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Chat Camodude10's Space Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Camodude10, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    Welcome to the Starbound space thread! Since I enjoy space I decided to do a thread about it. Here we just discuss missions and ideas of space. There are a few rules though.

    Rules
    1. Don't argue too much. Some debates get heated pretty quickly.
    2. Follow the Forum Rules
    3. Respect everyone's opinions/ideas.
    4. Be realistic. It's okay to be far-fetched, just make sure what you say makes sense.

    [​IMG]
     
    Jareix Cryvix and Surenu like this.
  2. Surenu

    Surenu Subatomic Cosmonaut

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_pulse_propulsion

    This is a pretty interesting idea, because it would theoretically allow us to visit other planets much quicker with technology that is mostly existing already. Major drawbacks are the inherent risks of nuclear weapons, treaties for non-militarization of space, the insane security required (don't wanna have those nukes go rogue!), the required shielding and the fact that it already takes guts to become an astronaut, even more so when they strap you to a ship that is propulsed by nuclear warheads. Still, an interesting concept, and right now every bit of innovation is direly needed in spaceship propulsion technology.

    Personally, I think it's imperative to do more and more research and development in spacecraft tech and it's almost suicidal to cut funding from NASA, ESA etc. We have around 50.000 years left until the next ice age. This sounds like a lot of time, but given how we mess with our climate and only biosphere, this might as well come sooner. Sea levels are rising, soil quality decreases more and more yet more and more humans are born every year. This just isn't sustainable and we need to work on that, and our best bet might just be outsourcing those problems to other planets. Earth is mankind's crib, but to grow up you need to leave your crib.
     
    Camodude10 likes this.
  3. Roland Weiss

    Roland Weiss Cosmos Killer

    And for a less 'splode-y but still nuclear powered option, there might be some future in the fusion rocket motor. Somewhat out of our reach without effective fusion reactors, but once that's sorted, all you'd need to fuel it is small amounts of the actual fusion fuel, which are isotopes of hydrogen and helium, as well as hydrogen for reaction mass.

    Also, space elevators! Oh, what we could accomplish if we could build a space elevator! Most of the fuel we burn in an average space mission is just to achieve orbit; cut that out of the equation, and things become so much cheaper. Just need to figure out what we're going to make it out of; the tensile strain would be enormous!. Carbon nanotubes and graphene come to mind, but we need to find a way to mass-produce those materials.
     
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  4. Surenu

    Surenu Subatomic Cosmonaut

    @Roland Weiss I use space elevators in my current sci-fi setting and find them quite astounding in theory. What you said about the materials needed is correct though. There's also other dangers to consider: micro-meteorites, man-made debris, deliberate attacks, radiation and the fact that entire continents could get devastared when one of them falls. Carbon nanotubes are a good start, and I do believe that nanotechnology will eventually supply us with many of the materials required for proper space exploration and colonization, but I guess we still have a ways to go on that frontline.

    As for fusion technology, in 2015 Wendelstein 7-X was completed and it seems to be working quite nicely as a testing reactor.
     
  5. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    I really liked the idea of that too. Project Daedalus/Longshot were very interesting. "Plasma propulsion" and the controversial EM Drive seem to be in the spotlight now though, but nuclear pulse propulsion would be very feasible if we can keep it safe.

    EDIT: That link to the Wendelstein 7-x is very interesting I never knew about that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  6. Roland Weiss

    Roland Weiss Cosmos Killer

    There is a possibility that a cut cable would actually be flung off into space; at least the upper end would. Since the cable is in tension, the weight at the end would pull away if it's not being anchored; as for the lower end of the cable, we can only theorize.
    Now we need to make it small enough to fit in a spaceship; which'll be no small task. (Pun totally intended.)
    As far as I understand, the EM drive is bunk; if it provides any thrust, it's power to weight ratio will be criminally small.
     
  7. Surenu

    Surenu Subatomic Cosmonaut

    It'll work eventually, does so with every piece of tech. Look at cellphones, for example.

    I actually meant an entire elevator falling over and wrapping around earth. Good point though.
     
  8. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    What I think we need to do to prove space agencies as essential is to provide an income from space minerals. Asteroid mining would be very nice.
     
  9. Roland Weiss

    Roland Weiss Cosmos Killer

    There are some technical limits based on details some forget; like reactor shielding. There is a minimum amount of mass you need to use so the reactor doesn't cook your crew. Also, radiators are another detail that people keep forgetting about when it comes to spaceships; since space, as a vacuum, is one of the best insulators out there, and thus it can get toasty in a spacecraft.
    Especially since we'd have access to decent amounts of metals that only exist in trace amounts on Earth; platinum group metals for example.
     
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  10. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    Maybe we could even use some resources to refuel and cut costs.
     
  11. Roland Weiss

    Roland Weiss Cosmos Killer

    I guess you could figure out a way to use rock dust as reaction mass; maybe with some kind of mass driver engine. Not sure how readily available hydrogen will be in asteroids, unless they're ice instead of rock. There's also the option of gas mining Jupiter.
     
