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Are there habitable planets/moons in our solar system?


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#1 Jonathanaronda

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:08 PM

Hi all, sorry if this question has been asked before, but are there habitable planets and/or moons in our solar system? If so, how is that possible?
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#2 D H

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:15 PM

Yes, there is at least one habitable planet or moon in our solar system.
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#3 Vastor

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:30 PM

Yes, there is at least one habitable planet or moon in our solar system.



Doesn't it is too obvious there? ;)

Edited by Vastor, 26 April 2012 - 11:30 PM.

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#4 Ophiolite

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Hi all, sorry if this question has been asked before, but are there habitable planets and/or moons in our solar system? If so, how is that possible?

As two sarcastic members have pointed out there is very obviously one habitable planet in the solar system. However, I assume you mean 'other than the Earth'.

We also need to clarify what you mean by habitable: it does not mean inhabited, but that it could be, potentially inhabited.

In artificial environments men could certainly inhabit Mercury, Mars, perhaps Venus (though the technology would be challenging), the Moon, any of the Dwarf planets, such as Ceres or Vesta, the moons of Jupiter (if the radiation levels could be dealt with) and of Saturn, uranus and Neptune.

Where could simpler Earth life survive? Mars, certainly. Within the ocean of Europa. Perhaps in the right level (pressure and temperture) of the atmospheres of the gas giants.

I am not sure what you mean by 'how is that possible'. If the environment mimics that of a given Earthly enviornment in terms of pressure, temperature, chemistry, etc then clearly it will be habitable by any organisms that live in that environment on Earth.
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#5 John Cuthber

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:15 PM

The moon was inhabited rather briefly.
It depends on your definition.
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#6 Anvar

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:38 PM

Any planet in the Solar System is habitable, if you consider yourself as a giant molecule. Small molecules are habitants of any planet or moon.
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#7 Jonathanaronda

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:48 PM

What I meant to say, was OTHER than Earth... didn't think I had to spell that out.

I guess, what I mean by habitable is we move to another planet/moon but we don't have to artificially design anything to make it habitable.

Another question just came to me, and this one might be better asked in the biology section, but if we were to move to a habitable planet (but artificially design our surroundings so we would survive) would mankind evolve/learn to adapt without the artificial design?
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#8 Ras72

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:05 PM

Hi all, sorry if this question has been asked before, but are there habitable planets and/or moons in our solar system? If so, how is that possible?

To live you need air to breathe and water. You also want energy, and protection from cosmic rays (high speed particles coming from all directions in the Universe and capable of frying your body) On Earth protection from cosmic rays is provided by the atmosphere. Alternatively protection can be provided by a few meters thickness shielding made of lightweight polymers or water.
So if you want to settle on a planet or moon other than Earth you could go to Europa. There you can create a settlement underwater. The water can be used to create air, you can separate the hydrogen and use it in a hypothetical fusion reactor to provide heat and electricity. You need to be under at least 10 meters of water to shield you from cosmic rays. Maybe 100 years from now it could be possible.
(If you are thinking of terraforming, that is much more difficult If you are thinking of changing the human body to adapt to living on the surface, that probably more difficult still)
So kind of like a very advanced nuclear submarine, minus the weapons (If you want weapons you can use the hydrogen from the water to make hydrogen bombs)
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#9 the asinine cretin

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:36 AM

the moons of Jupiter (if the radiation levels could be dealt with)...

The radiation on Callisto isn't bad. About 0.01 rem/day. There was a NASA report years back about manned missions to the outer solar system and Callisto was chosen as the location for a base for various reasons, including the relatively low radiation.

Edited by the asinine cretin, 28 April 2012 - 10:41 AM.

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#10 John Baskin

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

Yes there are a couple of habitable planets and tones of habitable moons. Some asteroids too
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#11 John Cuthber

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:48 PM

Yes there are a couple of habitable planets and tones of habitable moons. Some asteroids too

Nonsense.
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#12 Moontanman

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:31 AM

What I meant to say, was OTHER than Earth... didn't think I had to spell that out.

I guess, what I mean by habitable is we move to another planet/moon but we don't have to artificially design anything to make it habitable.


The short answer is no. No other planet or moon in our solar system is capable of supporting human life with out some artificial support.

Another question just came to me, and this one might be better asked in the biology section, but if we were to move to a habitable planet (but artificially design our surroundings so we would survive) would mankind evolve/learn to adapt without the artificial design?


