What do you think is the best Planet/Moon for human colonization?

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May 14, 2021
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OK, post #50, the Alcubierre warp drive ship , that'll have to wait until Zefram Cochrane is born, raised, and properly trained to invent the Warp Drive. Memory Alpha says he's born about 10-20 years from now, keep a sharp eye out.:D
Also, the energy required just ain't feasible.

On colonization, best to start with the moon, it's close, easier to get stuff we need there. We certainly can dig shelters into the regolith much like Heinlein's 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', with Momma Earth close by to help out and provide backup for stuff that's not there yet. Then we can use the moon for getting stuff to the next colony, Mars, less delta V to move stuff. But it'll take a lot to get either one of them habitable. Mars may have enough oxygen in the water and in the oxidized rocks for our needs. I don't see the outer moons any time soon, as it'll be difficult to keep any kind of colony warm and just not enough local energy to do that.

On asteroids, seems the best method is the one to put a mass nearby to attract the bad asteroid to a new trajectory, but, it'll be expensive in terms of delta-V to heft enough mass off the earth to where we need it to go. Might be easier to find a smaller asteroid we can grapple KSP style and move it where we want it, perhaps the bad asteroid has a moon we can alter its orbit. Don't forget not only is the asteroid attracted to whatever we put there, our object will be attracted to the asteroid. We'll need bunches of fuel for 'station keeping'. We would have to keep the tractor mass in the direction we want the bad asteroid move to, and use the reaction engine to keep the mass driver a given distance away from it, let's say 10 km or so. I guess the best is the Xenon ion drive we've already proven out. But, in SpaceX style, we'll have to make the fuel systems dockable, and send replacement fuel tanks for replenishment and have the empties return here for refueling and return. If it takes too much Xenon, we could use Argon, it's more plentiful, we'll just need to make the engine bigger as Argon has less mass for the reaction engine. While we're at it, we might as well include scientific packages to study the bad asteroid, perhaps the mass asteroid we put there.

Which is worse, a big body or small body, realize that a body twice the diameter means 8 times the mass, the mass is proportional to radius cubed. That means it'll need 8 times the push to move it. But, the body twice the diameter has four times the surface area to reflect light, 8 times the mass, you probably won't see it 8 times farther away to have time to move it. I would vote for the small mass 8 times easier to move. Of course, I don't think we'll have any choice in the matter. Whatever the universe throws at us, we'll have to eat it.
 
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Jul 6, 2021
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Let's spend some time on what is required to convert Venus into a somewhat livable planet.
1. Reduce the temperature - Inducing a winter by means of asteroid impact. Redirecting asteroids into a impact with the planet may cause a dust cloud enveloping the planet for decades or millennium thereby reducing the solar heating cycle.
2. Maintain the reduced temperature - Continuing to bombard the planet would assure the continuation of the dust cloud but would make it difficult for continued habitation. Perhaps breaking up asteroids into a cloud circling the planet and acting as a shade would create a permanent eclipse that would reduce the surface temperatures. Or converting asteroids into giant umbrellas.
3. Return water to the surface with the by-product of higher albedo from the cloud cover - redirect comets to collide with the planet. Adding water to Venus would improve the habitability of the planet.
4. Adding a moon - since this conversation assumes terraforming an entire planet, why not consider adding a moon to the thinking. It doesn't have to be a single moon, but perhaps building a moon from asteroids and comets.
Let's add some constraints:
a) use current technology - no magical tractor beams or Star Trek transporting devices. Gravity tractors, impulse rockets, and nuclear explosives are allowed.
b) allow for 500 years to complete and make it self sustaining
c) no alien support and assume no life on the planet or in the clouds.
 

Catastrophe

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"what is required to convert Venus into a somewhat liveable planet."

As I have pointed out elsewhere, bland statements do not terraforming make.

It is like saying that moving Mount Everest to the Sahara Desert is easy. All you need are some people with shovels, and lorries.

Cat :)
 
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Jul 4, 2021
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"what is required to convert Venus into a somewhat liveable planet."

As I have pointed out elsewhere, bland statements do not terraforming make.

It is like saying that moving Mount Everest to the Sahara Desert is easy. All you need are some people with shovels, and lorries.

