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Space Colonization, Questioning the Endeavor

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posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 11:28 PM
I’ve been doing some thinking lately, and here’s what I’ve come up with. I’d like to start with a scenario and then I’d like to explore my thoughts.

Imagine for just a moment that the year is AD 2075 and things are a little different.

The sun rises on Shanghai early in the morning.

Our technological industries are at the height of their production, filling shelves with cheap electronics and filling roads with convenient vehicles.

Meanwhile, people on the ground are feeling the effects of the economic and industrial growth. It’s the price of luxury.

The destruction is vaste, only fully visible from space.

The environmental damage extends to farms and crops, which begin to fail worldwide due to pollution.

Pandemic diseases begin to sweep around the globe wreaking havoc on society.

To top things off, wars are being fought around the world with increasing intensity.

Our planet is beginning to struggle with the weight of an ever-growing population and we are slowly running out of resources.

As bad as things are, there still exists one glimmer of hope. Humans have managed to develop the technology to leave this planet and send settlers out to colonize a newly found planet that orbits in the habitable zone of its star. As a matter of special engineering and slight luck, our technological capabilities will allow us to make the journey and begin to start life on a new world.

The plan is to send an initial vessel filled with the necessary scientific expertise and equipment to verify the survivability of the planet.

Once it has been determined that the planet is indeed habitable and the endeavor promises to have a significant chance of success we can send the primary fleet of interstellar vehicles to begin colonization efforts.

Assuming the initial exploration team determines the planet is habitable and our colonization efforts are authorized, what would we do? Should we endeavor to accomplish such a colossal task as colonizing another planet?

Humanity is plagued by problems. On earth we see conflict between people for the most mundane of reasons. We argue over soda flavors, politics, religion, and opinions that range from the most minimal to the biggest of issues. I’m beginning to wonder if that has any influence on whether or not we should even attempt to pursue an endeavor as ambitious as colonizing a new world.

Could we, in good conscience, send a selection of people to another planet knowing that we may simply be spreading our problematic behavior throughout the galaxy? I’m not 100% sure we could send anyone anywhere else and not expect them to behave the same way we do on earth. If we were sending some three or four thousand people to start a new life on a new world, how would we go about selecting them? Is there any way to insure there would be no ingrained problems with the colonists?

I believe these questions go deeper than simply picking a few people to send to a new world. I think we have to look at our society, even our civilization as a whole. We have so many problems already, how could we expect to solve twice as many on two separate worlds?

Maybe I’m wrong; it could be possible that the new world and its opportunities would solve a lot of our problems. That’s why I bring these thoughts here; I’d like to hear the input of other people. Let me know what you think!

posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 11:35 PM
Its called education, it will take a few generations to get to the new place. We educate our kids in economic and environmental sustainability. Outline the bad choices we made and pray they don't do what we did.

posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 11:49 PM
reply to post by Mapkar

These ill-favored habits may just be intertwined in the fabric of human nature itself. Humans are unpredictable at times given certain circumstances, which could arise on another planet, giving birth to another "Earth scenario" that you just described.

Although, if we did end up going to another planet, would religion follow?
edit on 2/12/2012 by IEtherianSoul9 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:09 AM
reply to post by calnorak

I agree with you, Education is incredibly important, but it really only works if we have willing teachers and willing students... Although my theoretical situation is very sci-fi, at its core is a really challenging set of questions; the chances of us colonizing a planet may be slim, but can we still work to have a society that's prepared for such an event if the opportunity presented itself? Do we separate candidates from the rest of society and raise them in an ideal educational setting, or do we pull them from the population as a whole? Would isolating potential candidates effectively remove the key experiences that make us human? These thoughts raise a multitude of ethical questions...

I think we need to question our motives and our current direction, are we sowing seeds into eternity, or are we simply living in the moment?

reply to post by IEtherianSoul9

You hit the nail on the head. My main concern is whether or not our self-destructive nature is ingrained in the fiber of our very being. Given our unpredictability, we could very well be surprised at how those who are sent choose to handle their newly given opportunity. At the same time though, I think we should also fully expect things to go bad over time.

On the matter of religion; there is no doubt we've seen religion wreak havoc throughout history. Religion has had its fair share of good and bad moments. It seems as though we are wired to seek some sort of something that gives us a sense of meaning. I really don't know how religion would work in a scenario like this. I honestly see it being a problem. At the same time, I don't really see a way to filter it out of the process. Even if there was a way, I'm not even sure if it would work or be the right thing. Again, it begs the question; when we start to pick and choose elements of our civilization to pass along to these candidate, are we picking apart what it means to be human?

