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Everything posted by Moontanman

  1. Either you didn't read the article or you didn't pay attention to to what the article said. I'm betting you just skimmed it and made your own conclusions.
  2. What we really need is a real space ship to not only explore the solar system but to lift huge payload to earth orbit and to bring those same payloads back. This space ship should be reusable and durable enough to be used many times. I envision this space craft not only being used for Earth to orbit and back but as a interplanetary space craft. What I am talking about is described in this article. http://www.nuclearspace.com/Liberty_ship_menupg.aspx
  3. If you had read this thread from the beginning you would have seen that the whole idea is that "this space station" is going to die, one way or another our time on the Earth is limited. We cannot move or other wise change it significantly. We have to move on, preferably before the Earth dies and we can pick and choose where and when we go.
  4. Yes we will need gravity and a habitat with food and oxygen. Living on the inside surface of a torus spun for gravity and enclosed for atmosphere and lighted by either piped in sunlight or artificial light would be the way to go. the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter would seem to be the ideal place to build these space colonies.
  5. I'm not sure why hydrogen bonding is important in this discussion. No matter what fluid or bases life forms in or adapts to I am quite sure hydrogen will be a big part of life. I think it is safe to say that life will always depend on hydrogen in some form. Saying that life might use some fluid other than water or a structure based on something other than carbon doesn't mean hydrogen wouldn't be an important part of life. I think it would be safe to say that hydrogen is a basic part of all life. I am not questioning the importance of hydrogen I am questioning the assumption that all life will be like ours based on carbon, water, and DNA.
  6. I see lots of reasons why we cannot colonize space, a few that seem to think it might be done. Of the people who say we cannot do it then what should we do? Not try and go down with the ship? (Earth) Or should we prepare for the worst and try for the things that might be difficult but still with in the realms of possibility as we know it? Do we have any other choices to avoid the extinction of the human race?
  7. Are these water balls stable structures? Bucky balls are as stable as other carbon or boron molecules and can be used to store smaller atoms inside the Bucky ball like a small cage.
  8. Alternative life chemistries other than boron life can be discussed here as well. Is anyone interested in possible alternatives to life as we know it?
  9. I think we should realize we are talking about this with everyone having a different idea of what is going on. The space habitats I am thinking of would be torus' miles across, the inside would be open habitat with room for tens of thousands of people living under the surface of the inner surface of the torus. it would spin for gravity, probably the minimum gravity needed for healthy humans, lets say 1/4 gee just to have a set point. These habitats would move around slowly using magnetic sails and possibly nuclear powered ion drive when needed. magnetic sails can be tens if not hundreds of thousands of miles across, they get bigger when far away from the star and smaller as they approach so the average acceleration is similar when near enough to use stellar wind. Light sails are limited in size and dust corrodes them, they are hard to furl and unfurl, they are in no way comparable to magnetic sails. these habitats would be like rolling up section of the earth maybe ten miles across and 100 miles long (extreme example but you get the point) Possibly material strengths would limit the torus to much smaller or maybe allow even bigger, we don't know for sure how material construction will change. right now quite large structures could be built using carbon tubes and so forth. There is no limit to manufacturing in space that is not even more severely limited on a planets surface. so there is no reason to build anything on a planets surface. Going to another star and building these worlds/ships would be a slow process but as the colonies began to send out colonies the process of spreading humanity and complex life would speed up exponentially. planets would likely be ignored, the danger from the gravity well and exotic organisms might be a good reason to avoid planets altogether. these space habitats would be big enough to house wild life and forests (they wouldn't really be wild btu the effect would be the same) as well as humans. i am not talking about being couped up in a tin can or small cabin. by necessity there would be room for open spaces. Yes population would have to be controlled but that isn't necessarily a draw back at all. If your colony held 5000 people to start with and had a capacity of 25 thousand population control wouldn't have to as draconian as it would for a ship that only held 100 people. The available resources in space vastly out number the amounts available on a planetary surface. meteors could be controlled against by out current technology, even 100 years from now i would expect things like lasers, magnetic fields for charged particles and radar to pick up any dangerous meteors to exceed anything we could predict now.
  10. I wanted to ask if HB was around, Water is not the end all be all of biology, we are seeing water through "water" glasses, if we lived on a planet where oceans of HCSA rolled up on shore we would be saying the same thing about HCSA, we are water chauvinists, we can't help it, we have no other data to go on but we can avoid the pit fall of claiming water to be some how magical or special in some way that is not quantifiable.