There is no reason to think humans cannot evolve, over long periods of time and isolation I think it would be inevitable that humans would evolve to fit their environment. But there are limits, if the habitat on another planet is instant death to a human then no we wouldn't be able to evolve to live there with out some environmental support.
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#13 questionposter

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:33 AM

Hi all, sorry if this question has been asked before, but are there habitable planets and/or moons in our solar system? If so, how is that possible?


There are places in the solar system that can theoretically support some type of life, such as Europa or Titan, but they cannot support human beings without being terraformed.
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#14 Ophiolite

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:15 AM

The radiation on Callisto isn't bad. About 0.01 rem/day. There was a NASA report years back about manned missions to the outer solar system and Callisto was chosen as the location for a base for various reasons, including the relatively low radiation.

Good points. I was vaguely aware that the radiation might only be a concern for the closer of the large satellites, but confess I was too lazy to do any checking. I have found a NASA presentation on the proposed mission here. Thanks for making me aware of this.
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#15 the asinine cretin

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:53 PM

Good points. I was vaguely aware that the radiation might only be a concern for the closer of the large satellites, but confess I was too lazy to do any checking. I have found a NASA presentation on the proposed mission here. Thanks for making me aware of this.

That's the thing I was thinking of. Thanks! There is a report for HOPE out there somewhere as well, but I don't think it contains much that isn't captured in those slides. What I wouldn't give to see missions of that sort in my lifetime...
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#16 Phi for All

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:13 PM

Another question just came to me, and this one might be better asked in the biology section, but if we were to move to a habitable planet (but artificially design our surroundings so we would survive) would mankind evolve/learn to adapt without the artificial design?

I don't think we would evolve to adapt to the natural environment if we didn't actually interact with the natural environment over many generations. We would be subject to the selective pressures of the artificial environment rather than the natural one. It's hard to say though, since we have little experience with populations in artificial environments spanning the kind of time evolution requires.
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#17 Ophiolite

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Posted 1 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

That's the thing I was thinking of. Thanks! There is a report for HOPE out there somewhere as well, but I don't think it contains much that isn't captured in those slides. What I wouldn't give to see missions of that sort in my lifetime...

I had found the research paper on HOPE, but only the abstract is freely available, so I didn't bother referencing it. If you are interested it is available here. There are, however, a handful of papers somewhat related to the HOPE mission that are available in their entirety:

Selection of an Effective Architecture for A Precursor Mission to Callisto
High Power Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for Cargo and Propellant Transfer Missions in Cislunar Space
High Power MPD Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for Artificial Gravity HOPE Missions to Callisto
Human Hypometabolism for Long Duration Spaceflight: Motivation, Possibilities and Consequences
Spaceship Discovery NTR Vehicle Architecture for Human Exploration of the Solar System
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#18 the asinine cretin

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Posted 1 May 2012 - 11:37 AM

Ophiolite, Those documents have consumed my morning. Thanks. I love it. :-D
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#19 pantheory

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Posted 1 May 2012 - 05:21 PM

...........................are there habitable planets and/or moons in our solar system? If so, how is that possible?


I think this question is based upon a precise definition of the word "habitable."

such definitions of "habitable" are:

Suitable to live in; able to be lived in; can be lived in without protection from the elements.

There are a great many places in the solar system that I expect we will live in. All must be terraformed for us to live there on the surface without a protective dome. Many of the rocky planets and moons we could eventually live in if we wished to go underground to build colonies, the moon is a prime example. The atmosphere would be manufactured and pressurized, not that hard to do but presently very costly. We could have floating colonies surrounding many planets and moons, again it is a function of cost. We could almost as easily build huge space colonies that could tour the solar system or slowly venture outward to adjacent stars taking many generations or suspend life for the journey as in sci-fi movies.

If we're talking about only the surface of the planet/moon as being habitable without protection, then there is only one known place in our solar system, and that's good old Earth.
//
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#20 Airbrush

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Posted 1 May 2012 - 05:30 PM

First step, I think, is to be able to survive for many years or decades in a spaceship with radiation shielding and artificial gravity. When that has been achieved, the next step would be a base under the surface of the Moon, Mars, or any asteroids. I believe artificial gravity could be created in sub-surface bases on the Moon, Mars, or asteroids by building living quarters that rotate, like a merry-go-round with floor sloping towards center, adjusting whatever gravity present to one G (I've never heard of this before, has anyone?).

A spaceship that can get water from asteroids should be able to produce their own air, water, and fuel.

Edited by Airbrush, 1 May 2012 - 05:34 PM.

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