Cat :)
The best solution, 'albeit not possible at the moment', would be to move Venus to the orbit of Mars. Make Mars a moon of Venus. Place Mars at such a distance where Mars is not tidally locked. This will initiate friction in both cores. It will take an unknown length of time to begin to initiate terraforming processes. Then we can have three planet-sized viable habitats.
 

Catastrophe

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If you could move Venus to Mars, you could probably save Earth from any threat barring Sun expansion or the approach of another star.
If you turned Venus/Mars into a binary planet system, you would probably have to speed up its orbit, or the extra mass might start moving them both inwards towards Earth orbit. Also they would probably affect Earth also.

If you can move Venus around, why not move it a bit further out to reduce the temperature, living in the clouds meanwhile; it would also be a good 'half way house' on the way to outer planet moons. Venus' heat might also provide a good en route power stop,

Cat :)
 
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"what is required to convert Venus into a somewhat liveable planet."

As I have pointed out elsewhere, bland statements do not terraforming make.

It is like saying that moving Mount Everest to the Sahara Desert is easy. All you need are some people with shovels, and lorries.

Cat :)
This is funny, expecially for the ones who read that speech in the "Lumenosity thread".
Anyway, do not forget (I'm referring to all of you, the main problem in english is that the second person is both singular and plural) that we can literally inhabit both Mars and Venus without terraforming the planets.
I nearly forgot: Nasa has already made such a plan that will be used in future, most probably, to colonnise Venus, living in the clouds that are't so hot.
 
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May 14, 2021
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So, if we’re moving stuff like Venus and Mars, move Venus to Earth since it’s in the sweet spot, lessee, Venus is 66 times the mass of the moon, inverse square, that’s it 3.1 million km Venus-Earth separation should do it, similar tides (I think). Then move Mars as a distant third like the alpha Centauri trinary, then put the moon as binary with Mars - a double double. The four will be close together for trade, etc. If we could do that (yeah, right!), we could then drop a few comets as needed for water and electrolysis for oxygen. And if one gets hit, we still have the others. Then just wait for mighty Jupiter to disrupt the whole schmear.
 
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Jul 4, 2021
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So, if we’re moving stuff like Venus and Mars, move Venus to Earth since it’s in the sweet spot, lessee, Venus is 66 times the mass of the moon, inverse square, that’s it 3.1 million km Venus-Earth separation should do it, similar tides (I think). Then move Mars as a distant third like the alpha Centauri trinary, then put the moon as binary with Mars - a double double. The four will be close together for trade, etc. If we could do that (yeah, right!), we could then drop a few comets as needed for water and electrolysis for oxygen. And if one gets hit, we still have the others. Then just wait for mighty Jupiter to disrupt the whole schmear.
Actually I was thinking about it, I think my initial idea would work. It would need a little tweaking, for instance we could move Mercury to the orbit of Venus and take the minor planet ceres and place it in orbit around Mercury as its Moon. We may have to do a little adjusting to the orbits to offset any orbital anomalies caused by the differences. After we get that set up then what we'll do is we'll take the mega comet and crash it into Venus. That will speed up the cooling down effect that Venus is going to have to have. Ok, lets get started!
 
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I had read some years ago, I believe it was S&T, that Venus keeps the Earth’s orbit stable, that if Venus wasn’t there, Jupiter would’ve ejected Earth long ago, according to some Solar system model computer runs. And there’s a small likelihood that eventually, a couple billion years from now, Mercury or Venus may be ejected, So, we’ll have to get goin’ soon.
 
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I think there is no best planet/moon for human colonization. Instead of colonizing some other planet and exploiting it, we should work on saving our own planet.
Unfortunately, we don't have inspired, international cooperation either. We're also running out of time. Our population is fast approaching 8 billion. 100 years from now, unless we learn very quickly how to terraform our own planet, starting with an inventive process with which to "aquaform" our oceans. Many scientists are convinced that our oceans are quickly reaching a precipice. Our oceans are dying due to inevitable overfishing practices. The cause is Human over-population. Analageous to a lifeboat carrying too many people. Eventually, it will tip over, and everyone dies. We must attack this inevitable nightmare by using a two pronged attack plan.
1). We must accelerate our exploration of space, with the goal of identifying kuiper belt objects that we can use for replenishing our fresh water supply. As radical, and as impractical as it sounds, if we continue with the "status-quo", our grandchildren and, our great grandchildren will have to obtain clean, fresh water through acts of war. That's how rare it is rapidly evolving towards. It gets worse. Before that happens, the oceans will reach a mass extinction event that will be impossible to fix. The plankton in our oceans produce 70% of our oxygen by the same process that plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. 'Photosynthesis'. We must change our behavior now. Other wise, if we continue to deplete the under water biosphere, then eventually the food chain will collapse. The vast majority of marine life will perish. The oceans will then be incapable of supporting the photosynthesis process responsible for 70% of our oxygen. This is inevitable within 100 years. The question is, will we have developed the technology and, the techniques necessary to restore life back into our oceans, and save ourselves.
 