  11. The earth wouldn't have to become very much hotter to significantly curb complex life forms. The upper limit for complex life is somewhere around 50C but that is for some very tough plants, animals need temps lower than that. Most of complex life on earth lives below 40C average. Terra forming is just a stop gag measure anyway you look at it. Self contained orbiting colony world/ships are the only way to go. No they only need star systems for raw materials, a properly build and maintained colony will provide everything humans need, including an ecology in huge ship spun for artificial gravity. Inside they would be like a valley on the Earth rolled up. They would not be sterile tin cans only to be used to travel in. People would live in them and have no knowledge of or need of planets. Star wisp type probes could be sent out ahead of the colony at very near C to report back about what lay ahead. If no suitable material was found in orbit around a star, unlikely that nothing would orbit a star, the colony ship could go one to the next star. Using things like magnetic sails even a large colony/world ship could be sent to another star. using the stellar wind to accelerate and decelerate. They will not land, they will simply go into orbit and start using asteroid/cometary material to build new ships and replace volatiles and other lost compounds. planets are not only not necessary they are not an easy source of materials and be avoided. Name a land area that is harder to get to than the moon please. We do not colonize these areas for good solid reasons, we cannot live there, an orbiting colony would be a much better place to live than Antarctica or the Sahara. Most of the Earth surface is not suitable for human needs. Our colony world/ships will be great environments with controlled weather and 100% suitable for humans. since they will be controlled environments no need to worry about finding a place to live among the stars all we need is raw materials. We would avoid areas where our ships couldn't protect us and planets are irrelevant. small ice worlds could be broken up for materials. Because we wouldn't be occupying planets! Even 10 million years is a eye blink in terms of the galaxy, the only other option is to sit and wait for extinction. we need to get things going by pursuing the exploration and exploitation of our solar system now. a simple natural disaster could keep all of it from ever happening. Once we are in space and colonizing the asteroids it will be much more difficult to kill us all and we will take complex Earth life with us, if nothing else for food.
  12. Water, silicon, and bismuth expand on freezing.
  13. There are more than one school of thought on this, some think the sun will warm up faster than others and I thin the 1 billion mark is for all life, complex life will die out much sooner. Mars may or may not be a harder nut to crack, no way to know anyway you look at it but mars too will become uninhabitable at about the same time the earth does. I was just using 2 colony ships as an example, The Earth could produce thousands of them as could each colony. Or a colony could fail but i am not talking about colonizing planets, I am talking about orbiting colonies that exist independent of planets, possibly torus shaped rotating to produce artificial gravity with it's own ecosystem inside, miles across. I don't think its a fair comparison, the Polynesians did a very good job with very slow speeds and no way of knowing where they were going or what they would find when they got there. a self contained orbiting colony could traverse the distance between stars slowly in a few hundred years. make copies of it's self from asteroid like material and then go on. Each stop could produce hundreds of colonies, some would leave some would stay awhile. Some stops wouldn't produce anything and the ships would go on. Don't you think that Antarctica has little or no bearing on what we are talking about? Primitives didn't have the technology to survive there and we don't want to live in a place so bare and stark. A couple more data points and we'll know. I didn't say a 120,000 years I said a few hundred thousand years and if we colonized via artificial colony worlds the number could increase exponentially until the expanding front of human colonization was a wave encompassing hundreds of stars a day. Even if it took a million years it would still be in the blink of an eye geologically speaking. I gave an example of one colony sending out two self contained colonies and then each of those two sending out two to make four, take that out 500 hundred times and see how many colonies you would have. then think of each colony sending out hundreds of other colonies each time as well as each colony moving on after the easily obtained resources of a star system are used up. You get a wave front of colonization that is astounding to say the least. Since no planets are needed even stars with no planets or stars that are unsuitable for planets could be used. If during the travel of a colony they pass a world that is suitable for complex life but has no such life we could leave some there. this of course assumes complex life is rare. If complex life is common then we would probably avoid planetary systems with complex life to avoid competition with any possible intelligent natives.
  14. I'd like to entertain more if you can think of them. Life on the Earth will indeed eventually become extinct no matter what we do. If nothing else the sun will brighten to the point that complex life will become impossible. this will probably happen in a couple hundred million years for sure, some say much sooner. Actually Terra forming even Mars will take as much time as colonizing the galaxy, a couple hundred thousand years anyway. Some studies have been done that show if you could send out a colony ship every few hundred years as you go to each star. Say two ships from the Earth to two near by stars then 500 years later two ships from each of these stars and so on it wouldn't be but a few hundred thousand years before we could be around every suitable star in the galaxy. I waver back and forth on this issue, some of the arguments for rare complex life are quite compelling but it assumes that complex life every where has to have the same conditions we do and you cannot draw a curve from one data point. We don't even know if what we think of as life is even the most common life in the universe, we might be a rare fluke and silicon life is everywhere else.
  15. My premise is this, there are basically three ultimate destinies for humanity and complex life on the Earth. 1. We stay here and ride out the Earth and become extinct along with everything else when a natural disaster of some sort wipes out life on the Earth. 2. Humans colonize the solar system by Terra forming other planets and eventually go to the stars and do the same thing there. We would travel via very fast (near C)space craft to other stars with suitable planets, we might take some complex life with us. 3. We colonize the solar system through orbiting colonies and bypass planets altogether. Using these huge colony ships similar to O'Neil cylinders we can spread out slowly and occupy the Galaxy in a few hundred thousands years. again we would take much of Earth's complex life with us. Stars with large populations of asteroid like bodies would be preferred. Tau Ceti is an example of this type of star. If complex life is as rare as some think then we could be thought of as spreading complex life around the galaxy.
