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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old April 12 2014, 04:34 PM   #1
varek
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Location: Danville, IN, USA
how would you build a colony?

If you were going to establish a colony on another world, how would you do it?
I've read modest estimates of between 150 up to 80,000 colonists sent at one time, to establish it.
About 1,000 adult colonists should be enough to begin building the colony, I think.
You could establish a central base, then extend 4 outposts (one toward each cardinal direction) toward the horizon, keeping in sight of the central hub and the two adjacent outposts, if possible. (Some terrain features might interpose.)
Then, as colonists are born and new colonists arrive, you could expand outwardly from that hub.
What do you think?
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Old April 12 2014, 08:15 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: how would you build a colony?

I'd assume the colony would be founded on a "worthwhile" planet, in order to exploit its resources, rather than a homogeneously hostile environment simply for the sake of planting a flag. In that case, colonists would probably land on the plots they want to exploit, all over the globe, and start establishing their industries on the terms of said industries. If the factory required 80,000 workers, that's what they'd ship in ASAP. If it required 18, that's what would suffice, and the families would move in at their leisure once trade to and from the planet got going.

Colony size and population characteristics would not be chosen according to dangers of inbreeding or the like. There'd be no danger of such in the Star Trek environment: marriages across the interstellar gulf would be simple enough, thanks to warp drive. And in some other scifi environment or our real future, I'd assume biological trivialities would be well under control long before we started settling the stars: the colonies might consist of a single family a million cloned grandchildren in size, or totally incompatible individuals who keep their biological shortcomings and psychopathology under control by popping pills of suitable color.

Also, there would be a lot of diversity, as the most eager colonists would come from the ranks of literal lunatics, people with the oddest ideas of how to run a semi-isolated community. If there were unifying factors, those would come from basic logistics: in Trek, colony ships might be of certain size and price, promoting the founding of those ubiquitous tiny farming villages, say.

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Old April 12 2014, 11:17 PM   #3
bbjeg
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Re: how would you build a colony?

I'd choose a lush planet like Bajor. The buildings will be reminiscent of Roman buildings but inside will be decked out with the newest technology. The middle will have a large town center and districts will circle out with the more important buildings near the center (security posts, hospitals, etc.). Four main roads will lead from the town center connecting the circled roads throughout the settlement and separating the 4 outer districts; the residential area; the market district, selling all sorts of items found throughout the galaxy as well replicated foods and an arboretum for fresh foods; a science district containing colleges and a star port containing multiple personal-use shuttles; and a theater district containing multiple personal use holodecks and a large, "multi-player" holosuite featuring large scale events (from historic battles, to sci-fi and fantasy as well) and it will be designed to hold hundreds of people at a time.

The planet will be named Voluptas.
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Old April 13 2014, 02:10 AM   #4
SeerSGB
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Assuming a suitable planet, land three or four Galaxy class style saucer sections on the surface: Colony in a box. Power, replicators, habitats, and medical facitilies all in one package. Then have the saucer be the community center as the colony expands outward.
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Old April 13 2014, 02:58 AM   #5
Wingsley
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Re: how would you build a colony?

TOS, and, indeed, the entire TREK franchise, is pretty vague and contradictory on how colonization works. We see little settlements that seem very small, maybe only in the dozens or less ("This Side of Paradise", "And the Children Shall Lead"). And we see and hear of highly developed colonies like Mariposa (TNG's "Up the Long Ladder") that have large cities but nothing really in-between.

It seems to me that the tiny-settlement kind would have to be advanced scouting expeditions, where only the first small batch of people arrive to check the place out and see if the survey expeditions/probes were right. These people are the "guinea pigs" sent there to "try it out."

The next step would likely be the Cestus III stage, where a more-developed community is established. More like a fort.

But then we hear about (seldom see) more developed colonies like Mariposa, which become cities and wind up turning the "colony" into a settled "world". We can assume Benecia, New Paris, and maybe others like Sherman's Planet are like this. Apparently, not all colonies "make it"; some fall victim to failures like Tarsus IV ("The Conscience of the King") or Arvada III (TNG's "The Arsenal of Freedom") or Tau Cygna V ("The Ensigns of Command").

There are also apparently different kinds of colonies. Some are general-purpose habitation settlements. Others, like Tantalus V ("Dagger of the Mind") are dedicated facilities that serve the Federation for a specific purpose. Judging how Kirk and company use force in such situations, it would seem the service-colonies exist at the Federation's pleasure and Starfleet is used to keep them in line. This would mean such service-colonies must be exempt from the Prime Directive. Judging from how other sometimes get left alone or even forgotten, it is possible that those colonies that declare themselves autonomous may be protected under the Prime Directive. (Just don't tell that to Will Riker.)

As for how those colonies become developed, that has been left very vague. I would like to think (no canon evidence one way of the other) that during a "settlement phase", the colonies are still dependent on some mother-world like Earth for importation of volunteers to populate the new planet, and possibly for supplies and other assistance. I like the idea of freighters like the SS Woden delivering personnel and supplies to colonies (like a kind of "mail train" to the stars) and then stopping off at a nearby asteroid if any rare, uber-precious materials like Dilithium are discovered there, to retrieve them for the return trip. This would help the colony "pay for itself". I also like to think these freighters can carry "kit" modules of prefab facilities (space stations, robot satellites, mining stations, factories, etc.) that can be delivered and used to help establish a colony. (Maybe this is how Delta Vega and Tantalus V came to be.)
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Old April 15 2014, 12:07 AM   #6
Wingsley
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Re: how would you build a colony?

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Assuming a suitable planet, land three or four Galaxy class style saucer sections on the surface: Colony in a box. Power, replicators, habitats, and medical facitilies all in one package. Then have the saucer be the community center as the colony expands outward.
The o.p. did not suggest a specific time-frame, IIRC. This would be an interesting 24th-century scenario.

