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Old 19th December 2018, 02:59 PM   #441
Darat
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Growing up with Mars featuring so prominently in the science fiction of my younger years it's rather a downer to think that a colony on Mars has no earthly (pun intended) possibilty.
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Old 19th December 2018, 04:21 PM   #442
Red Baron Farms
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Growing up with Mars featuring so prominently in the science fiction of my younger years it's rather a downer to think that a colony on Mars has no earthly (pun intended) possibilty.
It still potentially has something no asteroid or hollowed our rock can supply, a gravity well and potentially a self regulating self healing biosphere in that gravity well.

I say potentially because it really is still speculation, but considering the number of extremophiles on Earth, one would have to believe if we could get an atmosphere and water to stick, we could seed it and jump start a biosphere.

Having a second whole biosphere in our "back pocket" so to speak is fundamentally better than just having a few extra hollow balls of rock.
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Old 19th December 2018, 07:24 PM   #443
Darat
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
It still potentially has something no asteroid or hollowed our rock can supply, a gravity well and potentially a self regulating self healing biosphere in that gravity well.

I say potentially because it really is still speculation, but considering the number of extremophiles on Earth, one would have to believe if we could get an atmosphere and water to stick, we could seed it and jump start a biosphere.

Having a second whole biosphere in our "back pocket" so to speak is fundamentally better than just having a few extra hollow balls of rock.
Problem is by the time we have the technology to terraform it therewould be no reason to.

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Old 20th December 2018, 02:13 PM   #444
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Just for my curiosity, and without any pre-judgment, what exactly is the advantage of a gravity well as opposed to artificial gravity? Other than attracting meteorites, and potentially tidally breaking one up into a meteor shower, I'm drawing blanks. Again, this might be just my lack of imagination, but that's why I'm hoping someone will enlighten me.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:25 PM   #445
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Gravity wells are Romantic.

Personally, I question the entire premise of gravity as a requirement. A humanity that can't even imagine ever stepping off the plains of Africa is not a humanity that's ready walk among the stars.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:37 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Just for my curiosity, and without any pre-judgment, what exactly is the advantage of a gravity well as opposed to artificial gravity? Other than attracting meteorites, and potentially tidally breaking one up into a meteor shower, I'm drawing blanks. Again, this might be just my lack of imagination, but that's why I'm hoping someone will enlighten me.
Artificial gravity means living withing a sealed, rotating object. It's very hard to conduct industrial processes in that kind of environment. It also means the hull of the thing has to be able to support the weight of the objects inside, buildings for example. That could be OK on the inside of a hollowed-out asteroid, but not so much inside one of those rotating torus, wheel-like ships.

And then there's local resources. None at all in the space wheel, damn few on the asteroid. Planets are bound to have plenty of some things that might possibly be useful.

That's just a couple of examples.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:45 PM   #447
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Just for my curiosity, and without any pre-judgment, what exactly is the advantage of a gravity well as opposed to artificial gravity? Other than attracting meteorites, and potentially tidally breaking one up into a meteor shower, I'm drawing blanks. Again, this might be just my lack of imagination, but that's why I'm hoping someone will enlighten me.
Just a minor obstical called evolution. All our biological processes evolved in a gravity well and it turns out it does matter. We don't even know if we can reproduce without one.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:54 PM   #448
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Well, yes, I'm more for a hollowed asteroid.

As for resources, you have to remember that basically everything we mine on Earth that's heavier than Silica, comes from asteroids. What with the planet first being molten when it formed, and then again by the Theia impact, everything heavier has sunk to the core. Well, with some traces left in the crust, but that's about it.

Mars too is estimated to have been a big molten ball of stone when it formed, albeit not nearly as hot as Earth when it formed. It left more iron oxide in the crust, hence its colour, but it pretty much still just a lot of useless silica with some iron oxide in it. Any concentrated ore veins you might want to mine are again from meteors.

An asteroid basically cuts the middleman. Well, the big useless ball of silica to dig around for it.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:58 PM   #449
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Just a minor obstical called evolution. All our biological processes evolved in a gravity well and it turns out it does matter. We don't even know if we can reproduce without one.
No. We need gravity, but we don't need a gravity WELL. As per the equivalence principle of GR, gravity and acceleration are the same thing. So whether you're in a planetary gravity well, or inside a rotating asteroid, or a rotating torus space station, or on a rocket accelerating at 1g, it's the same. Not just as far as your biology is concerned, but as far as ANY physical process is concerned.

Additionally, see earlier in the thread: Mars may not have enough gravity for healthy long term habitation anyway. Even the most optimistic estimates I've seen require SLIGHTLY more than Mars has. So basically you're still going to have to build a centrifuge on Mars too, it'll just need to rotate slower, and use up a lot more energy than something rotating in space and make more noise.
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Old 20th December 2018, 05:09 PM   #450
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No. We need gravity, but we don't need a gravity WELL. As per the equivalence principle of GR, gravity and acceleration are the same thing. So whether you're in a planetary gravity well, or inside a rotating asteroid, or a rotating torus space station, or on a rocket accelerating at 1g, it's the same. Not just as far as your biology is concerned, but as far as ANY physical process is concerned.

Additionally, see earlier in the thread: Mars may not have enough gravity for healthy long term habitation anyway. Even the most optimistic estimates I've seen require SLIGHTLY more than Mars has. So basically you're still going to have to build a centrifuge on Mars too, it'll just need to rotate slower, and use up a lot more energy than something rotating in space and make more noise.
I happen to agree this is why I said "potentially". As for the artificial gravity, hard to see how we get an entire biome to function under those requirements you suggest. Sure some travelers can live this way for a while, but that is not the same thing as a complex self regulating biosphere.

And that whole self regulating self healing complex biosphere that we happen to be a part of is actually pretty important in ways we are only beginning to learn about.

I would put no faith in any plan that uses mechanistic artificial means to try and replicate this. Because mechanical things fail. They just do. Nothing we ever created along these lines has shown any tendency at all to be capable of lasting millions of years like the biosphere has already done, even through several severe disruption events...
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Old 20th December 2018, 05:41 PM   #451
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There's also the issue that building a rotating habitat in space is considerably more engineeringly complex than a land-based structure.
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Old 21st December 2018, 02:01 AM   #452
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There's also the issue that building a rotating habitat in space is considerably more engineeringly complex than a land-based structure.
If you want to build a metal torus-shaped station, sure, that's more complex. That's why I was proposing just hollowing out circular tunnels inside an asteroid. Like, say, Ceres. Then give it a good spin with some rockets, and there you go.

And if we're ever going to mine on asteroids, which a much more technologically feasible proposition, the basically just dig the first mine shafts in a circle. There you go, the habitat becomes a by-product of the mining operation, if you plan it that way in advance.
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