  12. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    Speaking of all this, what celestial body should we really be heading for next? Most say Mars..
     
  13. Surenu

    Surenu Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Mars is comparatively close, so it'd be a good idea I guess. Though moon colonization would be pretty awesome as some kind of forward base toward other planets due to the moon's lower gravity.
     
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  14. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    I think we should go to the Moon again as well along with Mars. I cannot express it enough that the lava tubes of the Moon and Mars would be very important to explore and safe from radiation.

    I also believe that once we have the experience, we should head to Saturn's moon Titan.
     
  15. Roland Weiss

    Roland Weiss Cosmos Killer

    As a stepping stone to prove we can? Sure; but any projects to make it habitable will be quite the herculean effort. There's quite the list of problems; no magnetic field and negligible atmosphere, which means that there's nothing to protect you from the Sun's nastier flavours of radiation. Dangerous chemical compounds in the soil, which includes perchlorates, though that stuff might have a use as an oxidizer. Landing might be an issue, since the gravity's higher than the Moon's, plus there's not enough atmosphere (again) for parachutes to be effective... I could go on with this.
    It would also help as a testbed for the habitation technology we'd need to develop in order to make most of our colonies feasible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
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  16. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    I agree. Mars is very overrated in the terms of terraforming. That's the main reason I said after Mars that Saturn's moon Titan would be a great next stop. Not only could we learn the history of Titan and its thick atmosphere but it could be a great target for terraforming. Although it slightly gets stripped when exiting Saturn's shielding magnetosphere for a short time, it is not substantial. Since Titan's atmosphere is mainly composed of nitrogen it could also allow us to skip some steps in terraforming which would be much quicker than other targets.
     
  17. Surenu

    Surenu Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Let's talk habitation. For continuous habitation we'll need:

    • Radiation shielding and protection from the athmosphere, flying debris etc. This can already be done but will cost a lot and has to be absolutely failsafe.
    • Breathable air. Again, this can already be done.
    • A water cycle. This, too, can already be done, but it'd be a huge bonus if extra water could somehow be extracted locally.
    • Nutrition. I'd guess current space-food is bad for morale on a longer scale, so maybe aquaponic farms? Those can produce plants and fish at the same time, essentially producing all necessary nutrients. Some vitamins would be difficult though, especially vitamin D.
    • Completely independent medical facilities, because waiting 6 months at least for a pill won't work that well. One of the harder parts to get done correctly considering how much can go wrong with the human body.
    • Entertainment and recreation. This is often overlooked, but the human factor is the least predictable of the entire affair. All work and no play makes the astronaut go mad. Fortunately, entertainment electronics are very small nowadays and months of music and movies can be stores on small, lightweight harddrives. For sports, a few treadmills here and there, maybe some weights could do the trick, but every gram of matter shot into space costs a lot of money.
    • A contingency in case of pregnancy. Also often overlooked, but people tend to have sex with each other (shocking, I know), and women tend to get pregnant sometimes. You can't just force people to get an abortion because what the hell we're humans, so there needs to be a plan on how to deal with unexpected extra people who can't work a job yet.
    • On the long term, something to make the colony economically viable. I think this is by far the hardest part. It could, of course, be a tourist destination (and boy, if space tourism ever becomes affordable enough for me I'll see y'all up there!) but that requires extra space, extra food, extra water, extra oxygen, extra space suits, extra medical supplies, extra everything so it'll likely be expensive and the rich have enough entertainment as it is. Then there's resource extraction: Titan has a lot of liquid carbohydrates which could be sold as fuel and who knows what resources are found beneath the crusts of all these planets and moons.
     
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  18. Camodude10

    Camodude10 Astral Cartographer

    Lucky for us, Titan has a thick atmosphere that can keep radiation out not even mentioning Saturn's magnetosphere. If push comes to shove, we could go back to the drawing board and drill into Titan's surface and see what we can find. If there's liquid ocean underneath, we could build a structure to live underneath the surface where the radiation can't get them. If it's just solid ground which isn't hypothesized as much as the liquid ocean then we could simply dig out a space or search for caves.

    For money, we could send probes to search Saturn's atmosphere or Uranus' atmosphere for diamonds since they think that they have diamond rain. If this is true, we could take these diamonds just by scooping/netting them using unmanned spacecraft and bring them back to sell.
     
  19. Cyber-Toast

    Cyber-Toast Void-Bound Voyager

    All those things are only possible on planets for now, but orbital or even deep space habitations must be constructed if we want to colonize further (and just because it's cool).
    How do you do to grow and feed animals and plants in 0g and to extract water in space?
    Even if you recycle water from everything you can, it would be pretty dangerous as only one serious malfunction in the recycling system would cause all the colony to die if it's not fixed quick enough.
     
  20. Surenu

    Surenu Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I was referring to planetal colonization, but you're not wrong. Everything has to be constructed failsafe and with multiple redundancies.
     
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