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:12 AM
I definitely agree that we are wired to search for something. I mean life itself is pointless, that is why we seek something salvation is a popular one.

I don't even think I would take the opportunity to be immortal if presented with it.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by Mapkar

As bad as things are, there still exists one glimmer of hope. Humans have managed to develop the technology to leave this planet and send settlers out to colonize a newly found planet that orbits in the habitable zone of its star.

It's just a personal opinion but I think a contemporary "Noah's Ark" already exists. Its called the ISS (international Space Station). With that we could very quickly launch a full compliment of say 50 "Internationals" to occupy it for say 6 months until the stuff that hit the fan down here subsides and they can come back and start anew.

Otherwise The ISS is nothing more than an expensive orbiting hotel who's original stated purpose (staging for the moon and mars) is not come even close to materializing. So what is it up there for? I mean besides "pretty pictures", developing "new materials" for use by the very rich corporations, and "a really neat ride"?

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:19 AM
reply to post by IEtherianSoul9

Although, if we did end up going to another planet, would religion follow?

Usually, it leads. See Christopher Columbus, Spanish Conquistadors, and Missionaries. To the detriment of all they encounter. Religion is just the excuse they bring along in order to subjugate the natives and steal their stuff.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:37 AM
reply to post by Mapkar

Ahh Mapkar, it seems we think alike

Unfortunately we have already past the point of no return, it's going
to be all down hill from here as far as the Earth's environment goes.

Global warming has reached the point of no return, a study published in the Tuesday edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a joint team of the U.S., French and Swiss researchers concludes.

Some scientist believe that we only have 300 years before much of the Earth becomes
uninhabbitable. That is only 10-12 generations or twice that if you live in a trailer park.

Planet Earth will be too hot for humans to inhabit in just 300 years, a group of scientists are saying.

Australian scientists have warned half the planet could "simply become too hot" for human habitation by the year 2300

The research, produced in partnership with the Purdue University in the United States, is published in the US-based scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Tuesday.

edit on 13-2-2012 by LeLeu because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:46 AM
Sadly I don't think we'll have until 2075 to get it together -
We may simply run out of time and not have the ability to reach another world let alone colonize one.

Reminds me of the Battlestar Galactica finale though - we should just fly all the technology into the sun and just start again always remembering what we did with the first planet.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 01:11 AM
Last year there was a think tank created called
the 100 year starship study. The project is to get enough
knowledge together to begin to build a starship in 100 years time.
Check out the link it explains it all

Another project to keep an eye on is the ELI or Extreme Light Ifrastructure project.
The project plans to do a number of experiments with very high powered lasers.
Of particular interest is the Ultra High Field Facility, it plans to fire 10 high powered Earth based
lasers and combine them into one beam. Just like the Deathstar.

Yes, with this laser they plan on tearing space/time. They think they may find evidence
of other dimensions. I'm pretty sure that if you tear space/time you can make wormholes too.
Could this be how they are planning on getting to the new Earth?
Advancing to lightspeed tech would take to long, this project gets underway around
2017-2020. ence/science-news
I think we could have the ability to go anywhere in 100 years of technology development.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 01:20 AM
before we can colonize space we need to get sheilding for the cosmic radiation and to stop metorites and what not from taking out settlements and solve the problem of breeding let alone having sex in space(ejaculation can come out quite fast add zero gravity and problems commence) not to mention with current tech we would have to create a clean room just to do it in(otherwise goo would be everywhere) and until we have some kind of orbital factory or a way to get stuff into space far cheaper then it is now we will have hurdels to get over once we solve some of these then we can go out amongs the stars and tap the natural gas riches of titan and the resources of the asteroid belt and the like

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 02:32 AM
Enjoyed your thread, S&F.

I still believe we are a virus.

Our existence is governed by our own filth.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 02:45 AM
reply to post by Mapkar

Does it matter if we're the same on other planets? If/When we do go to other worlds, it'll be for new resources, not to start some laid back unified line of hippies.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:11 AM

Originally posted by shadowland8
reply to post by Mapkar

Does it matter if we're the same on other planets? If/When we do go to other worlds, it'll be for new resources, not to start some laid back unified line of hippies.

I think it matters in the context that something is going on with Earth.
Some people say that it is a natural cycle some say it's manmade trouble.
I tend to think it is both of these. You have to admit that Earth has seen better days.

