how would you build a colony?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by varek, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which, to me, suggests most of the "ore freighters" of the TOS era would probably be interplanetary spacecraft, not interstellar ones. Refined materials would be shipped by boomers of the cargo service since they are more valuable, but unrefined material probably goes out over short-range robot ships.

    I haven't seen many references to that, although I would say that in a system like, say, Alpha Centauri that may not be such an impressive feat as you would think.:p

    Hardly. I'll again draw attention to the Janus colony, which is described as being very geologically rich to an extent that a "second Earth" could never be. More to the point, Janus is otherwise uninhabitable and isn't very attractive to anyone EXCEPT for its mineral wealth.

    I would speculate that "garden planets" that are very Earthlike are probably valuable for mundane reasons (e.g. realestate) in which case the residents would have to purchase almost EVERYTHING from other colonies that actually manufacture things. They'd have to pay for those products probably by work either in the service industry and other intangible goods, or by physically shipping out from the garden world and doing the hard labor in some of those other less hospitable/high value asteroid colonies.

    I don't know that "farming colonies" would actually be all that profitable in and of themselves, but would probably be extremely necessary for Federation planning and would probably rely almost exclusively on subsidies.
     
  2. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    It would seem very plausible that a "farming colony" is a planet one would go to if one wanted to live an "agricultural lifestyle". In other words, if you're tired of the planet you're living on and you want to live on a world of nothing but farms and other agro-communities, move to a "farming colony".
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  3. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Essentially the plot of the resent Captain America movie.

    :)
     
  5. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmmm....Very innnnterrresting!
     
  6. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eh... ore hauling is VERY profitable and done all over the place and over very long distances, take Japan for example, most of their resources has to be brought by ship and in very large quantities.

    Australia hauls iron ore by the megatons to asia for example, while sitting on a huge pile of ore they don't have much foundry capability at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulk_carrier
    in 2005 bulk hauling of ores, coal, bauxite was already at 1.7 billion metric tons.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulk_carrier

    A lot of the largest vessels afloat at the moment are bulk carriers
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Vale_Brasil
     
  7. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    You bring up some interesting questions. Is it more profitable to ship out raw materials or to process them yourself, into useful products, and export those?

    It seems most advanced countries prefer to manufacture products, while those nations who only export raw materials often seem to be less affluent. What will happen to them, when their supplies of raw materials run out? I hope they have some beautiful scenery, to develop a tourist industry.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of the materials that is under consideration for being collected for export from the moon is helium-3. While there would be a initial separation on the moon from general "soil," what would be sent to Earth would be ore.

    :)
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not really a valid question. The ability to manufacture finished products FROM those raw materials requires substantial investment of labor and money in the first place. If you don't have the time or the money to build up that kind of infrastructure, then exporting raw materials is simply the most feasible option whether or not in-situ manufacturing would be THEORETICALLY cheaper. Add to that the fact that not all manufacturing facilities are created equal; you might take the time to invest in a dilithium refinery, but if your output isn't up to the same quantity and/or quality of, say, Delta Vega or Alpha Pavonis, the return on that investment might be unacceptably small. In some of those situations you're simply better off shipping bulk ore to other manufacturers who are better positioned to use it, rather than trying to use it yourself at drastically reduced efficiency.

    Then they switch to a knowledge economy and try to force most of their workforce into the service sector. Of course, recent history has shown that doesn't work nearly as well as it's commonly expected to, so the more likely result is an exodus of those workers from resource-poor planets/colonies to resource-rich ones.
     
  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Please don't start that with that B.S.. Helium-3 is a hypothetical fuel in extremely hypothetical second-generation fusion reactors. There is ZERO market potential for helium-3 in the world right now, and and it's questionable if there ever will be.
     
  11. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    Alder trees could be planted there. They help to enrich the soil, provide some medical benefits and can be used to make furniture and good-sounding guitars.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alder
     
  12. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Raw materials are all in all easier to deal with than ready made items, take steel, its all about when what kind of steel is in demand so its much simpler to buy raw metal ores and then produce the right kind of steel when its needed, this is how things go nowadays, take the car industry for example, when they need 10.000 tons of steel NOW, they will get it NOW, not a day ago and not a day later, stuff in storage costs money, delays too.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Now don't pout, the point was that material from the moon (like the wonderful helium three) would likely be brought to Earth (or perhaps a off-moon facility) for refining, what would be taken off the moon would be ore.

    Which could be said of any material from space or another planetary body. Gasoline was originally a useless by-product, went unused for decades after discovery, until someone figure out a profitable use for it.


    :)