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Old July 19 2014, 04:13 PM   #76
Gov Kodos
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Also, space flight aside, any colonies would have to be self-sufficient of the Earth indefinitely and have a population large enough to not worry about a population bottleneck. In the case of Vulcanism, a sudden event like Yellowstone bringing the apocalypse may leave the species screwed unless there's been a reason to have one or more massive colonies off world before it or its like goes off. A longer event, depending on how long the Siberian Traps took to form, might push such colony projects and provide enough time to do something about it. If such an event was the result of an asteroid strike, the species is probably screwed. All in all, this is likely where we live and die.
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Old July 19 2014, 04:28 PM   #77
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
Also, space flight aside, any colonies would have to be self-sufficient of the Earth indefinitely and have a population large enough to not worry about a population bottleneck. In the case of Vulcanism, a sudden event like Yellowstone bringing the apocalypse may leave the species screwed unless there's been a reason to have one or more massive colonies off world before it or its like goes off. A longer event, depending on how long the Siberian Traps took to form, might push such colony projects and provide enough time to do something about it. If such an event was the result of an asteroid strike, the species is probably screwed. All in all, this is likely where we live and die.
I think our future is in space itself living in enclosed habitats, not on planets. We evolved on Earth, and we can only live in it's biosphere. Alien biospheres will in all likely hood be deadly to us. Even terraforming a so called dead planet may awaken microbes there that can kill us.

With enough money, we can create spinning space habitats that will be better and safer than planets. Either way, it will be enormously expensive. Better to man up and take care of the only planet we can live on.
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Old July 19 2014, 04:41 PM   #78
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
Also, space flight aside, any colonies would have to be self-sufficient of the Earth indefinitely and have a population large enough to not worry about a population bottleneck. In the case of Vulcanism, a sudden event like Yellowstone bringing the apocalypse may leave the species screwed unless there's been a reason to have one or more massive colonies off world before it or its like goes off. A longer event, depending on how long the Siberian Traps took to form, might push such colony projects and provide enough time to do something about it. If such an event was the result of an asteroid strike, the species is probably screwed. All in all, this is likely where we live and die.
I don't think it would take a huge colony, after all, the human race apparently survived near extinction before, reduced to a few thousand individuals.

Plus, while the number of individuals in any such colony may be small, it doesn't preclude them having large banks of sperm/eggs to preserve genetic diversity.
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Old July 19 2014, 04:49 PM   #79
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

sojourner wrote: View Post
Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
Also, space flight aside, any colonies would have to be self-sufficient of the Earth indefinitely and have a population large enough to not worry about a population bottleneck. In the case of Vulcanism, a sudden event like Yellowstone bringing the apocalypse may leave the species screwed unless there's been a reason to have one or more massive colonies off world before it or its like goes off. A longer event, depending on how long the Siberian Traps took to form, might push such colony projects and provide enough time to do something about it. If such an event was the result of an asteroid strike, the species is probably screwed. All in all, this is likely where we live and die.
I don't think it would take a huge colony, after all, the human race apparently survived near extinction before, reduced to a few thousand individuals.
That's a lot of people off world doing what which would send them there? What would be propelling such a diverse migration which would develop such a long term self-sustaining colony without a compelling reason?

sojourner wrote: View Post
Plus, while the number of individuals in any such colony may be small, it doesn't preclude them having large banks of sperm/eggs to preserve genetic diversity.
Why would that be going on? Without something catastrophic really impending and long enough before doomsday to feasibly do anything about it, why would this be going on?
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Old July 19 2014, 05:27 PM   #80
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
That's a lot of people off world doing what which would send them there? What would be propelling such a diverse migration which would develop such a long term self-sustaining colony without a compelling reason?
Economic opportunity? adventure? vacation? scientific advancement? Survival of the species would be almost incidental to all the other reason for expanding into space.


Why would that be going on? Without something catastrophic really impending and long enough before doomsday to feasibly do anything about it, why would this be going on?
For the same reasons we've set up seed banks on Earth? Some people actually do take a long view.
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Old July 19 2014, 05:41 PM   #81
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

sojourner wrote: View Post
Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
That's a lot of people off world doing what which would send them there? What would be propelling such a diverse migration which would develop such a long term self-sustaining colony without a compelling reason?
Economic opportunity? adventure? vacation? scientific advancement? Survival of the species would be almost incidental to all the other reason for expanding into space.