Not only are there the Earth changes but also at this very moment we are living through
the largest mass extinction of both flora and fauna since the Cretaceous Period, about
65 million years ago!

Finding, traveling to and colonizing another planet is inevitable for humans.
Governments know that the Earth is doomed that is why things such as
the 100 year starship study are happening. It will be time for us to leave soon

edit on 13-2-2012 by LeLeu because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 08:54 AM
reply to post by LeLeu

It's certainly reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who has a less than optimistic view of humanity and the earth. I'm simply trying to look at things without a self serving bias, and when I do, I see a grim outlook. I think you're certainly on to something with the environmental damage being past the point of no return. I'm not going to paint a picture of daisies and fields of flowers here, we've really had an impact on the planet and people need to stop being naive and realize this.

reply to post by skonaz

Battlestar Galactica is one of the reasons I began to consider these thoughts and whether or not colonization would even be something we try to do. Anyone who has seen the show will see how the fleet began to be ripped apart by conflict stemming from power struggle, religion, and different ideologies. I believe it's well within reasonable boundaries to question how real people would react in a situation where they have the opportunity to start a new civilization on a new world; I can imagine it would be very tempting to want to assume power over those who are with you. It'd be a narcissist's dream come true, the chance to start over with a new history; a history in which they are the author.

reply to post by LeLeu

With the potential of a real starship coming so soon, would it not be wise to consider shaping the ranks of those who will utilize it? If we are indeed so close to having the technology to leave, I believe we need to begin working on having the properly trained, educated, and prepared voyagers who will be chosen to embark on this intrepid journey. Do you honestly think our society is capable of picking people to colonize a planet without self serving intentions? As of right now, I see no way to insure the absence of political influence and I see no way to separate our selfish ambitions from this endeavor. No matter how benevolent people appear at first glance, it is my belief that somewhere deep inside of them they're going to have an ulterior and ultimately selfish motive.

I'd hope that any civilization capable of uniting its people to build a ship capable of traversing the stars would be able to straighten itself out enough to solve these issues. Which brings me to my next point.

I believe skonaz has possibly said something that's very important.

Originally posted by skonaz
Sadly I don't think we'll have until 2075 to get it together -
We may simply run out of time and not have the ability to reach another world let alone colonize one.

Judging from our current space transportation situation, we're not really doing much. The USA has all but lost it's primary flight capabilities which were limited to begin with, the shuttle was only capable of near earth orbit flight. Now we're constrained to satellite launches which are hit and miss. The ESA and JAXA seem to be on the back-burner and don't appear to be very ambitious at all. China is just getting started and I don't see them doing a whole lot right now because they're simply not experienced enough, which I'll admit may be a bad assumption. And finally, Russia... They're our main resource when it comes to manned spaceflight, which isn't saying much since they can't seem to get half of their recent unmanned flights into space. Simply put, we're not going to colonize another planet when we can only send three people up at once, and we're not going to colonize any other planet if we launch our people straight into the ocean!

We really seem to have lost our ambition to fly in space. The pioneering spirit has been slowly fading for a while now. Half of the people I know aren't even willing to venture into the woods behind their house, how could we expect them to embark on a journey into the blackness of space?

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 09:09 AM
reply to post by Mapkar

Problems don't solve themselves, nor will they go if we changed our living area. We as human beings need to change ourselves before we can change anything.

I think animals are more worthy of being sent to another planet.

And if evolution is anything to go by.. maybe human life can exist again later on.

I don't think humans should be sent any where. We have been blessed with this amazing and beautiful planet to live on. We destroy it, what ever comes is the consequence.

Earth isn't some old toy you toss because there's a new one to play with.

Rather than waiting for whatever comes to come, and allowing it to happen, lets all learn about the environment, and try harder to do better at maintaining it.

And love the pics, adds character

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:07 PM
reply to post by Mapkar

While BSG was a great show, and you are right, it did show a lot about internal struggles, there's something you have to consider:
They were forced into their situation, with no choice.
They were not prepared, not set up with a plan to go colonize.
They had just had their entire race obliterated to the point of no longer existing.
They were consistantly being attacked from an outside influence and were just fighting to stay alive.

A lot different than a actual planned colinization attempt.

