[extropy-chat] SPACE: new planet?
eugen at leitl.org
Sun Feb 22 18:06:42 UTC 2004
On Sat, Feb 21, 2004 at 05:37:04PM -0500, David Lubkin wrote:
> Harvey wrote:
> >... We now can colonize thousands of worlds with interplanetary
> >spaceships without having to invent interstellar travel or FTL ships ...
There's nothing particularly difficult about building lightsail-driven
relativistic small vessels. It doesn't even take nanotechnology, though it
would of course require nanotechnology to packages enough functionality in a
> >... We also now know that Oort clouds and Kuiper Belts are normal
> >structures around stars ...
> >Their close proximity means that massive parallel colonization is much
> >closer (both in distance and time) than we could have predicted before.
> >These worlds will be the primary space frontier. We will colonize
> >of these before reaching many (if any) stars. Furthermore, we will reach
> >these Pluto-type planets around other stars before diving down into their
> >gravity wells to reach their planets. This means that even in interstellar
> >travel, these worlds will be reached first.
> Moreover, they are convenient stepping stones.
I disagree. The Moon *is* a convenient stepping stone (for a conventional
culture, a culture far deeper into the Singularity doesn't need this
particular crutch). You only need this one step to reach any object within a
shallow gravitation well (these being the easiest pickings).
> We've debated and fantasized about star travel for most of a century, down
> to the recent thread about the utility of interstellar exploration for a
You'll notice that the most advanced current proposals have nothing to do
with riveted-hull space opera bulkheads. Not even such quaint 1960s ideas as a
> Absent a cheap, hand-waving magic physics, interstellar travel is presumed
Where's the magic in a gray sail? There is none. It's a passive receptacle,
most of the engine is left at home, and is just radiating reaction mass via
> to be expensive. Either a high energy cost propulsive system or a
> long-duration flight (generation ship or suspended animation or immortals
> or robotic).
This is 2004. Does anyone here really think you'll see flesh people going to
the stars? Or even to Kuiper belt, in person?
> But. The coolest thing to me about Kuiper and Oort is the possibility of
> their ubiquity. If Proxima Centauri has an Oort cloud, it will overlap
> ours. We don't need a trillion-dollar starship or an FTL drive. The
Interstellar travel is very cheap with autopoietic machines.
> natural, gradual processes of wanting some elbow room when civilization is
> too cramping or wondering what's over the next hill that spread us across
> this planet can spread us to the stars -- in planetoid-sized hops.
Sorry, sounds like a modern rehash of Jules Verne to me.
-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144 http://www.leitl.org
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