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Colonise other worlds?

 
 
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 09:39 am
hi I have a question instead of searching for other life in other planets. Wouldnt it make more sense to send bacteria like the ones that made this earth habitable to us into other suitable planets for our future descendends evolution and possible colonization?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 1,931 • Replies: 22
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 09:42 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
You might want to read about what that little experiment did to the Amazon basin before wanting to try it on alien planets...
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 09:52 am
'That's not a bad idea, but it's rather short-sighted. Suppose we find a candidate planet with an atmosphere such as that of the early earth, and we seed it with single-cell organisms which alter the atmosphere for our use--what next? To colonize other planets we have to send people to those planets. That would be an enormously expensive proposition for even a few hundred people. They would have to be shielded from cosmic radiation while in transit, which would require very, very heavy shielding (and therefore make it enormously expensive to build the transport craft and launch it into space), or it would require creating an artificial magnetic field around the transport craft, which would require an enormously expensive energy generation capacity. And that's without addressing the problems which arise from long-term exposure to mircogravity.

Any way you look at it, it would require stupendous amounts of material and energy to send people off to colonize other worlds. This is something about which dreamers in science fiction are either ignorant, or which they resolutely ignore. However, if you just want to seed other planets, and see what happens without sending people out as colonists, the whole thing can be accomplished relatively cheaply (cheap only in comparison to sending out manned missions) by using unmanned, self-replicating vessels.

For some interesting reading, i suggest you might be interested in Van Neumann machines (specifically, the part about self-replicating spacecraft). Another interesting read for you might be the Fermi paradox. The physicist Enrico Fermi said of the question of whether or not there are other intelligent, technological civilizations int the cosmos, basically "If there are, where are they?" He held that they would move outward to colonize other planets, and that we should have heard from them by now. I consider it an extremely naïve question.
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:00 am
@Setanta,
yes the issue of transporting a person to these planets may not be visible with our techonology yet true Very Happy But sending bacteria is well withing our techenology and look how much we advanced in 2,000 years. I belive this would be a great first step and theres plenty of time to work out the details of colonizing later Very Happy
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:04 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
Viable, the word you wanted was viable. Human beings have not, in any evolutionary sense which we can detect, advanced at all in the last two thousand years. The last major change in the human condition with regard to the natural environment came ten thousand years ago with the domestication of plants and animals. People will thunder on about the degredation of our enviroment, but we were already in the degrading of the environment business then--we just weren't very good at it yet, and there weren't very many of us.
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:14 am
@Setanta,
hmm i suppose if you look at it that way that would be true. But how about our colonization of this planet? 2.000 years have past and now were can you find land thats not owned by someone? South pole? Under the Oceans? Under Ground? GReat we have space for now But in 2.000 are we not gona be desperate enough to find realstate? All im saying is it be great if as a human race we took the first step. To secure something so life can keep espanding:D
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:16 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
Not that much of the earth's surface has been newly colonized in the last 2000 years. Most of what Europeans "colonized" was already occupied by somebody else when they showed up, so they just stole the land and claimed they had colonized it.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:19 am
I contend that sending bacteria to other planets is a dangerous proposition. We don't know what they might evolve into. The alien bacteria would present us with new diseases for which our immune systems have no defense.
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:24 am
@edgarblythe,
well whats the worse thing that could happen? at the verry worst we past down DNA. That is after the book of life as we know it. What greater message do we have to be past down so other civilazations can find? Very Happy
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:26 am
@Setanta,
see Setanta agrees that we need new land Very Happy
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:30 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
No i don't. Knock that **** off.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:30 am
Colonizing planets is a neat idea that may become feasible one day. But, setanta has shown the difficulties to be overcome. To my thinking, the need for new land could be indefinitely postponed by making intelligent use of what we've got. A remote probability, but to me the easiest and best choice.
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 10:38 am
@Setanta,
woops dint mean no harm Im sorry Setanta
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 11:57 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
The odds that the bacteria find a planet in the first place and not drift between the stars and their respective solar systems is the first main nearly unsurmountable obstacle.

The odds that the planet if ever found is at the perfect range distance wise from the planet's respective star (not too close and not too far) is the second nearly unsurmountable obstacle.

