Feasibility of artificial space habitats

Feb 17, 2021
23
11
15
In Legend of Galactic Heroes, a self-sustained space habitat was built: it is a sphere object in which inhabitants lived
inside the sphere.
It produced its own food supplies and manufactured goods.
Gundam series included space colonies.
How feasible and practical are artificial space colonies?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catastrophe

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
3,838
2,424
8,070
"How feasible and practical are artificial space colonies?"

In my opinion, they re feasible and practical but a lot of work is going to be needed. Of course, it is not difficult to have a colony like an overgrown space station relying on Earth for support.
The difficulty is the self-sustaining colony. One reads all sorts of glib remarks like splitting water to provide hydrogen for fuel and oxygen to breathe. These seem to ignore the energy required to do this, and rely on ignoring the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Cat :)
 
Feb 17, 2021
23
11
15
"How feasible and practical are artificial space colonies?"

In my opinion, they re feasible and practical but a lot of work is going to be needed. Of course, it is not difficult to have a colony like an overgrown space station relying on Earth for support.
The difficulty is the self-sustaining colony. One reads all sorts of glib remarks like splitting water to provide hydrogen for fuel and oxygen to breathe. These seem to ignore the energy required to do this, and rely on ignoring the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Cat :)
With existing resources, even one Iserlohn Fortress in LOGH will be extremely unlikely and difficult.
 

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
3,838
2,424
8,070
Aug 14, 2020
398
84
760
No city or city-state in the history of the world was ever self-sustaining. An in-space colony (up to maybe millions of in-space colonies and stations and specifically functioned facilities in many thousands of group networks, in the asteroid belt and in orbits of every planet but Mercury (essentially colonizing every planet above the planet that can't otherwise be colonized)) would not have to be self-sustaining. Main source energy: At least in the beginning centuries, the sun. Main source material resource: The entire solar system of material resource outside the sun, Earth, and Mars. Main interdependent resource: Space ships and boats to the number of millions and, just maybe, billions. Human capacity: Potentially trillions to quadrillions atop a pyramid of other life brought out to and seeded out to space. Plenty enough energy, plenty enough material resource, and, hopefully in those trillions to quadrillions of humans (in all that energetic life complexity and activity), plenty enough inventive, entrepreneurial, and innovative minds.

There are several good books out on space colonies and space resources (the first and still the favorite of many, 'The High Frontier', by Gerard K. O'Neill. But my personal favorite remains 'Colonies In Space', by T. A. Heppenheimer (a book on my favorite colony type, the Stanford Torus)). There are, too, many good articles, illustrations, and even paintings, available on the internet.

It all begins one or more entrepreneurs and some backing from some willing government or governments. Proper reusable shuttles and shuttling to space to start with. Then following, proper, spin-gravitied stations in space such as the envisioned space hotel 'Voyager Station'. From there Lagrange orbital facilities, stations, and colonies.

There is talk of colonizing the Moon. I say that is idiocy. Only temporary occupancy mining and scientific facilities should be established on the Moon. A spin-gravited station in space would be a far better [permanent] habitat than anything on or in the Moon fighting the conditions of the Moon. And would have far easier, faster, access to the Earth. [High Frontier] stations would be far better links between the surface and resources of the Earth and the surface and resources of the Moon. That, orbital stations, also goes for Mars. Mars surface facilities would need support facilities in Mars orbit for decades at the very least. The equivalent of a cloud city, up to a cloud city-state, in orbit with shuttle transport between it and the surface.

Do a search on [Voyage Station] if you don't already know of it. It would be a fine, FINE, beginning.
 
Mar 29, 2021
26
7
35
One reads all sorts of glib remarks like splitting water to provide hydrogen for fuel and oxygen to breathe
That statement is in reference Lunar / Mars colonies.
SPVs, subsurface thermo-couple arrays across "frost line"
orbital solar mirrors.. Energy is there to tap.

ps : Ice (H2O) confirmed on both recently.
 

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
3,838
2,424
8,070
My point is that there should be some description, or detailed reference, showing how available energy is converted into the required work. It is not enough to say "there is sunshine" with the bald implication that it can be made to do anything.

This point, as I have brought up elsewhere, is that the work necessary to provide such equipment may involve bringing large amounts of fabricated plant from Earth, or the iron works required to make it . . . . . . . . . and so it goes on.