You are also leaving out the fact that at the beginning of BSG, they were already on several different worlds (the 12 colonies ).

edit on 13-2-2012 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 02:03 PM
reply to post by Mentalistbee

I completely agree with you on the status of our species and our need to change our actions. That's precisely what I was thinking about when these ideas came to mind. Colonizing other worlds is a long way off, if we ever even get that far; so I believe it's critical that we begin to examine our current practices and look at the road they're leading us down.

Also, one of the pictures earlier decided to change its mind and be something else, I hope it's resolved now. There shouldn't have been a murderous kitten where my planet and nebula are!

reply to post by eriktheawful

I don't believe it's all that different actually. Aside from the 12 colonies, let's think about a real colonial mission. It's likely to take us a long time to get anywhere. Hence the name of the project we're looking at already, the "100 Year Starship." That's easily a couple of generations of born on board people that aren't there by choice. I suspect some of them may be very unhappy about the prospect of being forced by birth to live on a spaceship, especially when they have to learn about Earth and their reasons for being where they are. It'd be similar to someone being born in Country 001 and hating it, and wanting to move to Country 003, except in the case of the colonial ships they'd have no opportunity to move.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by Mapkar

You are correct in that I also thought of how genrations of people born on a ship, having to live their whole lives on it, and not having a choice in the mater too.
However, this is where several things would be important:
The kids born on board (and later generations), education would be different I imagine that terrestrial based kids. For one thing, they would not have ever experienced living on a planet, with wide open spaces, etc, etc.

This brings up a different point: how to get there. If you read science fiction books (as I have done over the course of my 45 years of life), you'll see a lot of different ideas on how humans would travel to the stars.

First we have the dreamed of tech of FTL (Faster Than Light) type of propulsion. This is tech that we can make theories about, but is beyond our abilities as of now, or the very short future:

Hyper Drives
Warp Fields
Worm Hole Drives

Travel time with them is measured in hours, days, weeks and months.

Hyper Velocity Drives: this is propulsion that makes the craft go very fast, and even percentages of light speed. This is actually not that far off, as we have companies working on different kinds of drives that can achieve these velocities, but need to be launched from space.

Ion Drives


So we might be closer to actually achieving an engine that could get people to the nearest stars actually within their life times.

Suspended Animation:
Ships that have the crew and passengers in a suspended animation during the very long voyages.

The problem is that we don't have any type of long term (we're talking possibly thousands of years) suspended animation that works. However, again, the crew and passengers would reach the stars in their life time.

Generation Ships:

These are my favorite simply because of some of the ideas behind them.

Take a large astroid, like 243 Ida that is elongated and cylindrical in shape.
Bore it out so that the inside of it is hollow. Mount massive engines on one end for the propulsion. Now fill it with air, and spin it for artificial gravity. On the inner surface, you have lots and lots of room for planting, growing food (and helping provide air), bodies of water, etc. Generations of people would live inside of it as it makes it's way to another star.

Getting to another star with a crewed ship will be a MASSIVE under taking. This isn't something that one country just suddenly decides to do on a whim. The cost would be huge. Unless someone develops a FTL drive over night, any other type of ship will be very costly, and would require joint effort from many nations around the world.

And unfortunately, I don't see that happening any time soon, especially given current events.

But on the bright side: Maybe all the 2012 fanatics are right, and we can get rid of some of the world governments that are blowing the flames of war, and environmental distruction!

We just have to survive it is all! So prep!

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 04:00 PM
reply to post by eriktheawful

I like the fact that you're thinking logically. In the 22 years that I've been here I haven't had as much time to read Sci-Fi, but I've enjoyed what I have read. I don't think we'll see any sort of faster than light action, at least in the near future, but the ion drives are very promising.

If you note the first ship I included in my original post, it's the ISV Venturestar from James Cameron's AVATAR. The premise of the ships design is a realistic and plausible ship. The large red fins are radiators which distribute heat from the ion engines. The first half of the trip is spent accelerating, and the second half is spent decelerating. It would take a long time, but it'd theoretically be feasible. I believe your right about the generation ships, since we don't have anything like a stasis system for long term transport we'd have to work on a more realistic and proven way to get a group of people where we're going.

As far as an asteroid as a ship, it seems possible, but I almost think the resources would be better allocated to building said object in orbit somewhere near earth. We're talking about an ambitious project to colonize another planet, building the ship would have to be equally ambitious and would be something that takes a significant investment in the form of time, money, resources, and lives. Something this big would be a truly global effort, and it'd be a sort of give it all we've got scenario. Which again makes me ask, could we ever truly unify in such a manner?

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