[extropy-chat] stardust at home

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 13:43:48 UTC 2006

On 1/21/06, Amara Graps <amara at amara.com> wrote:

> Generally, an average of 40 tons per day of extraterrestrial material
> falls to the Earth. Elmar Jessberger at the Institut fuer Planetologie
> in Muenster and his colleagues estimate that most of the influx of
> extraterrestrial matter onto the Earth is dominated by meteoroids with
> diameters in the range 50 to 500 micrometers [snip]

Wow, that much!  I didn't realize it was that high but I have been thinking
about this since I pointed out somewhere that  many space exploration
missions, e.g. the Pluto mission, are actually disassembling the Earth (to
make a point that planetary disassembly *was* feasible).  But it looks like
we are going the other way.  ... Spike, isn't this going to end up changing
the Earth's orbit because we are getting heavier?...  This would seem to
provide a good justification for *more* interplanetary missions so we retain
the Earth in an ecologically sound mass balance ... another trivia question
... how much would we have to lighten the Earth on a yearly (daily) basis to
enlarge our orbit as the Sun expands to a red giant and thus maintain the
planet in a habitable zone ... leads to lots of more questions... How much
power will we need?  How many active fusion reactors?  How many mines
hauling mass out of the ground?  How long before the Earth starts turning
into swiss cheese?  Etc. etc.

> I should add that I was incredibly annoyed by the pre-Stardust capsule
> return NASA TV coverage of the statements made by Don Yeomans (JPL):
> "We wouldn't be here if it weren't for comets.."


I wish Yeomans didn't say these words, because the Italian media
> jumped on it, and made it a large aspect of their reports.
> ("humans exist because of comets...") Grrrrrrrrrrrr

True.  Its best to stick with the "safe" stuff...  E.g. "Humans exist
because of supernovas", unless one subscribes to the theory of "Humans exist
because of the *superintelligent design* of the solar system by a Matrioshka
Brain that realized that real matter and energy can perform certain types of
simulations faster than its 'limited' computational capacity was capable
of." :-)  Though there is the alternate theory that Matrioshka Brains have
more important things to do with their limited computational capacity than
run simulations involving mere human evolution so better to dedicate some
underutilized matter and energy to the task.

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