  16. There are very few animals that are pure carnivores on the Earth. Most carnivores will eat some plant material, fruits are taken by many carnivores and some will even take some leaves and other material. Snakes are about the only pure carnivores I can think of off the top of my head but I am sure there are others. To some extent it's not that carnivores will not eat plant material, most of them simply cannot digest it efficiently. Humans are omnivores much like bears, canids will eat almost anything if they have too and will choose to eat fruits, nuts, and even roots. Even herbivores will take some animal material from time to time. Cows eat a significant number of insects but that is mostly by accident and it's unknown if they contribute anything the cow really needs. What carnivore are you thinking of teaching to eat plants?
  17. I've often wanted to try my hand at designing jewelry and the idea of a ring made of one of the super strong magnet alloys. I also like the idea of a tungsten ring with maybe a coil of platinum around it. But the previous poster is correct get her what she wants not what you want, you'll be glad you did!
  18. Yes adding water is adding something, water allows chemical reactions to take place. with out water they take place too slowly if at all. Water is simply the substance that both dissolves the chemicals necessary for life and allows them to interact with each other. This is well known but the is no single mysterious property of water that isn't shared with other liquids. Liquid ammonia isn't as good as water in some ways, in others it is better. Hot Concentrated Sulfuric Acid is different but not inferior as well. Liquids that might substitute for water consist of H2O2 HF NH3 CH4 various other hydrocarbons N2 O2 Ar H2 HCSA I am sure there are others but the point is that all of these have both good and bad points. H2O has bad points as well, expanding on freezing is very bad for life, cells burst. a solvent that simply freezes might be much better. I really don't see how you can say water is so great when we have only one data point. For all we know life might be almost always based in a hydrocarbon of some sort. Water life might be a rare fluke. We are biased for water because it is our drink of necessity. It may be that water is rarely used by life, until we get a few more data points there is just no way to know. I've become rather good at nailing jello to a wall on these forums. Arguing evolution with creationists has taught me a lot.
  19. Ok, I'm not quite sure what you are saying. Do you mean that water is so unique life cannot exist without water? Or that our type of life has to have water because it has adapted to the properties of water?
  20. First a baby conceived by a white and a black person would be neither, it would be of mixed race. Race is not dominant recessive characteristic like eye color. Second labels of race exist to marginalize humans into us and them groups with the them being somewhat less than us. I am of mixed race, for me it's really never been a problem due to being mixed of several races and no one really noticing it. I have medium complexion that tans very easily and Grey eyes and very thick course white hair (used to be brown and kinky) Not many would guess i am of mixed race, Native American, European, and African, maybe even some Asian. I have been in the front row of the audience of racism and I have seen and heard everyone talk junk about anyone they thought was less than "white" so don't think for a minute that worrying about the race of a baby of white and black parents is anything other than race. The assumption the baby would have to be one or the other reveals a racist attitude.
  21. Actually Boron does form complex molecules in the same vein as Carbon. At somewhat different pressures and temperatures Boron can imitate carbon in several areas. The point is that while Silicon has been thought a viable alternative to Carbon in very cold temps like the surface of Titan or as Silicone at temps like the surface of Venus Boron can also form complex chains of molecules but Silicon cannot form Bucky balls, Carbon can and Boron can. http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/B/boron-based_life.html
  22. Why does everyone assume that a human/chimp hybrid would be a dumb human? Hybrid vigor could very well produce a being better than either of it's parents. When you breed a donkey and a horse you don't get a dumb horse. Mules are very smart and spirited animals, often they are smarter and stronger than either parent. It's an old wives tale that mules are stupid, I've worked with both mules and horses. Mules can be very smart even superior to the best horses. Mules are also not always sterile, it's rare but since most if not all male mules are neutered breeding seldom takes place.
  23. The only thing I know of that pots increases my love of is good music, Doritos, and chocolate! It's been many years but "I still recall the juke box hall where the music played"
  24. If this ever happens please ask more pertinent questions, those are either irrelevant or not likely to be known by aliens. Getting back on topic, three sexes might allow greater diversity but make it harder to find a mate. Two sexes might be a better trade off between diversity and mate finding. John Varley invented Three sexes for his trilogy Titan, Wizard, and Demon. His aliens were basically centaurs and each individual had three sex organs but only two individual sexes. Each individual was either male or female but each had either two penises or two vaginae but both had at least one penis and one vagina. there were twenty nine different ways (or some number close to that) for them to mate including an individual being able to effectively clone herself. They could mate the first time frontally to produce a viable egg and then implant the egg in a rear vagina and mate again to produce offspring. It made for a wild story but it's difficult to see how this could evolve naturally, the aliens were the result of ID.
  25. In recent years the discovery of the Bucky ball, C60 molecule, was touted as proof of the versatile nature of the Carbon bond and an example of why it was so good at being the scaffolding of life. But another element can make Bucky ball type molecules, Boron. The B80 molecule is stable and shows that Boron is also a very versatile atom, does this point to the possibility that Boron might in some environments make a suitable scaffolding for life as well?
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