ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 25th January 2020, 04:34 AM   #241
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,876
Yes, but I also brought up redundancy. If you send 2000 people, sending them as 1 big ship with 2000 people aboard is putting all the eggs in one basket, whereas sending 10 ships of 200 people each is not. If even 9 out of 10 meets some... explosive fate along the way, the 1 that lands is still enough genetic diversity to start a viable colony.

Plus, other advantages. Like, if you have to convince the public to commit most of society's resources to that plan, building one smaller ship every 10 years at least is showing some tangible results, whereas having everyone wait 100 years before the big ship is ready is more likely to end up scrapped. And by ready, I also mean the fuel and everything. But anyway, people are less likely to be enthusiastic about tightening the belt for the sake of stuff that's not even really getting off the ground (figuratively speaking) within their lifetime.

It's also a better colonization plan if only the first wave lands on a totally new planet, and the rest have had the previous ones prepare the crops, living spaces, scouted for where the resources are, etc.

Plus there are the engineering constraints. The bigger you make the ship, the bigger the tidal forces if you want to do a gravity assist anywhere along the way. Like, say, slingshot around Jupiter to save some fuel. Or the shearing forces if one of the boosters fail when decelerating at destination, or the problem of resonances, etc. Accelerating or decelerating a small space U-boot is a much easier proposition than doing so with a big torus space station.

Edit: redundancy also somewhat prevents a Herostratus problem. Herostratus being the guy who destroyed the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus and was very much prepared to die for it just to achieve immortal fame. Being the guy who nixed Earth's whole colonization effort is a much more tempting proposition for a wannabe Herostratus than being the guy who, meh, at best delayed it by a couple of years.

Edit 2: redundancy also lets you take a more shotgun approach so to speak. Instead of sending 2000 people to one promising planet, you can send 2 ships of 200 each to 5 promising planets. If one colony goes bust, or even 4, well, you still got something to show for your efforts.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 25th January 2020 at 04:45 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 07:25 AM   #242
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,646
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Not sure why you think you'd need to be a fanatic to send that number. I must confess, I haven't spent years pondering that particular scenario, so I'm probably missing something. In fact, a lot of somethings. Please explain your reasoning.
What Roborama said. If you trace back the conversation we are discussing a scenario from a novel that is primarily addressing the problems brought on by a small insular colony. I think only fanatics will subject themselves to that.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 07:34 AM   #243
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,646
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
YThe bigger you make the ship, the bigger the tidal forces if you want to do a gravity assist anywhere along the way. Like, say, slingshot around Jupiter to save some fuel.
If we're still talking about the .1c scenario a gravity assists will save essentially zero fuel.

ETA: A much better way to get an "assist" is to build the colony ships out of something that is already in an interstellar orbit. Of, if those turn out not to be common enough, start with the most eccentric comet of the right size you can find.

ETA: Since we are talking Fermi paradox and large timescales, there is also the opportunity to colonize other stars by waiting for stars to come to us. There is a 1 LY pass by happening in about 10K years. Gliese 710 will pass by at 77 light days in a little over a million. There will be other options at a variety of distances in between. So in a million years we will have an easy opportunity to colonize Gliese 710. A million years after that Gliese 710 will be about 60 light years away, don't know what it will pass along the way but still there could be a human populated star system 60 LY away in two million years.

Last edited by RecoveringYuppy; 25th January 2020 at 08:18 AM.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 09:18 AM   #244
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,876
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
If we're still talking about the .1c scenario a gravity assists will save essentially zero fuel.
Well, Roborama was proposing 0.0003c on the previous page. At which point you might start considering it. I'm open for a wide range of scenarios, basically.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:38 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.