How far are we from breaking confinement to Planet Earth?

Feb 17, 2021
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One goal of transhumanism is breaking confinement to Planet Earth, and a few things stand in the way:
Our immediate neighbourhood is mostly uninhabitable: Venus, Mars, and the Moon are not viable options
for settlements.
Even much of the Solar System is uninhabitable; Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, Titan, Triton are currently
uninhabitable.
We are not certain if we have inhabitable planets within 3 parsecs, and even this small radius is beyond
our reach.
Technological breakthroughs are even more problematic.
Besides these obvious obstacles, what have been keeping us confined to Planet Earth?
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
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You have defined the main obstacles. Distance. Time. Lack of suitable targets.
These sum it up. Add in unsuitable physical form and life span - vide possible compatibility. This is really covered under 'suitable targets'.

That being said, our only short-medium way forward, imho, is using robots.

Cat :)
 
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Dec 9, 2020
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Personally, I like Earth, and on some rare bright sunny days I even like people despite the maddening fact that there are too many of them, (myself included). My opinion is that our species will not, for several intrinsic reasons, be able to colonize other worlds. I've come to the conclusion that the vastness and variability of space precludes our successfully living off Earth. So what we have here is "all we got". We have to make the best of it. That bit of cheer being said, I'm "all in" for SciFi movies with a bevy of bodacious aliens.
 
May 25, 2021
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Personally, I like Earth, and on some rare bright sunny days I even like people despite the maddening fact that there are too many of them, (myself included). My opinion is that our species will not, for several intrinsic reasons, be able to colonize other worlds. I've come to the conclusion that the vastness and variability of space precludes our successfully living off Earth. So what we have here is "all we got". We have to make the best of it. That bit of cheer being said, I'm "all in" for SciFi movies with a bevy of bodacious aliens.
Pics !!! Lots of pics.
 
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May 11, 2021
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One goal of transhumanism is breaking confinement to Planet Earth, and a few things stand in the way:
Our immediate neighbourhood is mostly uninhabitable: Venus, Mars, and the Moon are not viable options
for settlements.
Even much of the Solar System is uninhabitable; Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, Titan, Triton are currently
uninhabitable.
We are not certain if we have inhabitable planets within 3 parsecs, and even this small radius is beyond
our reach.
Technological breakthroughs are even more problematic.
Besides these obvious obstacles, what have been keeping us confined to Planet Earth?
I suppose it depends what is meant by “habitable”. If the intention is to live outside in a breathable atmosphere as we do on Earth with no artificial help then I’m inclined to agree that nowhere in our solar system is habitable except the Earth. If the definition can be stretched to include living in pressurized habitats then at least Mars should be a candidate as it has all of the elements necessary for life and a day length very similar to that of the Earth that would allow crops to be grown in natural light. It would be very difficult, but it might be possible. Crewed flight to any planet beyond the solar system is a science fiction fantasy at the moment and may well remain that way indefinitely unless there is some amazing breakthrough in technology.

Besides all that, what has been keeping us confined to planet Earth? Answer it is very difficult to leave Earth. Speeds of more than 7.8km/s are required and this was not achieved until 1957. Even modern rockets are flying fuel cans 90% propellant and most of the rest engines and tanks to hold the propellant. The actual payload is just a few percent of the rockets mass. If the Earth had a higher gravitational field it might have been impossible to leave and reach orbit.
 

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Feb 18, 2020
3,838
2,427
8,070
"If the Earth had a higher gravitational field it might have been impossible to leave and reach orbit."

I was, of course, aware of the tremendous proportion of weight taken up by engine and fuel, but the idea of this limitation had eluded me. Very interesting. It could certainly have ramifications in considering the spread of intelligent life, where such exists, through any galaxy.

Cat :)
 
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Aug 14, 2020
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"If the Earth had a higher gravitational field it might have been impossible to leave and reach orbit."

And if it had a higher rate of spin to go with a somewhat higher gravity? Say 14 hours rather than 24?
 
May 25, 2021
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"If the Earth had a higher gravitational field it might have been impossible to leave and reach orbit."

And if it had a higher rate of spin to go with a somewhat higher gravity? Say 14 hours rather than 24?
I guess we wouldnt look anything like we do now.
 