Cat :)
 
Aug 14, 2020
398
84
760
John Lewis's 'Mining The Sky' is a good source for those interested in the resources in-space colonizers could use. Even doing a search on mining the solar system will bring up some articles on the subject. You have to be careful, though, a lot of them talking about colonizing the potential mines themselves which would limit use of the solar system's resources to the maximum of "limiting" those resources for conversion to energetic life and life activity (conversion from inanimation to animation). The sheer space, energy, and material mass of the solar system's resource will be a gold mine -- so to speak -- for in-space colonizers, and almost no resource at all otherwise (most especially almost no expansionary room -- including nearly no room and capability for customization (space for individual, person and group, personalization)-- at all for life trying to go nova in expanding out from Earth).
 
Last edited:

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
3,838
2,424
8,070
John Lewis's 'Mining The Sky' is a good source for those interested in the resources in-space colonizers could use. Even doing a search on mining the solar system will bring up some articles on the subject. You have to be careful, though, a lot of them talking about colonizing the potential mines themselves which would limit use of the solar system's resources to the maximum of "limiting" those resources for conversion to energetic life and life activity (conversion from inanimation to animation). The sheer space, energy, and material mass of the solar system's resource will be a gold mine -- so to speak -- for in-space colonizers, and almost no resource at all otherwise (most especially almost no expansionary room -- including nearly no room and capability for customization (space for individual, person and group, personalization)-- at all for life trying to go nova in expanding out from Earth).
Interesting. Does the author cover my points in post #8? If so, I will probably read it. I would appreciate your comment. Cat :)
 
Apr 28, 2021
6
5
15
I like Atlan's response but would like to add a bit. Your question is can it be done. I believe a self-sustaining colony/habitat could be constructed in the near future. However, my biggest question would be what kind of life would it be? Anyone in that kind of habitat would only be able to survive off the resources supplied to them. EVERYTHING would be limited to that which was placed in the habitat during construction. If the purpose of the habitat is to provide a base of operations to mine or do other things that allow for growth, then I think it's a good idea. Otherwise, it's more like a prison.
 
Aug 14, 2020
398
84
760
I like Atlan's response but would like to add a bit. Your question is can it be done. I believe a self-sustaining colony/habitat could be constructed in the near future. However, my biggest question would be what kind of life would it be? Anyone in that kind of habitat would only be able to survive off the resources supplied to them. EVERYTHING would be limited to that which was placed in the habitat during construction. If the purpose of the habitat is to provide a base of operations to mine or do other things that allow for growth, then I think it's a good idea. Otherwise, it's more like a prison.
Smart man here. Very smart. But not that cognizant of seagoing history, thousands of years of the virtual colonization of the Maritime Frontier, one the greatest untold stories. Next to farming, which I'm one of the fewest to recognize would be a land office business for the colonies, the second great industry would be ship building, including further colony construction -- shipping. O'Neill among others whose primary interests were not history -- among other things -- thought in terms of gigantic solar satellites being the primary industry of the in-space colonies. No way, Jose (as the saying goes). These would be city-states coming into being, the likes of Athens and the other Greek city-states of Greece, Italy, and Spain, Troy and Phoenicia and Carthage, and even, somewhat Rome. Much later on, Venice and the other Renaissance Italian city-states, and even Britain. Even later, Hong Kong and Singapore and the like. Not one self-supporting, except to an [early] degree, Britain.

You won't, because it won't interest you very much probably, but you should read the 'Influence of Sea Power Upon History' by Alfred Thayer Mahan, and think 'The Influence of Space Power Upon Future History'. Nothing, no one, but those in-space colonies will be in such a position. The real highland frontier. The real high seas of space frontier. The only true connection to all the mass material and energy resources of the solar system. The only users, the only expansionist states, period(!), physically capable of making use of it all.

There will be those who will only want to go about their local business and industry, like mining, farming, or shipbuilding. But like Crevecouer said about Old Worlders landing for the first time in the New World, there will those who minds will expand vastly to match the new environment of a vast frontier. The colonies will be no more than bases for much, much, greater things to them. And like the New World of 1772, they will have the material resources out there to work wonders with. And they will have the Old World, now becoming a part of the New World, hungry for them to do it. Hungry for the growing exchange of energies rather than any dumping of material resource on an Earth that can't use it.

I think that's enough for now.

Mod Edit - Keep it professional
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ASK THE COMMUNITY