Why thinking about migrating to other planets?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Saint, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    In a box. Such colonies are technically possible, but lack the resilience of a planet with an ecosystem. One disease could wipe out the whole thing.
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    And assuming that cryogenics would be involved and the trip would last a few hundred years, we would lose entire generations of reproduction. A hiatus in the human family tree....

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    Unless we build a self sustaining artificial planets to transport thousands of people thereby preserving genetic variety. This migration idea is in itself a long term project. It won't be like going to the nearest spaceport and buying a ticket....

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    On second thought, rather than traveling to an existing planet and having to create an ecosphere or domed cities, why not build a bunch of smaller artificial planets in earth's orbit with artificial atmospheres, which allow us to live inside these planets rather than on the surface? A ring of self sustaining planets?

    OTOH, having this planet earth, why not keep it habitable for say ten-15 billion people and at that point enforce zero growth. Sounds cold and cruel but it is inevitable. Currently we are adding 80 million people per year, and that's at 1.2 % growth. Even at 1% growth it would only take 70 years to double the current world's population and another 70 years to double that figure, etc. That's the exponential function. Eventually we will run out of space or resources, unless we start using solar power exclusively and strictly controlled non-polluting societies.

    Things and our thinking (behavior) will have to change when dealing with problems at planetary scales.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    As I said, yes, we'd need an ecosystem. Farms, etc.

    As is the case here on Earth.

    You are placing unnecessary restrictions on the solution. Nobody said it would be a simple matter to make a new colony. That doesn't make it unfeasible, given enough time and sufficient survival motivation.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That's only one possibility. Generation ships are another.


    Because
    1] the smaller the system, the less stable it is. A single fire could gut a space station in minutes. A single mechanical failure could vent all the air and kill everyone in minutes.
    2] it will be almost as susceptible to anything that threatens Earth itself, such as flares, GRBs, etc. And it will certainly not be biologically isolated, meaning any disease on Earth at at huge risk for getting aboard the station (via people, resupplies of food, water, air, etc).

    Orbiting stations are a great first step, but not a permanent solution to humans putting their eggs in more than one basket.
     
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  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    You get a potato famine, and you can go somewhere else, find new potatoes. The most terrible diseases on the planet never came close to wiping out humanity.
     
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Human will become faster to extinction if migrating to other planet.
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    OTOH, there are many plants which consider to be weeds because they can thrive under extremely harsh conditions, such as hemp, which can be used for literally hundreds of practical applications, from naturally insulating building blocks to the finest cloth. BMW uses hemp in their door and dashboard panels.

    Just ran across an unexpected very hardy weed, which surprised me as I have several growing in my back yard and need a machete to cut them down, but have some extraordinary properties, which are really unexpected in such a common and despised weed.
    Wild Lettuce (Lactuca Virosa), the weeds in our gardens which are so difficult to eradicate due to their deep roots have some remarkable medicinal properties, among which is an effective (non opioid) pain inhibitor as well as other several other beneficial properties for use in tea or salads.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_virosa
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    if there is no oxygen, how to survive?
    if the gravity is not 9.81 m/s^2, our body's function cannot function properly.
     
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So you bring two of every plant to Mars with you? Plus the insects or wildlife required for pollination? You never know what will thrive there.
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    That's why I suggested a self contained habitat. An artificial planet or moon, where people do not live on the surface, but inside the self-controlled environment.

    We have already tested large artificial habitats in the ocean and on a small scale in space.
     
  14. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

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    I think we've seen too many Star Wars movies. I feel pretty confident our bodies would not be able to survive on another habitable planet as our body's biomagnetic field is linked to Earth's biomagnetic field. I don't think our bodies would be able to survive on a planet with a radically different biomagnetic field.

    Even if we could travel to another habitable planet, I don't think it would be wise. I'm pretty sure we are stuck here for better or worse.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Er. Speaking of watchimg too much fantasy...

    What's this Earth has a biomagnetic field thing? You know Earth is a planet, right?
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    We didn't live cheek-by-jowl back then.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Uh. Not all humans go. Some stay, some go. Now you have an insurance policy.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    We will be sure to colonize planets that have oxygen.
    And we will adapt to the gravity.
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that it probably isn't realistic to dream of moving the bulk of the human race off Earth. We evolved on this planet and are uniquely adapted to it. Nowhere else in this solar system offers anything close to a benign environment.

    There may conceivably be exo-planets with breathable atmospheres, temperature within tolerable limits and liquid water. Locating them and traveling there will be a big problem.

    If any of those inhabitable planets have some sort of native life, it probably won't be biochemically compatible with Earth life. I can imagine human colonists on an exoplanet relaxing beneath the alien equivalent of trees (large autotrophs) provided that nothing about them is poisonous, but I don't anticipate us eating native fruit.

    I think that human beings can survive (as opposed to thrive) almost anywhere in the solar system. But that will require closed artificial environments. So just given the realities, I don't anticipate much more than space bases and outposts. Perhaps mining facilities and things like that. Conceivably, small more or less self-sustaining cities with a few thousand inhabitants. Children are likely to be born there and there will be native Lunarians and Martians.

    The extremely remote possibility exists that Mars might someday be terraformed, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    We're all going to have to move to another solar system within 5 billion years and that's not going to happen and we aren't going to survive as a species that long anyway.

    None of this is actually practical. There's no harm (other than economically) in doing the research for the knowledge that we may gleam but moving the population from Earth to somewhere else isn't really going to happen.

    It's basically solving a problem that doesn't exist in the first place. Exploration for the sake of exploration is another matter. I'm all for it. It's not going to extend the human species however.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    And you don't think we will advance sufficiently - in 5 billion years - for it to become practical?
     
  22. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    The idea of "we" in 5 billion years is delusional.
     
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  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Why?
     

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