is to set up some kind of industrial operation. That will require a lot of energy.

That's not the reason I want to go. I want to Terraform it and set up food production, as well as keeping it as the headquaters for the Forerunners, housing the Terraforming Order and Uplift Foundation. I'll race you to it. I get there first, it's mine.

The poinnt of going to Ceres is to use it a supply depot for ships heading out further, as well as the Forerunner HQ. This means food production and water mining. A space elevator is a must. Fortunately, it only has to be 700km long (or 1400).


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:39 pm
What's a forerunner?

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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Well...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Precursors


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Post Re: Colonization of Ceres   Posted on: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:31 pm
Quote:
don't you think it's a little ambitious to start with a destination further out than mars?


Compared to the Moon and NEOs, yes. I think it's worth making the point though that Ceres is likely an easier destination than Mars (especially once VASIMR goes into use) considering the time between launch windows for both - Mars launch windows occur every 780 days, but only every 466 days for Ceres. In addition to that, we don't really know how to safely land a manned crew on Mars yet, and then of course there is the weaker gravity which makes returning to Earth that much easier, and the initial mass when leaving Earth that much less as well. So I think Ceres is worth bringing up in making the case that Mars isn't the only destination worth exploring after the Moon.

Another destination that could be interesting is 24 Themis, which stacks up quite well compared to Ceres as well. It has an inclination of just 0.760 degrees, has water ice on its surface, and is still fairly large with a diameter of 200 km.


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