Neat idea. It would require the sacrifice of an entire Galaxy-class saucer section for each mission it is implemented on. It would also require a new saucer be constructed to replace the one sacrificed. That could be pretty costly, and may be seen as a waste.

There are alternatives...

The Galaxy-class vehicle would leave its normal-operations saucer section docked at a starbase/home port. In its place, the stardrive section would connect with a prefab "colony module" saucer, built more for landing on a planet than long-term space travel. (less-capable propulsion, little or no armament, internal equipment geared for short-term spaceflight followed by long-term planetfall/use as a "city". So this scenario would play out like this:
1: Colonization project administrator would arrive at Starbase X, and begin a new project organizing and building a "pseudo-saucer". Once the components and personnel are assembled and the "colonization module" is complete, Starfleet is notified and a Galaxy-class starship is called in for the mission.

2: The U.S.S. Galaxy arrives at Starbase X and jettisons its saucer section in high orbit. The saucer will be manned by starbase crews and renovated/maintained if necessary. The U.S.S. Galaxy's stardrive section is connected to the completed colonization module, fully manned and provisioned for the mission. The Galaxy departs for the colony planet.

3: The U.S.S. Galaxy arrives at the colony planet, jettisons the colonization module in orbit. If site-preparation is necessary at the landing site, the Galaxy renders whatever assistance is needed. The Galaxy stays in orbit until the colonization module lands safely on the planet. Once the colonization module is secure on the surface, the Galaxy returns to Starbase X.

4: The U.S.S. Galaxy either arrives at Starbase X to retrieve its regular saucer section, or to secure another colonization module for dispatch.
The above scenario would probably work for earlier Ambassador-class 24th century starships, and maybe even the earlier Excelsior-class.

It still seems a bit of a waste, though. Why tie up a front-line starship for colonization duties, or keep building expendable saucer modules all the time? It would seem a better and more effective use of resources to use lesser "freighter" style space vessels with detachable cargo modules (like the SS Woden) to establish repeated importation of dedicated colonization modules (one could be a space station, another could be a city-building module, another could be a mining module, and other modules could be dedicated to hauling in people and supplies) over a period of time.

Think of the process used by the Allies from the Normandy Invasion of June, 1944 through the Allied Expeditionary Force's entering of Germany. It was a detailed and methodical process, not just of engaging Nazi forces in combat, but of establishing camps and bases, securing bridges across rivers, securing towns, establishing communications, supply lines, field hospitals and command centers, etc.

A colonization effort would be somewhat similar to a military beachhead and invasion/expeditionary force, but without the combat or heavy militarism. It wouldn't be just one ship / just one occurrence. It would be a process that would take place over time.

One notion never mentioned by anyone would be where the raw materials for building colonial settlements would come from. If you're going to settle an uninhabited wilderness on a strange Class M planet, where are you going to get your materials from to build your cities, homes, industry, and possibly even future spaceships? I don't see the Federation or the Earth depicted in TREK condoning destructive practices that would harm a pristine colony-planet; that would defeat the purpose of settling a new world in the first place.

So, what would the Federation do? They would identify nearby moons and asteroids for whatever useful raw materials could be used, mine-out those materials, and then use robot ships to bring them to the colony/space station for processing before they are used on the surface. Don't laugh: what did Zephrem Cochrane do to build a home? He cannibalized his spaceship.
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Old April 15 2014, 12:15 AM   #7
Wingsley
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Re: how would you build a colony?

As far as the freighter/transport concept goes, there are a couple of other threads that readers of this thread might want to check out.

"Freighters and Cargoships", started by Lt.Juliet in Feb. 2014.

"Warptugs and cargo pods" started by me in July, 2008.

The thread I started might be most germane to this thread's topic.
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Old April 18 2014, 02:27 AM   #8
varek
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Location: Danville, IN, USA
Re: how would you build a colony?

bbjeg wrote: View Post
I'd choose a lush planet like Bajor. The buildings will be reminiscent of Roman buildings but inside will be decked out with the newest technology. The middle will have a large town center and districts will circle out with the more important buildings near the center (security posts, hospitals, etc.). Four main roads will lead from the town center connecting the circled roads throughout the settlement and separating the 4 outer districts; the residential area; the market district, selling all sorts of items found throughout the galaxy as well replicated foods and an arboretum for fresh foods; a science district containing colleges and a star port containing multiple personal-use shuttles; and a theater district containing multiple personal use holodecks and a large, "multi-player" holosuite featuring large scale events (from historic battles, to sci-fi and fantasy as well) and it will be designed to hold hundreds of people at a time.

The planet will be named Voluptas.
I like your ideas, bbjeg.
Using parts of Galaxy-class ships could expedite the housing and lab situation, too. I hadn't thought of that.
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Old April 19 2014, 06:14 PM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Wingsley wrote: View Post
As far as the freighter/transport concept goes, there are a couple of other threads that readers of this thread might want to check out.
This one pretty good too (minus the attempts at side tracking) ...

http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.ph...ighlight=hydro

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Old Today, 02:20 AM   #10
Lord Manitou
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Re: how would you build a colony?

This theme was tackled rather extensively by Robert Heinlein in 'Time Enough for Love'. This book are his dealings with the Howard Family.
After acouple millenia six or seven planets were colonized fully. The first colonists had to be healthier and smarter than the average individual. The colonized planets were near earth-like in gravity, atmosphere, and terrain. Only one or two planets could escape the 'Old West' type of sub-culture.
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Old Today, 03:41 AM   #11
T'Girl
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Maybe the colonies would start as penal colonies.

After the basic infrastructure was set up (power, water, food, transportation) the prisoners would be moved to the next raw world and the colonists would begin arriving.

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