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-   -   Can't get transportation more alternative than this! (

RedDevil 03-08-2019 04:13 PM

Can't get transportation more alternative than this!
This may not blend well in with the general gist of this subforum, but as a means of transportation this is a world apart from what we're used to... Literally!
So bear with me and - be amazed? they really make this happen? And the global communications and stuff... Geez!

redpoint5 03-08-2019 04:52 PM

Interesting. I can't see sending 100 people at a time via rocket being price competitive with sending 500 at a time, even if it is much faster. I'm sure there will be rocket travel in the future for the wealthy, but it's not going to significantly replace commercial planes.

Perhaps we'll send Ripley (human proxy) to Mars in a decade, but I don't see people going for another 20 or so.

RedDevil 03-08-2019 05:02 PM

Yeah, Mars is a challenge.
Once away from Earth's protective magnetosphere cosmic radiation is going to slowly kill anyone in a spacecraft or on a planets surface. Never mind the crew in the IIS, they are within the magnetosphere.

Forget Mars surface pods. The radiation kills and the soil is toxic. They need to bore tunnels into solid rock and live there.

If we are to move to other planets we have to accept becoming cavemen again.

freebeard 03-12-2019 05:34 AM

Gwynne Shotwell is an inspiring person. (Through clenched teeth "Big Falcon Rocket") Nothing is as awesome as the launch of the Falcon Heavy. The next milestone is a capsule abort at the top of burn.

Then he gets to tackle the real problems. Like how to get passengers through the crushing g-forces that come with takeoff and landing. The weightless period in the middle may be cool, but it’s not exactly a work environment business travelers will enjoy. Running anything more than the occasional flight would require an unprecedented integration with the national airspace system, to keep the rockets from taking out planes the way planes take out birds.

Building launch pads at sea assuages concerns about annoying city dwellers with the noise, sonic booms, and vibrations that come with hurling rockets into the sky, but brings up another concern. The flight itself may be brief, but forcing customers to get to the ocean in the first place could easily add hours to trip time. And it’s hard to see rockets serving any major city that’s not near an ocean or lake, like Paris, Berlin, New Delhi, Denver, Riyadh, or Johannesburg.

“I would like to see this development mesh with existing infrastructure,” like airports, says Madhu Thangavelu, who studies space exploration at the University of Southern California. “Then it becomes much easier to put safety protocols in place.”
So suborbital buses are unlikely. But she's not thinking about Mars—"...because I want to meet other people in other solar systems."

The Moon and Mars are red herrings. The true future in space is hollow planets.

Isaac Zackary 03-16-2019 03:23 PM

It may be better to colonize Venus than Mars.

Grant-53 03-16-2019 04:06 PM

See the short story "Jupiter Five" by Arthur C. Clarke (1953) about one of the moons of Jupiter being an alien space craft.

freebeard 03-16-2019 04:18 PM

I did!

Early drafts of the 2001 novel did include the moon Jupiter V as the location where the Star Gate was located, instead of on Iapetus as in the final version of the novel, with revelation that Jupiter V had been artificially sculpted and placed into its precise orbit by the builders of the Star Gate.
A Truly Mysterious Heavenly Body - The Enigmas on Iapetus

RedDevil 03-17-2019 06:55 AM


Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary (Post 593816)
It may be better to colonize Venus than Mars.

If you like an atmosphere that consists largely of sulphuric acid at 100 times our pressure and is hot enough to melt most metals.

Isaac Zackary 03-17-2019 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 593843)
If you like an atmosphere that consists largely of sulphuric acid at 100 times our pressure and is hot enough to melt most metals.

On the surface, yes. But some scientists propose building some sort of structure that's up in the clouds, perhaps suspended on balloons. Up high enough the atmosphere is the same pressure as on Earth with an average temperature much closer to that of Earth's. The gravity would be almost the exact same as on Earth. And there would be a thick cloud cover that protects the population from radiation.

But on the Moon and Mars there's no atmosphere and no protection from radiation. The gravity is much less than that of Earth's, and we already know that leads to at least bone loss, and perhaps other problems.

RedDevil 03-17-2019 11:55 AM

It would still have to be resistant to sulfuric acids, and Venerial storms?

Mars and the Moon's surfaces are unfit for habitation due to the radiation and either radical chemicals (Mars) or abrasive dust (the Moon). The only practical way to live there is to dig in.

The moon has large lava caves, that could be a nice start. Deep inside those caves there should be little radiation. Maybe there's enough space for a large spinning habitat to simulate Earths gravity, but maybe the lower gravity is not that big a problem after all.
If we go in long term natural selection would make us adapt to the conditions anyway.

But hey, let's drop a balloon onto Venus, why not?
If it works, who knows what could come of it.
Maybe some algae might root and start doing something. The poles might become inhabitable given time.

You do know how long a Venereal day is though?
That too could be a problem for a floating city. The days would be killing, the nights chilling. And don't watch the east for a sunrise...

I think Europa is a better bet. An ocean under the ice. The ice and the water underneath provide protection against radiation and would be much easier to deal with than the aggressive chemicals on Venus and Mars or the abrasive moondust.
A thin atmosphere with oxygen. Way too cold to breathe, but at least it is available.

It is just so very not nearby.
And that's where it gets troublesome. The Big Falcon Rocket (boy were they lucky with the bird species - what if it were an ostrich, a hummingbird, pelican or turkey?) could be useful for a Sydney commute, but Europa is years away, and Venus may have long days but balloons don't make good rocket landing platforms.

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