Why would that be going on? Without something catastrophic really impending and long enough before doomsday to feasibly do anything about it, why would this be going on?
For the same reasons we've set up seed banks on Earth? Some people actually do take a long view.
While I hope you're right, I don't expect it. There's no viable environment for human habitation in the solar system, the closest thing, Mars, would require a tremendous investment that seems unlikely to come about. Since so much now involves economic opportunity to compel interest, what opportunity would be on Mars to bring about going there? To date, fossil fuel dominates how we create energy and little shows it being displaced and that which is available doesn't look likely to replace it what would make going off-world realistic? Civilizations need fuel.

Seed banks, fine, who gets to plant seed? That will become an issue if survival is on the line. Even if that little social conundrum is put aside, we don't have the capacity to develop from embryo to self-sustaining human within the test tube so that becomes a whole other hurdle. What's the interest there to develop this human seed bank?
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Old July 19 2014, 06:09 PM   #82
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

A small human colony with access to a large "human seed bank" would be able to maintain genetic diversity through periodic withdrawals. No need to "develop from embryo to full grown human" in a test tube.
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Old July 19 2014, 06:28 PM   #83
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

sojourner wrote: View Post
A small human colony with access to a large "human seed bank" would be able to maintain genetic diversity through periodic withdrawals. No need to "develop from embryo to full grown human" in a test tube.
How many women and how many kids are they supposed to plunk out without the test tubes? I suppose the culture can shift to making them breeder cows, not so far from some places today, but how many and why would they go along with it? How do you handle the ones who won't? I suppose men might be engineered to support a fetus but that sounds as difficult and unlikely as the seed bank colony at all.

So far, an improbable self-sustaining colony/colonies without need of Earth support, a capacity for reproduction that isn't hampered by population bottlenecks, two very tall and unlikely orders to be fulfilled outside of a novel.
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Old July 19 2014, 07:07 PM   #84
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Why do you feel the need to maximize population growth? With the bank they can maintain a stable population with genetic diversity for a prolonged period of time and let the population grow at a more natural rate.

Many things that used to only appear in novels are reality today. I wouldn't exactly call a self sustaining colony insurmountable. Not possible now? sure. Never becoming possible in the future? I wouldn't bet against it.
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Old July 19 2014, 07:22 PM   #85
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

sojourner wrote: View Post
Why do you feel the need to maximize population growth? With the bank they can maintain a stable population with genetic diversity for a prolonged period of time and let the population grow at a more natural rate.
Not maximize but maintain it at all. Setting aside issues of race, culture, and class which would come into trying to create this genetic survival kit, where does the production line start to keep the species going? The hypothetical colony? Back on Earth? Elsewhere? Aside from Earth, where? Barring true planetary destruction (core cracked and the shebang mixed like a milk shake) humanity is unlikely to have a place to live without requiring vast technological support to survive much less propagate other than Earth. Taken off planet, maintaining a stable population is going to be a substantial task. Why would such an endeavor come about when the Earth is here and the only place capable of supporting such a feat to date?
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Old July 19 2014, 07:49 PM   #86
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

As insurance that should something happen to Earth, the species will continue. Which brings us full circle in this conversation.
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Old July 19 2014, 07:55 PM   #87
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

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Old July 19 2014, 08:21 PM   #88
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Those two fine upstanding dudes notwithstanding, humans are simply more adaptable at doing science than any rover--there is no replacing a man in the field in terms of versatility.

We spend so much money on manned airplanes like F-35 that a drone can out-turn by pulling higher g-forces that we are forced to fund automated rovers.

We need to reverse that trend. Drones for defense, and humans on Mars.
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Old July 19 2014, 09:42 PM   #89
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Let's say we magically terraform Mars and now we can live there. We even thickened the atmosphere and put up an ozone layer to protect us from the sun. We still only have 1/3 the gravity and the human body will not stand for that over a long period of time.

Not to mention getting stoned and continually slamming yourself into walls when you try to walk.
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Old July 20 2014, 02:42 AM   #90
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Re: Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Basically because we're curious, we can, and we want to. We didn't have to send people to the moon.
We also didn't do it just out of curiosity. There were serious concerns about the potential militarization of space, so there was a military imperative to keep the American space program ahead of the USSR's.
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