Jul 4, 2021
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Helio, just checking. Do I understand that the Chicxulub object would be no problem now? Cat :) :) :)

To KEEP THIS ON TRACK we are, of course, considering a safe future home as far as possible from impact dangers.
If we were certain that a KBO was on a collision course with earth, and we knew that it was indeed a comet, then if we could somehow heat the comets interior, we might be able to cause a large premature out gassing event. The further away the better. If successful, and if the object was still in the Kuiper belt, then we should prevail.
 

Catastrophe

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Before you even think about moving which planet where, just figure out roughly the energy requirement to move any planet to a different orbit, and tell us where this energy is coming from.
I have another idea. Set up a series of Moons, so that these will protect Earth from any impactor. Maybe blow up Mars into exactly Moon shaped bits and let these float towards the Sun. Of course the increased mass will pull the Earth/Moons system towards the Sun. So by destroying Earth/Moons we will increase the life pf the Sun, so the human race will be better off. And . . . . . . . . . don't forget, the same result will follow from your planetary machinations.


Cat ;) ;) ;)
 
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Correct, even though we discussed planet moving, we realize this is just fantasy, no one has enough energy anywhere to move even one of them. Same with Dyson spheres, space elevators, and the like. We just gotta figure out how to take care of Earth in the first place.
Just one thing, since the sun operates on the hydrogen-helium cycle, I doubt that losing the Earth-Moon to it would change things an iota. Not enough hydrogen to make a difference, mostly metals, which just adds 0.0003% mass, no fuel, won't even hiccup. It'll just end up being part of the white dwarf eventually. Sorta like Shoemaker-Levy 9, just a couple of spots for a few weeks, Jupiter didn't even care.
 
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Catastrophe

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Pogo, you are correct, but please note that I put ;) ;) ;) and not :) :) :).

I was trying to enter into the spirit of the ridiculous. Yeah, better still, move Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune into the Sun. They got plenny o' H and He.

Cat :)
 
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There ya go. If we could do that, we could easily move Mercury, Venus, and Mars into whatever orbit we like and colonize all. If into Earth’s orbit 90 degrees apart, we could build like a subway tunnel (tube) for easy transportation. They would have to be sleeper cars as it’ll take a while.

Uh oh, I just realized, drop the giants into the sun. More mass, shorter life! That ain’t good.
 
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Catastrophe

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Hey! I got a better idea. Why not just shift our galaxy over to Andromeda. Should be child's play, as they are already moving towards each other. Just watch out for black holes.

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

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What do you think is the best Planet/Moon for human colonization?

Back on topic.

What would be the reason to colonise any planet/moon?
The only valid reason I can suggest, is to guard against asteroid/comet impact. This is sufficiently likely, that we should be doing something positive. OK, the possibility in the near future is very small but, remember, someone has to win the lottery. Maybe your governments will literally bet your lives that it will not happen soon, and they would probably be right. But probably is not certainly.

So, where to go. Moon is too close. It would probably be affected by whatever struck Earth.
Venus only offers space in the clouds, tens of kilometres up, but there is constant sulphuric acid and, not often mentioned, very strong winds. Watch out if you want nice steady balloons to live in.
Some of the outer planet moons have liquid water oceans beneath frozen surfaces, but who wants to be confined in a submarine all life long. And you would need heat. How would you generate electricity being confined in a sub? Not easy. Maybe pedal bicycles?
So that leaves Mars - a little easier than most - but no doddle. And forget about terraforming - anywhere - it is a non starter. So again Mars is no easy paradise. There are radiation problems, as well as temperature and pressure difficulties. Probably the best answer is to control population and pray no asteroid comes along.

Cat :)
 

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