posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 10:01 PM
To ensure our continued survival as a species, we must colonize space. The earth will become uninhabitable someday, nothing lasts "forever", and
if we are to continue we'll need to find a way to spread through the cosmos.
The thing is, that's assuming we survive as a species in the first place. I see a very slim possibility of the species surviving AND technology
progressing to allow us to do something about leaving earth. We'll lose the technology before we ever use it to colonize, we'll go to war with the
technology 10 times over and blow ourselves back to the stone age before we could ever all get together and even agree on the issue of colonization in
the first place.
The way i see it if we do leave the planet for colonization in our current social state, we'd be a ravaging plague of a species leaving a trail of
destruction on our way to wherever we go. I wouldn't support colonization until we could get our societal values and priorities fixed. When we
can all live side by side without war, poverty, hunger, genocide, torture and all the other lovely things we do to each other in the name of
Someone mentioned the fuel cost itself was prohibitive. Let me ask you this, How much space exploration would the military budget have bought us, if
the seller wasn't a bloated monstrosity of an entity? I bet for what we spend building and maintaining an aircraft carrier in wartime operations
since 2003 could have bought at least one space elevator if we were inclined to do so.
If we do somehow figure out how to live next to others of the same species without political or ideological killing, genocide, and oppression, i see
it more likely that we'd build our own new planets as soon as we can mine and move asteroids. I see us building inside LARGE hollowed out
asteroids, placed in safe orbits, and building complete habitats inside. Fusion reactors at the "core" that emulate sunlight. Soil, lakes,
rivers, trees, animals, and even earthlike "weather". A rock of sufficiently large diameter to provide at least a few miles of atmosphere, and
rotated to emulate gravity. These "rockcraft", once self sufficient, would become a viable multi-generational starship, as they'd be built to be
a home first, and a form of transport second. We'd seed the heavens by sending out these rockcraft to potentially viable solar systems as
generations of inhabitants go about living instead of being trapped on some sort of space station-like arrangement of tin cans whizzing precariously
through the vastness of space. The Rockship would have lots of impact protection in the form of mile or so of rock for walls. Small impacts
wouldn't matter, micrometeors and radiation would be non-issues.
I bet if we put as much effort into war, slavery, and death into hollowing out space rocks captured in the belt, we could have several self sufficient
colonies in space, and not just in a tin can of a station. It wouldn't be planetary colonization, but i think if we actualy made the earnest effort
as one people, one world united in vision and endeavor, that we could have at least one rockship at L1 supporting a sizeable population comfortably in
the near future. Find a viable rock, and land a mass driver on it that will begin digging and tossing away vectored streams of excavated mass.
Depending on the makeup of the rock, there might be a good fuel already aboard that can be mined and used for propulsion and to power equipment.
It'll probably take several years to a decade to move the rock into L1 or into either earth or lunar orbit, and to outfit the rock. By the time the
rock gets to position a lot of excavation will have already been done, enough to begin inhabiting the interior with mining and construction crews, and
begin building an inside out planet.
We could probably start this project with today's tech if we actually put the effort in to do it in a worthwhile manner, and have a colony firmly
established within 30-40 years.
I think we mistly lack the foresight though, in this society we just don't plan for ANYTHING to take that long to build or engineer. When we can
finally get over the concept that a project on such massive scale as colonizing space is going to require plans that may take 100 years or more to
fully carry out to completion. We need to start thinking in these kinds of timescale if we're to ever do anything more than build a fancy new tin
can to be imprisoned in every 10 years or so.