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Re: RE: starship-design: Numbers needed for Colonization
In a message dated 4/29/98 4:49:47 AM, email@example.com wrote:
>>And YES a planet is maybe NOT neccesary for the colony to survive, but
>>probably IS neccisary for the endevour to make "economic sense" even in
>>the long run. (If the target star system doesn't have planetary bodies
>>wanna exploit, why go there???)
>==> A very, very good idea...
We never could come up with a reason for a colony. Resources are more
plentiful and easy to get to in space, and the danger of an ecology is less.
But, this solar system is rich in stuff too, and its a lot easier to set up a
colony nearer to your spare parts suplier. ;)
>>> Which brings us back to the need for survey. Without a good prior
>>> won't have any idea what we need to colonize a planet with. Face it,
>>> amount of Terraforming is going to be necessary no matter how Earth
>>> planet may seem.
>>Actually I disagree with this... It's probably MUCH more easy to adapt
>>colonists than the planet if the changes are small. For exsample with
>>Vaccines, imunization or other "artificial" bio-medical solutions then
>>try to change the whole microbiological Eco-system of the planet. This
>>of course also have large social/moral/ethical concerns as well as
>>practical problems. (For one thing, it might be inposible for "Earth"
>>humans and "colony" humans to interact personally w/o risk of plagues.)
>==> As a biologist, it seems rather strange to me how many people think
>of colonizing a terran world with it's own biosphere. In my opinion one
>of two things will happen:
>1. The alien ecosphere and the genetic/biochemical composition of it's
>species is closely similar to ours; this is the worst case, for it means
>that the colonists will encounter millions of microorganisms and other
>small creatures AGAINST wich they don't have any resistancy, but FOR
>wich they are the most ideal place to start their own colony...
>Look at Africa for similar scenarios and remember HOW LONG it might take
>to develope a vaccine even against a virus known in as much detail as
>And still on a terran world there is the possibilty of large (say
>T-Rex-sized) predators which don't make any racial difference in
>choosing their dinner...
The T-rex senerio was why I always advocated armored and highly armed ground
As to the microbs, a bit of American history. The term "Manifest destiny" was
an old phrase in the American colonies refuring to a beleaf that god ment us
to take over the continent from the indians. Where it first came from is the
early colonists (not the first, but soon after) who found a continent of dead
indians. Vilages recently abandoned or full of dead and deing. Old world
deseases whiped out well over 95% of the tribal populations before they ever
saw a white guy. All that from desaese they'ld only been isolated from for a
few thousand years.
>2. If the alien biosphere is fundamentally different form ours (e.g. a
>planet with microbial ecosystems miles beneath the surface or a surface
>environment with a different temperature regime, much higher pressures
>or a different atmospheric composition) then there is no problem with
>contamination; but why should we found a colony on a world as
>comfortable to humans as the entrance to Hell??
What you don't like a chalenge?! ;)
>In case of colonization, it seems much better to choose a Mars-like, but
>sterile Planet/Moon. I think its much, much easier just to warm a planet
>and install a thicker atmosphere than to fight against alien lifeforms
>every single day. You can still explore the aliens from your base on a
>P.S.: in all other points, you are right.