Let's give these bacteria the benefit of the doubt and that they do stumble onto a perfect Goldie Locks ~just perfect from the planet's star planet. An extinction level event can easily wipe out the bacteria before they can evolve past the single cell lifeforms: neighboring stars going supernova and irradiating the planet; the planet's own star sending out a killer solar storm; the planet's own tectonic and volcanic activity obliterating any atmospheric advances the bacteria has made over the lifetime of the colony of bacteria; unforeseeable events that remove the present water and/or ice from the planetary equation; etc...

The odds of a successful seeding of a planet are insanely small. And your timescale is off at least by millions of years. At that rate, the human race may have been extinct by a few million years. The bacteria need a very long time to completely create an atmosphere even remotely habitable for us humans.

And what if the bacteria evolve and inevitably change the atmosphere so the planet is somehow more inhospitable then before they arrived in the first place.

This is the most ambitious plan for the continuing survival of the an intelligent species. For a civilization to pull this off, the likelihood is that they are using this in terms of a very, very, very, very long term project: success is measured in tens of millions if not billions of years.

AS optimistic as I am regarding the technological advance of humanity in the immediate decades worth of our combined future, we as a species don't even give that much attention to the simple things that can wipe us off the planet. Just look at how small the budget is for extinction level asteroid detection and prevention.
Quote:
Update on NASA FY2011 budget and NEO funding: Near Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Initiative

As you may recall when the NASA FY2011 Budget was released there seemed to be an increase in the funding for NEO specific work, from the approximately US$4M to about US$16M. Here is more detail.


http://planetarydefense.blogspot.com/2010/03/update-on-nasa-fy2011-budget-and-neo.html
That's M for million dollars not billion dollars and even if it was a typo. How much protection can an additional 16 billion dollars provide?!

Quote:
Named after the late congressman, the George E. Brown, Jr., Near-Earth Object Survey section of the 2005 NASA Authorization Act called upon the space agency to detect, track, catalogue and characterize the physical characteristics of at least 90 percent of potentially hazardous NEOs larger than roughly 460 feet (140 meters) in diameter by the end of the year 2020.

http://www.space.com/news/nasa-neo-asteroid-spacecraft-101221.html
Study the two most important numbers in this paragraph. There is a long time between 2011 and 2020.


For arguments sake, let us say nothing happens in this time span of 9 years.
It's 2020:
1. Whose to say that by this time, the always short sighted dumbasses in Congress have not completely pulled the project's funding and the system already up there in space is either in need of maintenance, never worked in the first place, or completely dismantled to resell the recyclable materials, etc....
2. We know 90% of the thousands and thousands of orbiting asteroids and comets in our system. We are still missing a large 10% of ELO (extinction level objects) that are arbitrarily flying death traps in the sky. All it takes is 1 rogue asteroid....
3. I had another point but I already forgot it.

This plan is great fodder for science fiction. It's a great plan for other uberintelligent and well protected alien civilizations but for the human race? We need something done in a more timely fashion.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 02:37 pm
@peter jeffrey cobb,
Don't worry about it, just don't put words in my mouth, 'K?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 02:41 pm
@tsarstepan,
Your entire response is a non sequitur. He's talking about "seeding" planets which have already been identified as candidates for such a program, not just putting the organic material out there to see where it sticks. All that gabble about near earth objects is also quite beside the point.
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 05:55 pm
@Setanta,
K Very Happy listening to big hits of the 80s
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Jan, 2011 12:01 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
Hehe something funny occured to me wile I was watching a PBS program. Can you imagine if the world spent 10% of what it does on its millitary, and put it into space exploration and colonization. Smile Wow its hard to imagine isnt it?
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Jan, 2011 12:42 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
I dont why this idea keeps coming back to me. Expanding civilization without having to destroy other living spicies. I dont know it just seem like the right thing to do. I mean havent we destroyed enough? If not then When do we say ok now thats enough? Sorry that I keep bringing this topic up. But it seems like the right thing to do Smile
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  0  
Reply Thu 20 Jan, 2011 01:06 am
@peter jeffrey cobb,
Hey I got an idea. This will be fun. Evreyone out there have some knowledge about a specialty. Mine is simple assembly of titanic steel structures. Now again just for fun lets imagine that we did have 10% of the worlds military bugged. Using your knowledge of your specialty. What would you put in towards colonising another world and making it livable? For me I can imagine the building frame. Were you could put a machine to mine the raw materials neccessary to build a self sustaining base. Smile your turn Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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