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May 11, 2021
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"If the Earth had a higher gravitational field it might have been impossible to leave and reach orbit."

And if it had a higher rate of spin to go with a somewhat higher gravity? Say 14 hours rather than 24?
The centrifugal force would make very little difference as it is too weak. As is the case with 24 hour rotation of the Earth where the centrifugal force outward at the equator is roughly 0.03m/s^2 compared to 9.8m/s^2 for gravity
 
Aug 14, 2020
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The centrifugal force would make very little difference as it is too weak. As is the case with 24 hour rotation of the Earth where the centrifugal force outward at the equator is roughly 0.03m/s^2 compared to 9.8m/s^2 for gravity
Most space launches are west to east to take advantage of additional velocity. If Earth's spin was 14 hours rather than 24 that would be enough additional velocity to help out against a slightly higher gravity, minimal. Better yet regarding that higher gravity itself, the greater the gravity and the greater the spin rate the greater the additional velocity or "throw" by the Earth (its 'gravitational throw' velocity (as I've always understood it to be)). What physicist Brian Greene calls "push gravity" if I've understood him correctly. It's the use of Earth's gravity itself in the direction of Earth's spin to gain additional velocity for escape velocity. Contracts -- foreshortens -- the length required to be away, to rise away, from Earth's surface which translates to a greater velocity existing in the getaway.
 
May 11, 2021
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Most space launches are west to east to take advantage of additional velocity. If Earth's spin was 14 hours rather than 24 that would be enough additional velocity to help out against a slightly higher gravity, minimal. Better yet regarding that higher gravity itself, the greater the gravity and the greater the spin rate the greater the additional velocity or "throw" by the Earth (its 'gravitational throw' velocity (as I've always understood it to be)). What physicist Brian Greene calls "push gravity" if I've understood him correctly. It's the use of Earth's gravity itself in the direction of Earth's spin to gain additional velocity for escape velocity. Contracts -- foreshortens -- the length required to be away, to rise away, from Earth's surface which translates to a greater velocity existing in the getaway.
Yes that is a very good point that I had missed. But it all depends on how high the gravitational field is and how high the spin rate is. On Earth the advantage of launching from the equator is around 464m/s compared to the poles, where as 7500+m/s are required to reach orbit so although useful its not really going to change things drastically, especially as most launches already use a large fraction of that 464m/s anyway.
 
Dec 29, 2019
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I would skip planets entirely; I suggest artificial space habitats aka space stations utilising asteroid and/or cometary resources - established because a healthy, wealthy Earth economy wants those resources enough to invest. I think Mars and the Moon are dead ends and if humans ever prove capable of getting to another star... and they have to have an inhabitable planet to survive there is something wrong. Actually, I think any planet that has it's own life already will be more, not less, difficult to colonise; the chances of biochemical incompatibility look high, and the living species and alien biochemistry may be worth much more than the chance to live out primitive dreams of land ownership.
 
Aug 14, 2020
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I would skip planets entirely; I suggest artificial space habitats aka space stations utilising asteroid and/or cometary resources - established because a healthy, wealthy Earth economy wants those resources enough to invest. I think Mars and the Moon are dead ends and if humans ever prove capable of getting to another star... and they have to have an inhabitable planet to survive there is something wrong. Actually, I think any planet that has it's own life already will be more, not less, difficult to colonise; the chances of biochemical incompatibility look high, and the living species and alien biochemistry may be worth much more than the chance to live out primitive dreams of land ownership.
Mankind's living large upon the surface of space, versus living small in the wells of gravity, is the equivalent of -- and analogous to -- mankind's living large upon the surface of the Earth versus living small in the caves of Earth. Going smaller locally and vastly more numerous (vastly more de-centralized) on the surface in order to go enormously larger and broader and deeper in potential dimensions of mass, energy, paths, and life, overall. "Paths", including every kind of path (you need the energy of the million and more paths to realize the one path in a million and more) to the next frontier up, out, and after. Space colonization can model, even reveal the path to opening, the next frontier up. Mars cannot, nor any other planet or moon of the solar system. Too few, too few dimensions, too few paths, too centralized, too small in potential -- most particularly energies of every sort.
 
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